• March is Akira Kurosawa month at Criterion. On the twenty-third, the great Japanese filmmaker would have been one hundred years old. For this centennial celebration, we will be posting trivia questions and other contests all month, and giving away a different prize every weekday.

    Today’s prompt:

    Which of the seven samurai are you most like? Which would you most like to be like?

    Please respond by commenting below, and we’ll choose our favorite at the end of the day. You must leave a valid e-mail address to be eligible for the prize (a $50 gift certificate to criterion.com).

234 comments

  • By Marvin Ortiz
    March 04, 2010
    05:18 AM

    Like Katsushiro I would probably fall in love with one of the people I was supposed to protect and like him I am constantly looking in life for that Fatherly figure to teach me about life.
    Reply
  • By Martin Paul Farinha
    March 04, 2010
    05:43 AM

    Yul Brynner, no wait, got confused, wrong film, and I have hair!
    Reply
  • By Brent Phillips
    March 04, 2010
    06:52 AM

    I guess I would be most like Gorobei. I consider myself dilligent, helpful, and rather mild mannered but when called on when I give 110%. I suppose I would choose to be Gorobei as well since I already have many of his characteristics including a round face and of course it also helps that he is one of the few who is still alive at the end of the film.
    Reply
  • By Lisa Fornillo
    March 04, 2010
    08:30 AM

    Heihachi Hayashida. That's what I do all fall and winter. I aspire to be more like Kambei, though.
    Reply
  • By R.E.Owen
    March 04, 2010
    09:40 AM

    I'm most like Kikuchiyo from clowning to serious, finding his own way not really a group person. Would most like to be more like Kyuzo who has the focus to really excel at one skill and Kambei who has the calm ability to handle diverse personalities at the same time.
    Reply
  • By Marilyn Fraser
    March 04, 2010
    10:09 AM

    I think I am most like Kyuzo. At 78 I have always been serious about life and think things out carefully. I don't know that I have his gracefulness, though. I think I wamt to be most like Kambei Shimada. I hope to live a long life, but I will always be a calm and practical person. I would like to be more colourful.
    Reply
  • By akbaier
    March 04, 2010
    11:32 AM

    I am probably most like Okamoto Katsushirō. I am a young ambitious man who has a dream to become someone (in this case a film director) and I like to keep myself in company with other experienced film directors. When I do my amateur tendencies stick out like a sore thumb. Not only because there is still a lot I need to learn but I tend to borderline idolize other experienced film directors like how Katsushiro idolized the wise Shimada and the highly skilled swordsman Miyaguchi to a point where he became a bit of a nuisance. I also tend to have the urge to always prove myself among my experienced peers thinking immediate and quick ( and sometimes irrational) actions would be bring me close to there level. This would also make sense on why I would like to one day be like Kambe Shimada. Be at a level where I have a lot of experience under my belt and be able remain in control even in the most roughest times. I want to be able to lead teams in achieving a goal, whether it's a personal project or a mission to help others.
    Reply
  • By Charles Deckert
    March 04, 2010
    12:28 PM

    At this point in life, I am represented by Kyūzō. Years before, it was as if I was Kikuchiyo, so angry and impulsive, resenting everything around me, even if I was being what I resented. Now being like Kyūzō, I find myself shutting my mouth and relying on stern observation to understand what's going on and why it's happening to me. After all, I was in it by choice. I do assume as my life goes on I'll probably shift down from the Sixth Samurai and onto the Fifth (Katsushirō, going from my stolid observation, thrusted into the truth that is my imbalance in the lack of experience against and overabundance of knowing what OTHER people will do), the Fourth (Heihachi, in the wake of my lack of experience, I will use charisma and anecdotes to keep others at bay from completely doubting my abilities), the Third (Shichirōji, looking for someone I can directly serve under since I cannot make it on my own), the Second (Gorōbei, in doubt of anyone to pick out, I'm picked up by someone without my volition and eventually agree to the whole onward thrust of whatever they assign me with), and the First (Kambei, wherein I'll find my complete self-actualization in the path I've supposedly been given but in actuallity have only chosen for myself). I guess that's a grand way of looking at it, but to be more honest I shift from one character to another all the time, given whatever situation I think I'm in. In truth, we're all the Seven Samurai, all the time, every day. It's just a matter of which one we choose to be and why. But what a glorious thing to know that we are all, truthfully, the Seven Samurai!
    Reply
  • By Zach S
    March 04, 2010
    12:29 PM

    Kanbê Shimada, I rub my head a lot and I stay calm in stressful situation.
    Reply
  • By Tommy Laird
    March 04, 2010
    12:33 PM

    Sadly, I have not seen the movie. I know, it is a crime. I have been meaning to, but I just haven't yet. A $50 gift card to get it would be nice though :-)
    Reply
  • By Matthew Wilson
    March 04, 2010
    12:41 PM

    Definitely Kikuchyo, such a bad ass yet he doesn't ever stop personifying the noble savage. $50 gift certificate would be so nice, could finally own this movie, and not hate these poor college years!
    Reply
  • By Chris M
    March 04, 2010
    01:33 PM

    I wish I were cool enough to be Kyūzō, but I'm more like Kanbê Shimada. However, that's pretty cool.
    Reply
  • By Scout Tafoya
    March 04, 2010
    02:49 PM

    Kikuchiyu in that try as I might to act like I know what I'm doing, I don't, and frequently fuck up royally with the best intentions. I've also been known to bark at the high and mighty. And of course I'd like to be more like Kyuzo. Who doesn't?
    Reply
  • By Kevin
    March 04, 2010
    02:58 PM

    Of the seven, I think I'm most like Kyuzo: quiet, detached, a bit taciturn, single-minded (i.e., not a multi-tasker), prefers to work alone, but still considerate and empathetic. Of the seven, I'd aspire to be Shichiroji, the dependable, reliable, experienced survivor, respected by his peers and charges; a good guy to have with you and to be around. He strikes me as the "career sergeant" type (or like the color sergeant from "Zulu")--not the leader, but one who's a vital and critical part of any group (especially if you happen to be outnumbered).
    Reply
  • By Evan J.
    March 04, 2010
    03:57 PM

    I feel I am most like Kikuchiyo . He is out to prove his worth through his passion and determination. He is a realist and doesn't allow critism to stand in the way of his goals. He can be a little hot-headed at times, but everyone has they're faults, once again it is that spark in his soul that makes him admirable. As an engineer trying to make it as a filmmaker, I am an outsider without formal training trying to prove my worth through passion and determination. However, I like Kikuchiyo, would most like to be Kambei. A dedicated leader, able to think on his feet and overcome great odds, even if it goes against tradition he fights for what is right with bravery, skill and strength, but still remains humble. A great and heroic man that most people aspire to be.
    Reply
  • By Patrick
    March 04, 2010
    05:35 PM

    I believe I'm most like Kyuzo. His stoic calm and fierce ability are very admirable. However, his skill and focus mostly reflect, what I believe, are my two most valuable characteristics: my ambition and strong work ethic to achieve perfection. To answer the question: I feel like I mostly resemble Kyuzo; however, I also wish to be more like him. Watching a true warrior pursue his craft with such intense drive is incredibly awe inspiring.
    Reply
  • By Jeremy
    March 04, 2010
    05:45 PM

    Heihachi Hayashida - because all I have to rely on is my own personal charm, not my physical capabilities! But Kikuchiyo's temperament is so likeable and fiery that I would want to be him.
    Reply
  • By nicolas pistolesi
    March 04, 2010
    05:46 PM

    Definitely Kikuchiyo! I was born in the countryside and try not to show is too much, I shout all the time (!) and sometimes people laught at me. Horses cannot stand having me on their back for more than 10 seconds, and when I drink I say nonsense an fell asleep everywhere (!) (...what a nice description of myself ;-) )
    Reply
  • By Karl R.
    March 04, 2010
    06:15 PM

    On one hand, it seems presumptuous for a modern person to compare himself to the any of the heroic samurai (even more heroic in light of the morally confused times they live in). On the other hand, they lend themselves to universal personality types like other groups in popular culture (The Beatles etc.) I think I’m most like Gorobei. He’s wise, but unassuming, content to play a complementary role and stay within the bounds of his abilities. Yet he is always ready when called on to contribute his intelligence or whatever else is required. His skill in archery is outside the expected skill set of a samurai, but it adds a potent weapon to their arsenal. I too I have always felt like my skills lay outside the norm, but that they could be just as effective in their own ways when applied creatively. I of course would most want to be like Kambei. Who WOULDN’T?! His wisdom, shrewdness and experience are far superior to mere physical skill, as demonstrated at the beginning when he disguises himself to rescue the boy. He understands life, sees the big picture. He is a survivor, proven both by having lived so long in a dangerous profession and by being one of the three left standing at the end. Kyozo may be the master of swordfighting, but Kambei is the master of life.
    Reply
  • By ZebulonPike
    March 04, 2010
    07:09 PM

    Of the seven I would most closely resemble Shichirōji (though I'd like to think I'm not a spitting image.) His loyalty to friends, lighthearted humor and amiable presence always makes one feel welcome and at home. Not one to stick out in a crowd, his presence is only felt when it needs to be, and his trustworthiness is exceptional. I like to think I embody those qualities. I would, however, love to be representative of Kyūzō. He has long been my favorite for his dead calm and careful choice of the few words he speaks. Training alone in the rain, darting into the dense forest to retrieve a rifle, his character's richness is summed up in his debut scene, "Had it been steel you'd be dead." That is to say of course my admiration of him only goes so far, less I be most like Katsushirō, which I don't know that I could ever say I am.
    Reply

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