Release Date: 12/01/1962
Released by:Daiei Pictures
Directed by:Yamamoto Satsuo
Plot Summary: Ishikawa Goemon is a promising young ninja under the command of Momochi Sandayu – a famous ninja who fights vehemently against Nobunaga Oda. Nobunaga, a warlord who despises the practice of Buddhism, is summarily destroying all who stand in the way of his quest to rule Japan – inlcuding the ninja groups in Iga. The Momochi ninja learn that a competing clan, the Fujibayashi, are planning to assassinate Nobunaga. However, Momochi is determined to have his own group of ninja kill the warlord first. Goemon is promoted to Momochi`s assistant. Although his father does not want Goemon to live the dangerous and often short life of a ninja, he accepts the position and works hard to please his master.
We learn that Momochi is leading a double life with many secret identities. Goemon`s father is killed in an explosion at the hut where he makes gunpowder and we also learn that Goemon is having an affair with Momochi`s wife. The ninja master uncovers the affair and in a rush to escpape the village, Goemon kills one man and accidentally pushes Momochi`s wife into a well. Momochi intercepts Goemon and says he will spare Goemon`s life if he will travel to Kyoto, become a thief in order to gather “resources”, and assassinate Nobunaga.
Fujibayashi tells his clan that they cannot lose face by allowing Goemon to get to Nobunaga first.
Goemon begins his forced thievery and hands the majority of the money over to his contact who states that he is spreading word around town about the burglaries. Goemon realizes that he is being watched at all times and becomes paranoid and depressed. Drowning his sorrows one evening, he meets a young woman named Maki who is repaying a debt through prostitution. They spend a lot of time together and fall in love. Goemon reveals to Maki that he is the infamous thief, but she does not care who he is. Now living a somewhat happier existence, one day, he is attacked by two Fujibayashi ninja. He manages to kill them and escape but he is haunted by the killings and by the constant surveillance.
Upon his return home, he gives some of his money to Maki so that she may pay off her debt and asks her to marry him and move far away. As the girl leaves to pay her debt, Goemon`s ninja contact comes to remind him of his mission as well as to inform him that Nobunaga is going to be nearby that evening. Goemon slips away to carry out his mission and leaves Maki heartbroken.
Goemon is detected while sneaking into the mansion where Nobunaga is staying. While he hides from his attackers, he runs into Hata, the wife of the man he killed while escaping the village. Hata explains that it was actually Momochi who killed his own wife with a poison dart all that time ago. She confesses her love for Goemon before they both realize that it was Momochi who caused the explosion that killed Goemon`s father. Hata helps Goemon escape and he returns to the village to confront Momochi. Nobunaga massacres all the inhabitants of Ishiyama`s fortress and Fujibayashi decides to attack Nobunaga before he can invade all of Iga.
Momochi escapes from the battle and Goemon and Maki move to the country to live a simple, quiet life. While gathering food, Goemon meets up with Momochi who threatens to have Hata killed if Goemon does not agree to kill Nobunaga in Azuchi. Under duress, Goemon agrees to kill Nobunaga with the poison that Momochi gives him. Goemon enters the castle where Nobunaga is sleeping. Climbing through the rafters, he uses a string to lower the poison into the warlord`s opened mouth. This proves to be difficult, however, and Goemon must leave quickly in order to evade capture. Nobunaga is only made ill by the poison and even with the help of Momochi`s most powerfulkuji, he soon recovers and begins the invasion of Iga. Learning that Nobunaga is not dead and that an attack is imminent, Goemon rushes to the village, which is under attack, to find Fujibayashi and his wife dead in the Momochi home. Realizing that the two are the same man, and that he is freed of his obligations, Goemon returns home a happy man. Cast: ICHIKAWA Raizo as ISHIKAWA Goemon
WAKAYAMA Tomisaburo as ODA Nobunaga
FUJIMURA Shiho as Maki
ITO Yunosuke as MOMOCHI Sandayu
FUJIWARA Reiko as Hata