According to Akira Kurosawa’s perspective, “the Japanese see self-assertion as immoral, and self-sacrifice is the sensible course to take in Life.” This is because one must serve their master, the shogun, or the emperor. However, this hypothesis is challenged in Seven Samurai, a classic film that inspired Roger Ebert to write: “Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954) is not only a great film in its own right but also the source of a genre that would flow through the rest of the century.”
Set in 1586 toward the end of the Warring States period, Seven Samurai tells the story of a motley band of samurai warriors who find themselves defending a village against an army of bandits who steal crops and abduct the village’s women. In sixteenth-century Japan, peasants were considered one of the lowest levels of society. The samurai who choose to support them in the film are unique and exceptional.
Things become more interesting when it’s revealed that the bandits also belong to the samurai class. Once, they were probably in the service of a defeated clan or Japan’s army. However, now that Japan’s economic situation has deteriorated, they’ve discarded their code of honor while the heroes still adhere to the principles of the samurai.
This is a significant point that is sometimes forgotten in discussion of the movie: the titular seven samurai are fighting against their brothers. Skilled strategist and leader Kambei Shimada, young romantic Katsushiro Okamoto, and stoic but brilliant swordsman Kyuzo are in very similar shoes to the bandits they fight. Of the seven samurai, most of them are actually unemployed ronin. Only Katsushiro still has an official samurai position and his youthful idealism is brought into constant conflict with the harsh realities of war and survival. Each samurai brings their unique perspective and skill set to the group and their hardships bring into focus the struggles of a turbulent age.
In Tale of Ronin, we aimed to provide players with a rich and immersive experience by presenting many different characters and their unique characteristics. As players progress through the game, they will encounter a variety of samurai and ronin, each with their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. Some samurai may be loyal and honorable, while others may be more mercenary and focused on their gain. Whether players choose to be honorable samurai or cunning ronin, they will have the opportunity to experience the rich cultural and historical tapestry of this fascinating period in Japanese history.