Set in the early days of the Meiji Restoration, when power was being returned to the Emperor and Japan was in a period of rapid modernisation, this charming film shows that the choice of accepting change is a very personal one. Unlike the Hollywood version in the Last Samurai, with it's lame irony of Tom Cruise fighting against western industrialisation, this film shows the changes in society more subtly.
The main character is a samurai clerk who has moved away from war, and has found delight in spending a lot of time with his daughters. However, when his clan sides with the traditional ruling Shogunate against the Imperial forces, he has to make some very crucial decisions about his life, and his family.
Beautifully filmed with a refreshingly slow pace, this is a suberbly made film in every way. The film also shows the nature of Japanese life, culture and heirarchy in a period of massive change.