Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is an American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country's first army in the art of modern warfare. As the government attempts to eradicate the ancient Samurai warrior class in preparation for more Westernized and trade-friendly policies, Algren finds himself unexpectedly affected by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two worlds.
Blind traveler Zatoichi (Beat Takeshi) is a master swordsman and a masseur with a fondness for gambling on dice games. When he arrives in a village torn apart by warring gangs, he sets out to protect the townspeople. He is also enlisted to help two sibling geisha, Okinu (Yûko Daike) and Osei (Daigorô Tachibana), avenge the murder of their parents, who were slaughtered in a massacre. Zatoichi must fight his way through numerous enemies before finally clashing with a heartless crime boss.
A nameless ronin, or samurai with no master, enters a small village in feudal Japan where two rival businessmen are struggling for control of the local gambling trade. Taking the name Sanjuro Kuwabatake, the ronin convinces both silk merchant Tazaemon and sake merchant Tokuemon to hire him as a personal bodyguard, then artfully sets in motion a full-scale gang war between the two ambitious and unscrupulous men.
A samurai answers a village's request for protection after he falls on hard times. The town needs protection from bandits, so the samurai gathers six others to help him teach the people how to defend themselves, and the villagers provide the soldiers with food. A giant battle occurs when 40 bandits attack the village.
Brimming with action while incisively examining the nature of truth, "Rashomon" is perhaps the finest film ever to investigate the philosophy of justice. Through an ingenious use of camera and flashbacks, Kurosawa reveals the complexities of human nature as four people recount different versions of the story of a man's murder and the rape of his wife.