• 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).

26 comments

  • By davelikesfish
    March 03, 2010
    06:45 PM

    #3
    Reply
  • By Mark W.
    March 03, 2010
    06:52 PM

    Toshiro Mifune’s Kikuchiyo. He's wild and crazy yes, but when you find out his past you can't help but feel for the guy. And even when he is at the epitome of cool he dies with his butt hanging out. What's not to love?
    Reply
  • By zacheney
    March 03, 2010
    07:16 PM

    Heihachi Hayashida, I suppose. Would love the comradery of the group, would love to be one of the seven, would love each of the six others, and would try to blend in with the rest while still adding a little personality. Not being a master of the sword, though, I would die early in the battle. But it would be worth it.
    Reply
  • By JJS
    March 03, 2010
    07:28 PM

    Today I feel most like Katsushirō Okamoto, and I'd much rather feel like Kikuchiyo.
    Reply
  • By Jason Davis
    March 03, 2010
    07:30 PM

    This is a painful question to answer as it forces me to look at myself and my craft (though I use a pen rather than a sword)rather critically. I'm afraid I'll have to confess to being most like Kikuchiyo in the earlier part of the film: arrogant and brash, but not without potential. With a few more years of dedication, I hope to become as worthy a practitioner as he was at the end. The second question is easier. Kyūzō for his total mastery of the sword and the fact that he doesn't have to boast about his skill as it speaks sharply for itself.
    Reply
  • By Minkin
    March 03, 2010
    07:31 PM

    Ah, to be a Samurai. Do I dare say I have Katsushirō Okamoto's lady killing abilities? Or would it better to be age-respected and wise like Kambei Shimada. Perhaps I'm everybody's favorite mental case and pick the ringer- Kikuchiyo. I could go for that ironic, Ringo Starr- charm that is only developed by being the one nobody remembers or has great attachment to and choose Shichirōji. No, that would be too far in the hipster camp for my liking. I don't think I can ever quite reach Kyūzō's ability with the sword and stoicism. Althoguh I'd quite most like to be one of those farmers- getting a Baron von Steuben training routine before I finally get to run around the village oddly screaming and pointing my spear- I would like to avoid disqualification from the competition. I believe I live most closely attuned to Gorōbei Katayama. I might be able to develop excellent plans and fortifications but I'm just that secondary guy- caught between stronger personalities who might not outdo me but are certainly more loved. For now, I'm just the sidekick. Looking ahead, past any psychological trauma the question might inherently reveal, I do aspire to one day be a Heihachi Hayashida. Just you wait, one day I'll be able to cheer any somber mood with my wit and humor. I might lose my archery skills and die early but at least I'll enjoy those moments with my alliterative name.
    Reply
  • By Tom Drewry
    March 03, 2010
    07:58 PM

    Kanbe, cause of the bitchin' do.
    Reply
  • By Jon H.
    March 03, 2010
    08:10 PM

    I would like most to be like Kambei: wise, but not too cocky or egocentric, kind, but tough when I need to be, and most of all, a good leader whom people can look up to. I am not quite there. I would say that I am most like Kikuchiyu, intelligent, but sort of a goof at times, a clown you might say. While I have the best of intentions, others do not always view my actions as such. I don't really fit in anywhere I go, but I'm okay with that. I sympathize with people, I think about their feelings before my own. I don't tend to think things out as well as I should, normally charging into things head first without considering the implications of my actions, often leading to myself getting hurt, either physically or emotionally, as Kikuchiyu did while attempting to avenge the death of Kyuzo. While I may not be the best, I am by far the most lovable.
    Reply
  • By andrew c.
    March 03, 2010
    08:13 PM

    would love to say i'm more Kyūzō than anyone else, but i'm definitely Heihachi Hayashida. I'd be the one keeping everyone somewhat in high spirits! :D
    Reply
  • By Reno
    March 03, 2010
    11:21 PM

    i feel like Heihachi Hayashida ... i don't always feel like my skill is up to snuff. But, i'd like the to be like Kambei Shimada ... what is more compelling and romantic than the wise and able warrior who has seen too much blood and is wary of battle. A man of skill, duty and honor who is well aware of the cost, but more importantly, what is at stake.
    Reply
  • By JoshHornbeck
    March 03, 2010
    11:40 PM

    I think I'm probably more like a cross between Hayashida and Katsushiro (a little less skill and a bit goofy from time to time) even though I'd like to think that I'm as smart and talented at Katayama.
    Reply
  • By Chris E.
    March 03, 2010
    11:41 PM

    We share the common bond of a curse. Skill matched against ambiguity and fate. Intemperance draped across undying commitment. Silent misplacement. Anachronistic talent felled by modernity. Kyūzō and I are one. "It is no use. Can't you see, if we use real swords you would be dead."
    Reply
  • By Charlesott2
    March 03, 2010
    11:47 PM

    I am most like Gorobei. However, I would most like to be like Kambei!
    Reply
  • By Wisejake
    March 04, 2010
    12:12 AM

    Kikuchiyo!!! WILDMAN
    Reply
  • By Alex
    March 04, 2010
    12:57 AM

    I'm probably most like Kanbe, and I'd like to be more like him! (sorry, I accidentally mixed up my name and email address in my previous post)
    Reply
  • By Andrew T.
    March 04, 2010
    01:03 AM

    I'm most like Heihachi, experienced but not as skillful as others. But that's ok. As is said of Heihachi, he can lighten the mood when things get tough. That is how I am at life and my job, although like Heihachi, I can sometimes exit the stage right when others need me most, though not my fault. I would like to be more like Kambei, a previous mentor of mine was so highly regarded at my job he was nationally recognized and then picked me for his position when he left. In this case, I wish I had the wisdom to be more like him.
    Reply
  • By twitch86
    March 04, 2010
    02:50 AM

    I'm most like Kikuchiyo because he's the crazy one that no characters in the film really understand, and he's kind of the outcast samurai. But he's the one that viewers admire and identify with the most because he's the most entertaining one (thank you Toshiro Mifune!) And you know what? I'm more than happy to be most like him!
    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 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 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