THE FLOATING CASTLE
A Force of 20,000 VS an Army of Just 500… Fools or Heroes?
Source: Asmik Ace Entertainment, TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System)
Official Movie Site: nobou-movie.jp (Japan)
Directors Shinji Higuchi (SINKING OF JAPAN, Gamera trilogy) and Isshin Inudo (ZERO FOCUS) team up for THE FLOATING CASTLE (のぼうの城, Nobo no Shiro), based on Ryo Wada’s novel of the same name, which has sold more than 1.3 million copies since 2007. Originally scheduled for theatrical release in Japan on September 17, 2011, THE FLOATING CASTLE — which features a flood as a key story point — was delayed in aftermath of the March 11th, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and finally saw release this past November. The movie is also now playing at international film festivals.
Feudal Japan in the year 1590… nearing the end of Japan’s long period of civil war, the all-powerful warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi (Masachika Ichimura) is one short step away from finally uniting the land under his rule. He sends a massive army north against his last enemy, the Hojo clan.
But the one stronghold he cannot take is Oshi Castle, a Hojo outpost in the land of Bushu. Called ‘the floating castle’ because of the lake that surrounds it, Oshi is under the command of Nagachika Narita (Mansai Nomura), an extremely popular but buffoonish samurai known to the people of his domain as ‘Nobou-sama’, from deku no bou, or ‘blockhead’.
Under Hideyoshi’s orders, General Ishida (Yusuke Kamiji) surrounds Oshi Castle with a force of 20,000. Nagachika is, as his nickname suggests, not a gifted man at all, but his battle strategies are unusual to say the least. Against the overwhelming resources of the Ishida army, the forces of this valiant little castle — a force of only 500 cavalry — unite with the common folk in stubborn resistance, retreating not one step even when Ishida resorts to the extraordinary measure of damming a river to flood them out.
But, with victory in the Ishida army’s grasp, outside events give the story a twist no one would have ever expected.
Japanese Theatrical Release: November 2, 2012
Running Time: 145 minutes
Nagachika Narita: Mansai Nomura
Kaihime: Nana Eikura
Sakamaki: Hiroki Narimiya
Izumi: Tomomitsu Yamaguchi
Mitsunari Ishida: Yusuke Kamiji
Yoshitsugu Otani: Takayuki Yamada
Masaie Natsuka: Takehiro Hira
Hideyoshi Toyotomi: Masachika Ichimura
Tanba: Koichi Sato
Ujinaga Narita: Masahiko Nishimura
Yasusue Narita: Sei Hiraizumi
Monk: Isao Natsuyagi
Hojo Ujimasa: Takeo Nakahara
Tama: Honami Suzuki
Tahee: Gin Maeda
Kazou: Akiyoshi Nakao
Chiyo: Machiko Ono
Chidori: Mana Ashida
Directors: Isshin Inudo, Shinji Higuchi
Screenplay: Ryo Wada
Original Story: Ryo Wada
Executive Producers: Kazuya Hamana, Ichiro Nobukuni, Masao Teshima
Producers: Osamu Kubota, Shinji Ogawa
Cinematographers: Shoji Ebara, Motonobu Kiyoku
Editor: Soichi Ueno
Production Designer: Norihiro Isoda
Art Director: Noriyuki Kondo
Music: Koji Ueno
Theme Song: Elephant Kashimashi
Production: “The Floating Castle” Film Partners (Asmik Ace Entertainment, C&I Entertainment, Toho, TBS)
Distribution: Toho, Asmik Ace Entertainment
International Sales: TBS