About This Clip
Ran (乱, transl. “chaos” or “turmoil”) is a 1985 epic war drama film directed, edited and co-written by Akira Kurosawa. The plot derives from William Shakespeare’s King Lear and includes segments based on legends of the daimyō Mōri Motonari. The film stars Tatsuya Nakadai as Hidetora Ichimonji, an aging Sengoku-period warlord who decides to abdicate as ruler in favor of his three sons.
In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other…and him.
Tatsuya Nakadai as Ichimonji Hidetora (一文字 秀虎), the film’s equivalent to King Lear
Akira Terao as Ichimonji “Taro” Takatora (一文字 太郎 孝虎), Hidetora’s eldest son and heir, the film’s equivalent to Goneril
Jinpachi Nezu as Ichimonji “Jiro” Masatora (一文字 次郎 正虎), Hidetora’s second son, the film’s equivalent to Regan
Daisuke Ryu as Ichimonji “Saburo” Naotora (一文字 三郎 直虎), Hidetora’s youngest son, the film’s equivalent to Cordelia
Mieko Harada as Lady Kaede (楓の方, Kaede no Kata), Taro’s wife and the film’s equivalent to Edmund
Yoshiko Miyazaki as Lady Sué (末の方, Sue no Kata), Jiro’s wife whose clan was destroyed by Hidetora and the rough equivalent to Albany, husband to Goneril
Mansai Nomura as Tsurumaru (鶴丸), Sué’s brother who was blinded by Hidetora and is the film’s Gloucester equivalent
Hisashi Igawa as Kurogane (鉄), Jiro’s chief advisor and military commander
Peter as Kyoami (狂阿弥, Kyōami), the fool
Masayuki Yui as Hirayama Tango (平山 丹後), Hidetora’s main advisor, roughly analogous to Kent
Kazuo Kato as Ikoma Kageyu (生駒 勘解由), an Ichimonji clan official
Jun Tazaki as Ayabe Seiji (綾部 政治), a rival daimyō
Hitoshi Ueki as Fujimaki Nobuhiro (藤巻 信弘), another rival daimyō, based somewhat on the King of France from the play