G.I. Samurai (戦国自衛隊 Sengoku jieitai (Time Slip) and Sengoku Self Defense Force) is a 1979 Japanese feature-length film focusing on the adventures of a modern-day Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) team that accidentally travels in time to the Warring States period (戦国時代 Sengoku jidai). The film stars one of the top male Japanese actors Sonny Chiba and was based on a novel by Ryo Hanmura, a well-known writer of historical novels and science fiction.
|Directed by||Kōsei Saitō|
|Produced by||Haruki Kadokawa|
|Written by||Toshio Kamata|
|Based on||Waga Furusato wa Yomi-no-kuni|
1975 cut of the above
by Ryō Hanmura
|Music by||Kentaro Haneda|
On their way to a manoeuver, a wildly mixed group of Japanese soldiers with a tank, an APC, a patrol boat and a helicopter suddenly find themselves stranded 400 years in the past and under attack by samurai forces. Their designated leader, Lieutenant Yoshiaki Iba (Sonny Chiba), befriends and joins forces with Nagao Kagetora, the war leader of lord Koizumi. Seeing the stranded soldiers' war machinery in action, Kagetora persuades Iba to aid him in his struggle for supremacy in Japan.
In the meantime, however, Iba finds himself facing the desperation of his men who want to return to their own time. Some make contact with the locals - one of the soldiers, Mimura, even finds himself a consort who keeps following him - whilst others freak out, running away in a desperate attempt to return home, or rebelling against rules and restrictions and try to live a pirate's life. Finally, his force shrunk from 21 men to 11, Iba manages to calm his troops by telling them that by fighting history and thus creating a time paradox they might be able to return home. Iba joins Kagetora and fights by his side.
Finally, Iba and the soldiers face Takeda Shingen's forces in battle. But their trust in their advanced weaponry costs them dearly: Shingen's forces outmanoeuvre them at every turn, the soldiers lose all their vehicles and major weapons, and five of them die on the battlefield. In a desperate attempt, Iba forces his way to Shingen's command post and kills him in a sword duel.
As Iba and his remaining men go to join Kagetora in Kyoto, the latter is put under pressure by his family and the Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshiaki to get rid of Iba. Reluctantly conceding, Kagetora intercepts Iba's group at an old temple. But as Iba prepares to kill Kagetora for his betrayal, he is shot by him. The other soldiers are killed by Kagetora's archers, and Mimura's consort delivers the coup-de-grace to her lover.
Kagetora shows remorse by burying Iba and his men with all due honors. In the end, only one of the soldiers survives, who had left the group to help a boy and his family, whose father had been killed.
Shōwa period charactersEdit
- Sonny Chiba as Second Lieutenant Yoshiaki Iba
- Mancho Tsuji as Ensign Shōichirō Ono
- Raita Ryū as Haruhisa Kimura
- Shinichiro Mikami as Goichi Shimada
- Tadashi Kato as Sergeant First Class Hideo Shimizu
- Tsunehiko Watase as Hayato Yano
- Hiroshi Kamayatsu as Mokichi Nemoto
- Jinya Sato as Osamu Seki
- Kokontei Shinkoma as Kenji Hori
- Jun Eto as Ken Nobuhiko
- Yoichi Miura as Manabu Nonaka
- Akira Nishikino as Koji Kikuchi
- Hiromitsu Suzuki as Gō Nishizawa
- Koji Naka as Taisuke Mimura
- Ryo Hayami as Kazumichi Morishita
- Takuzo Kadono as Seaman 1st Class Toshishige Suga
- Isao Kuraishi as Masao Maruoka
- Kenzo Kawarazaki as Koji Kano
- Ken Takahashi as Masayoshi Hirai
- Akihiro Shimizu as Satoshi Ōnishi
- Toshitaka Ito as Seaman 1st Class Harumi Takashima
- Nana Okada as Kazuko Arai
- Hiroshi Katsuno as Track Coach
Sengoku period charactersEdit
- Isao Natsuyagi as Nagao Kagetora
- Haruki Kadokawa as Sanada Masayuki
- Hitoshi Omae as Kuribayashi Magoichi
- Kentaro Kudo as Ishiba Takehide
- Katsumasa Uchida as Asaba Yorichika
- Goro Kataoka as Tategawa Katsuzō
- Asao Koike as Koizumi Yukinaga
- Shin Kishida as Naoe Bungo
- Hirohisa Nakata as Kuroda Naoharu
- Hiroshi Tanaka as Takeda Shingen
- Hiroyuki Sanada as Takeda Katsuyori
- Hiroko Yakushimaru as Young Takeda Samurai
- Gajiro Sato as Foot Soldier
- Mikio Narita as Kōsa
- Mizuho Suzuki as Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshiaki
- Masashi Ishibashi as Hosokawa Fujitaka
- Miyuki Ono as Miwa
- Masao Kusakari as Masakichi
- Ryudo Uzaki as Ochimusha
- Ayako Honma as Old Woman
- Koji Iizuka as Shokichi
- Maiko Ōtsuka as Mai
- Kaori Taniguchi as Shokichi & Mai's Mother
- Noboru Nakaya as Yoshitaka Kujo
- Moeko Ezawa as Widow Yui
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Initially, the producers approached the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) for props and vehicles, but the army cut their support after reading that soldiers go AWOL in the script. For that reason, old and sometimes out-dated equipment (like M3 submachine guns) had to be used. The tank featured in the movie was even built entirely from scratch.
The vehicles, including a tank and a helicopter, continue to run despite there being no replenishing fuel supply in the 16th century – a logical problem which was resolved in the remake.
Name of the movie in different languagesEdit
- Japanese: "Sengoku Jieitai"
- English: "G.I. Samurai"
- French: "Les Guerriers de l'Apocalypse"
- Spanish: "Eclipse En El Tiempo"
- Croatian: "Vrijeme je stalo u 5 i 18"
- German: "Time Slip - Tag der Apokalypse"
- Norwegian: "Tidsstorm"
- Russian: "Провал во времени"
- Cantonese:"Zin3 Gwok3 Zi6 Wai6 Deoi6"
In popular cultureEdit
- The film is indirectly referenced in the Japanese light novel series Gate as research material for JSDF countermeasures against the Special Region's Imperial forces, and fire rams and ambush trenches (both of which appear during the battle against Shingen's forces in the film) are made us of by Zorzal's forces during the later Imperial civil war.