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A 19th-century samurai tries to protect a battered wife.

In the Nineteenth Century, in Unasaka, Province of Yamagata, in the Feudal Japan, the widow samurai Seibei Iguchi works in the warehouse of the local Commissioner during the day and handicraftsman building cages in the night to have an income of 50 koku (meaning "a quantity of rice, historically defined as enough rice to feed one person for one year"). Seibei raises alone his two daughters, the five year-old Ito and the ten year-old Kayano and his senile mother in a simple property, and has a debt of 20 koku due to the expensive funeral of his wife, who died of tuberculosis, imposed by her family and can not afford to have another wife. His colleagues in the warehouse pejoratively call him "The Twilight Samurai" to express his life without glory. When Seibei meets Michinojo Iinuma, his childhood friend tells him that his sister Tomoe Iinuma has just divorced from he brutal husband Toyotarou Kouda. Seibei reencounters Tomoe, for whom he has been in love since he was a child, but Tamoe is member of a family of 400 koku and Seibei believes their difference of classes makes their marriage impossible. When Kouda challenges Iinuma to a duel, Seibei accepts to replace his old friend and needs to use his skills of swordsman again.


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