A father and son prepare to die for their beliefs in this historical drama set in 18th century Japan. While Isaburo Sasahara (Toshiro Mifune) has been loyal to Japan's feudal system all his life, his beliefs begin to change when the local rulers demand that his son Yogoro (Go Kato) give up his bride, who has bore a child that will come to power upon the death of the current ruler. Yogoro dearly loves his wife, and Isaburo respects his daughter-in-law and does not want to be separated from his grandson. When Yogoro refuses to part with his wife and child, he and Isaburo are ordered to kill themselves. They refuse and instead challenge the forces of the feudal leaders to a fight to the death. Director Masaki Kobayashi's work on this film earned him the FIPRESCI Award at the 1967 Venice Film Festival.