Topics: Toshirō Mifune, Akira Kurosawa, Yojimbo Pages: 3 (1191 words) Published: February 26, 2012
Roger Lin
In Yojimbo, Akira Kurosawa satirizes Japanese greed and corruption and portrays the growing influence of capitalism. During this time in Japan, the Yakuza clan was a very strong and dangerous group equivalent to the modern day mafia. The Yakuza clans’ ideals are relatable to two themes prominent in Yojimbo: greed and corruption, and rising capitalist influence. Kurosawa satirizes these two characteristics of the Yakuza clan through the use of mise en scene. One way that Kurosawa used the mise en scene to satire the Yakuza clan was through the use of décor. The Yakuza clan was a group which took pride in obtaining the valuables and riches of the world. As such, one thing that the Yakuza clan loved beyond measure was money. Money to them made the world go round. Money was used to secure transactions, bribe authority, hire members, and obtain power. As this is the case, it is no surprise that Kurosawa decided to use money as part of the mise en scene. In Yojimbo, money is most commonly used for greed, corruption, or personal gain. In the beginning, corruption and greed are immediately shown when the main character Sanjuro walks into the town and is confronted by the local sheriff upon his entrance. The sheriff suggests to Sanjuro that he should become a bodyguard for one of the local gang bosses, and in turn give part of his pay to the sheriff. It is also discovered later on in the film that the sheriff already takes bribes from both of the gangs to stay silent so that none of the trouble happening in the town is reported to the authorities. Kurosawa includes these actions within the movie to simulate what the Yakuza clan would do with authorities, bribe them to stay quiet about their business. However, issues concerning money were not only present with authorities outside of the clan but also within the Yakuza clan itself. The constant influence of capitalism on Japan during the time has led to the Yakuza clan being very sneaky and cunning...
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