Release Date: 12/28/1963
Released by:Daiei Films
Directed by:Mori Issei
Plot Summary: After Ishikawa Goemons capture, he is to be executed by being boiled to death. As he is about to be lowered into the huge cauldron, there is an explosion, but the execution appears to be carried out. However, we quickly learn that Goemon escaped during the explosion and was replaced with another person by Hattori Hanzo. They meet in the upper floor of a temple and Ishikawa explains that he wants to kill Toyotomi Hideyoshi but Hanzo explains that that will not be easy.
Goemon gives the head of his stand-in a proper burial and steals money from Hideyoshi`s coffers to pay for a memorial service. He soon meets up with Nobori no Inuhachi, an old friend who has taken to being a thief in order to make ends meet.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi calls all the local daimyo to his castle in order to introduce his infant son, Hideyori, to the world. He also announces that he plans to attack the Korean forces in China and asks that all the daimyo provide troops, weapons and money for the campaign. He says that he is so confident that he will personally lead the attack and will leave his eldest son, Hidetsugu in charge during his absence.
Goemon attacks Hidetsugu`s procession at night and takes his clothes, explaining that if he tells anyone about the attack he will be seen as a coward for not fighting back. With the kanpaku`s clothes, Goemon calls a meeting with Hideyoshis consort, Yodo on the premise that he wants to see Hideyori. Goemon says that Hideyori looks just like a monkey (Toyotomi Hideyoshi was known to resemble a monkey!) so he must be his father`s child. He orders Lady Yodo to tell Hideyoshi “how sad it is for a wife and child to be taken away” and grabs the child. They are quickly surrounded by samurai and in a very exciting scene, they are forced to escape without the child.
With the campaign against Korea going well, Hideyoshi returns to Japan. He hears rumor of Hidetsugu`s poor handling of affairs back home and says that he will send Hidetsugu to Korea – this is done in order to replace him with his favored son, Hideyori. Goemon overhears this as he is gathering information and drops a couple of notes that say that the Korean campaign will fail and that Hideyoshi will suffer.
With this information, Goemon sneaks into the Toyotomi castle and warns Onene (Hideyoshi`s wife) about Hideyoshi`s plans to send Hidetsugu to Korea and suggests that she may be next. She in turn tells her son that his father is planning to send him to Korea. He becomes angry and confronts his father upon his return from the battlefield. Hideyoshi disgraces his older son by throwing sake in his face. This leads Hidetsugu to commit seppuku.
Hideyoshi becomes very ill and promises to turn rule of Japan over to Hideyori. Goemon sneaks into Hideyoshi`s new castle and enters the room of the sick taiko. Seeing that he is in pain and will soon be dead, Goemon explains that he is suffering enough and that he will do everything he can to make sure that Tokugawa becomes the leader of the country. After the death of Toyotomi, Tokugawa does indeed become the leader of the country.
Comments: In my opinion, this is the best of the series. The political struggles are very interesting and Narita Junichiro does a great job playing the backstabbing Hideyoshi. Excellent! Cast: ICHIKAWA Raizo as ISHIKAWA Goemon
WAKAO Ayako as Lady Yodo-hime
NARITA Junichiro as TOYOTOMI Hidetsugu
MISHIMA Masao as TOKUGAWA Ieyasu
TONO Eijiro as TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi
DATE Saburo as HATTORI Hanzo