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Japan’s famous elite warriors are celebrated for their courage, formidable fighting techniques and above all, their code of honour. But do these Far Eastern knights really measure up to their heroic image? The drama documentary reveals the unknown dark side of the Samurai - a fascinating tale of forbidden love, treachery, extreme cruelty and violent death.

Based on newly discovered Samurai war manuals and an historic 16th century battle, we reconstruct the life of young peasant farmer Masa who is press-ganged into a Samurai army. Driven by his love for a village girl of noble birth, Masa quickly rises through the ranks from simple foot soldier to Samurai. But his reward is to be one of betrayal, lies and finally forced suicide by his fellow Samurai.

Interwoven with this dramatic story, we follow two British historians, revealing a world of human sword testing, out of control headhunting and vicious clan rivalries. A living Japanese master adds valuable insights into the ancient Samurai warriors, his technique captured by a high-speed camera.

Co-Pro Smitshonian Channel, Arte, UKTV, ZDF Enterprises - Completion 2013


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