Flower And Sword


Directed by: Tetsuo Shinohara
2017 / 127 minutes / MA


Can Senko prove that the flower is indeed mightier than the sword?

Screened as part of JFF 2017

Senko Ikenobo, a joyful young monk, shows virtuoso talent with his astonishingly beautiful but unusual ikebana (flower arrangements). When he is promoted to head monk, the pressures of leadership weighs down on the free-spirited Senko. However, it was through a chance meeting with the austere tea master Rikyu that he was able to find peace and reignite his passion for life and ikebana. This also marked a life-long friendship between the monk and the tea master.

Whilst domestic wars have yielded to a peacetime of flourishing culture and arts, the unpredictable new shogun keeps people on their toes. His temper eventually causes a misunderstanding with Rikyu, one of his confidants. Despite their friendship, he orders the tea master to commit ritual suicide.

After Rikyu’s death, the shogun continues to mete out severe punishments for minor offences. As Rikyu continues to lose people close to him, he decides to confront the shogun—armed only with flowers, artwork and conciliatory Buddhist teachings.

Steeped in high culture of the late 16th century, Flower and Sword is a stunning period drama perfect for enthusiasts of Japanese traditional arts. With a cast led by the delightful kyogen (traditional Japanese comic theatre) actor Mansai Nomura II as Senko Ikenobo, veteran actor Koichi Sato (Six Four) as Rikyu, and kabuki actor Ennosuke Ichikawa IV as Hideyoshi Toyotomi.
Audience warning: This film contains moderate themes and mild violence.
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Director: Tetsuo Shinohara

Producer: Shohei Kotaki

Original Story: Tadashi Onitsuka

Screenplay: Yoshiko Morishita

Cast: Mansai Nomura II, Ennosuke Ichikawa IV, Kiichi Nakai, Kuranosuke Sasaki and Koichi Sato

Genre: Period

Format: DCP colour