The Kamui Sword - The 1985 anime film

The Kamui Sword - The 1985 anime film

The Kamui sword (original Japanese title: カ ム イ の 剣 Kamui no Ken) is a 1985 Japanese animated (anime) film directed by Rintarō and animated by Madhouse.

The film is based on a series of Japanese novels by Tetsu Yano published by Kadokawa Shoten from 1984 to 1985. The screenplay was adapted by Mori Masaki and the character design was done by Moribi Murano, who also illustrated the novel series. . Takuo Noda directed the animation and the music was composed by Ryūdō Uzaki and Eitetsu Hayashi.

The story begins during Japan's Bakumatsu period in the final years of the Tokugawa Shogunate. It continues through the pre-Meiji period and refers to historical events such as the Boshin War, including the involvement of foreign governments, the naval battle of Hakodate, and the Meiji Restoration. There are also references to historical figures such as Captain Kidd, Saigō Takamori, Andō Shōzan, Oguri Kozukenosuke (Tadamasa), Geronimo and Mark Twain.


Jiro, a young boy of Japanese and Ainu descent, is a foundling raised by a kind innkeeper and her daughter in Sai village on the Shimokita Peninsula.

One evening, a shinobi kills Jiro's foster mother and sister while he is away. When he returns home, he finds their bodies and a strange dagger. Angry villagers accuse him of the murders, and rather than face a brutal crucifixion for the grave crime of patricide, Jiro escapes with the dagger. Meet a Buddhist monk named Tenkai, who works for the Shogunate as the Oniwaban (Secret Police). Tenkai brings the boy to confront the man who allegedly killed his family and provokes him to deliver the coup de grace. To cover his tracks, Tenkai sets the village on fire and the villagers are massacred. Tenkai takes Jiro to his temple on the island of Ezo and has his subordinates Shingo and Sanpei trained in the ways of the Ninja. Years later, Jiro sets out to find answers to the mystery of his family and his father, Tarouza. Meanwhile, Tenkai has him follow.

Jiro runs into a group of Japanese men who beat an old Ainu and quickly chases them away. The old man dies of his injuries, but his son Uraka takes Jiro to his native village of Shinopirika-Kotan, unaware that the old man's assailants are agents of Tenkai. In Kotan, the village elder recognizes Jiro's dagger as Kamui's dagger, originally owned by a former village chief. It was given to a Japanese ninja who married the chieftain's daughter, Oyaruru. Years later, Oyaruru returned to Kotan alone, but eventually left the village to live alone on the river.

Jiro finds Oyaruru and discovers that she is his biological mother. It reveals that Tenkai sent Tarouza to Kamui Nupuri Mountain to find a treasure that is said to be large enough to hold the power of the Shogunate. However, Tarouza cut off all contact with Tenkai and married Oyaruru. When Tenkai caught up with them, he cut off the newborn Jiro's face and sent him floating down the river in their canoe. Tarouza fought Tenkai's men on the cliff above, but lost an eye to a primitive grenade and his sword arm to Hanzou, so he appeared to fall to his death. Jiro realizes that Tenkai tricked him and that the man he stabbed was his father. During their evening meal, Jiro and Oyaruru collapse from a paralysis potion and Oyaruru is killed with Kamui's dagger. Implicated in his murder, Jiro is imprisoned, but Uraka returns to help free him. Jiro finally realizes that Tenkai has been manipulating him for years to follow in his father's footsteps, in search of the treasure and plots his revenge against Tenkai.

Traveling north, Jiro befriends Elder Andou Shouzan and a young Ainu girl. Help find secret instructions to find great hidden treasure with Kamui's sword hilt. However, Jiro is tracked down by three of Tenkai's formidable assassins, whom he defeats, but not before they kill Shouzan. The Ainu girl helps Jiro escape, but kills herself when confronted by the following Tenkai. With the help of Seaman Sam, Jiro books a ride on Captain Drasnic's ship to the United States. On board, he is attacked by Oyuki, one of Tenkai's shinobi, but defeats her. He then saves her from drowning and they develop a strong bond. After arriving in America, Jiro, Sam and Oyuki separate and Jiro continues to travel alone. Jiro befriends Chico, an Indian woman of French descent, and takes refuge with his tribe - Captain Kidd's treasure.

Jiro eventually finds a small treasure on the island, but Tenkai and his shinobi followed him there with Oyuki. Tenkai suddenly reveals that Sanpei is a Satsuma and a partner of Tarouza, who was also Oyuki's father, making her Jiro's half-sister. Oyuki angrily stabs Tenkai through the heart with the dagger, though he manages to mortally wound her before dying. Jiro then finds the real treasure in a hidden cave. Later, Chico reappears and shows Jiro a similar copy of the treasure location. She reveals that her real name is Julie Rochelle, the daughter of French spies looking for the treasure, and that her father and Tenkai have killed each other. Jiro now realizes that Tenkai used body doubles. Return to Japan, where he uses Captain Kidd'Satsuma - Choushuu Forces.

In 1869, at the citadel of Hakodate, the Imperial Japanese navy and army flocked to the last remaining Shogunate rebels. After a massive naval bombardment, Jiro wanders among the rubble and bodies, eventually meeting Tenkai. They engage in a battle, during which Jiro kills Tenkai by impaling him through his skull with the dagger. Jiro leaves Hakodate as Imperial forces capture the city, but not before silently saying goodbye to Sanpei and his master, samurai Saigō Takamori.



The protagonist of the story is the son of Tarōza and Oyaruru. He was raised by Taroza's wife, Tsuyu. After an unknown attacker killed Tsuyu and his daughter Sayuri, the villagers no longer trusted Jiro and drove him out of the village. He then began to study the ways of the ninja under the tutelage of Tenkai. When he became an adult, Jiro collected fragments of the mystery of his father's disappearance and began to devise a trap to trap Tenkai. In later volumes of the novels, he adopts the name Jiroza Hattori (服 部 次郎 佐, Hattori Jiroza ), as well as Gerome Kamui (ジ ロ ー ム ・ カ ム イ, Jiromu Kamui ), the name based on that of Geronimo, his adoptive father.


The flagship agent of the Bakufu (a member of the oniwabanshū), which operated in the northern areas of Japan and Ezo controlled by the Matsumae clan. He claims to be an ordinary high priest who calls himself Tenkaioshō. Through his spy from Satsuma Tarōza, Tenkai learned of the mystery of Captain Kidd. After chasing and killing Tarōza from Jiro, Tenkai began plotting to find and obtain Captain Kidd's treasure. Since he is the leader of a ninja clan, he uses a lot of lookalikes to avoid getting killed. The character of the anime looks a lot like Saigō Takamori; the reason for this is never explained.


A ninja on the run who is chasing Jiro at the behest of Tenkai. She has the ability to split into four images of herself to confuse opponents.

Ando Shozan 

An elderly man sheltering a wounded Jiro. Due to his ability to understand the English language, Shōzan decrypts Tarōza's notes and orders Jiro to travel to America.


Guardian Ainu of Andō Shōzan. After Jiro boards a ship to travel to America, Chiomapp takes his own life in front of Tenkai.

Captain Drasnic 

The captain of a ship on which Jiro embarks to travel to America. When Jiro defends himself and an Oyuki stowaway from Drasnic's crew, Drasnic has the two ninjas kicked out of his ship upon arrival in Alaska.


Captain Drasnic's slave. Jiro buys Sam from Drasnic and makes him a free man.


A Native American who Jiro saves from being raped by outlaws. She learns from her adoptive father Geronimo that her real name is Julie Rochelle and that her father was François Rochelle, a French diplomat who had learned of Captain Kidd's treasure before he was assassinated by Tenkai.


An Apache chief and Chico's adoptive father.

Mark Twain

The famous American writer who befriends Jiro. After learning that Jiro is Japanese, he refers to Marco Polo's discovery of Zipangu.


A ninja spy hired by Tenkai to find Captain Kidd's treasure. During his mission, he fell in love with the woman Ainu Oyaruru, who gave birth to Jiro. Tarōza was hunted down by Tenkai's ninja, who cornered him before the high priest ordered Jiro to stab him in the heart. With his dying breath, Tarōza revealed himself to be Jiro's father.


Jiro's mother Ainu. Upon learning of Jiro's birth, Tenkai slashes the baby on the nose before taking him away to a river.

Technical data

The Kamui sword
Original title カ ム イ の 剣, Kamui no Ken
Original language Japanese
Country of Production Japan
Year 1985
Duration 127
Gender animation, action, adventure
Regia I will come back
Subject Tetsu Yano
Film script Mori Masaki
Producer Masao Maruyama
Production house Madhouse

Original voice actors

Hiroyuki Sanada as Jiro
Mami KoyamaOyuki
Tarô Ishida: Tenkai

Italian voice actors

Luigi Rosa: Jiro
Jasmine LaurentiOyuki
Enrico Bertorelli: Tenkai
Irene Scalzo: Jiro as a child
Claudio Moneta: Shingo
Luca SemeraroHanzo
Aldo Stella: Sanpei
Enrico Maggi: Taroza
Elisabetta Cesone: Oyaruru
Gianni MantesiAndo Shozan
Anna Maria Tulli: Chiomappu
Andrea DeNiscoSam
John Baptized: Orassnick
Lara ParmianiTico
Mario ScarabelliMark Twain
Augusto Di Bono: Cape Iga
Massimiliano Lotti: Genjuro
Stefano Albertini as Oguri Kozukenosuke
Antonio Guidi: Narrator