[[quoteright:256:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Yojimbo_2082.jpg]]

->''"I'll get paid for killing, and this town is full of people who deserve to die."''
-->-- '''Sanjūrō'''

'''''Yojimbo''''' -- [[SpellMyNameWithAnS more correctly]] '''''Yōjinbō''''', meaning "bodyguard" -- is a 1961 JidaiGeki film directed by Creator/AkiraKurosawa, loosely based on Creator/DashiellHammett's novel ''Literature/RedHarvest''. It stars ToshiroMifune as wandering rōnin Sanjūrō, who arrives in a town beset by criminals and decides to clean the place up (apparently for fun and profit). His method is simple, yet clever: he reduces the number of gangsters in the town by getting the two rival factions to go to war, then mops up the remainder. An enormously influential film, it has had at least two direct remakes -- Creator/SergioLeone's ''Film/AFistfulOfDollars'', and Walter Hill's ''Film/LastManStanding'' -- as well as homages in numerous other films and television shows. It was even used as the basis of [[http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/EP042 an episode]] of the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime.
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!!''Yojimbo'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Quite a few of these. This is one reason this movie stands the test of time so well.
* AnimalMotifs: Akira Kurosawa had this very clearly in mind. He told Toshiro Mifune to act like a stray dog, which is why he twitches his shoulders and scratches himself a lot during the film (see CharacterTics below). Kurosawa told TatsuyaNakadai (who played Unosuke) that his character was a snake, so Nakadai [[ReptilesAreAbhorrent moves very slitheringly and doesn't blink a whole lot.]]
* AntiHero: Sanjūrō
* AxCrazy: Unosuke. Or rather, [[TriggerHappy Gun Crazy]]. He really likes his pistol.
* {{Badass}}: Sanjūrō is a complete badass, and everybody comes to realize this very quickly. In fact, seeing as how his performance influenced Creator/ClintEastwood in ''Film/AFistfulOfDollars'' it could be said he's one of the modern [[TropeMaker Trope Makers]].
* BadassBoast: Recently recovering from an injury, Sanjurō was out to [[spoiler: rescue the innkeeper Gōnbei from Unōsuke's gang]]. When the sympathetic coffin-maker expressed doubt at the odds against him while he has a mere knife to fight with, Sanjurō bellows: ''[[ItsPersonal I'll turn them into sashimi!]]''
** And earlier when he goes to [[spoiler: rescue Nui, he goes into the house where she is being kept under guard and then comes back out to tell Inokichi that all six guards are dead. After Inokichi leaves, one of the guards comes out to see what all the noise is.]] Sanjūrō wasn't a liar for long.
** And the coolest one of them all:
--> "I guess there is no cure for stupidity except for ''death.''"
* BadCopIncompetentCop / DirtyCop: The local constable is useless and venal, and attempts to get a finders fee for recommending that Sanjūrō join one side of the gang war. Sanjūrō tells him to kill himself at the end of the film.
-->'''Sanjūrō''': Go hang yourself.
* BatmanGambit: Sanjūrō is able to destroy the two rival gangs by exploiting their leaders' personalities and the fact that both of them desperately want his skills.
* CharacterTics: Sanjūrō has a habit of keeping one hand inside of his clothing and twitching his shoulders. The idea behind this is that he's like a wolf/dog and has fleas -- making him ''[[IncrediblyLamePun a character with ticks]]''.
* ChekhovsSkill: Sanjūrō shows he's a crack-shot as a knife thrower by passing the time throwing a knife at a shred of paper blowing around in the wind. [[spoiler: It helps him to defeat Unosuke, the gun wielder]].
* DirtyOldMan: Tokuemon, the Sake Brewer.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Averted, although they give it a good try.
* TheDitz: Inokichi doesn't even know how to count with his fingers. [[spoiler:He later helps Sanjūrō escape from Ushitora's gang, involuntarily.]]
* DontMakeMeDestroyYou: Sanjūrō warns three mooks that mocked him earlier. [[spoiler:Said mooks are all sentenced to death if caught and seem quite proud of it. Sanjūrō has thus no qualms and slays them all as a demonstration of his skills and utters the following badass line.]]
-->'''Sanjūrō:''' Cooper, two coffins... No, better make that three.
* TheDragon: Inokichi [[CoDragons and]] Unosuke to Ushitora.
* EnemyCivilWar: What started the mob war in the first place.
* EvilMatriarch: Seibei's wife is the really nasty one in the family.
* EvilVersusEvil: The status quo at the beginning of the movie. Sanjūrō's actions just turn it UpToEleven.
* FakeoutEscape: Sanjūrō's escape from Ushitora's house starts by crawling inside a large wooden chest, to make everyone think he's already escaped.
* AFistfulOfRehashes: Officially, this is an adaptation of ''The Glass Key'', though its plot more closely follows ''Red Harvest''.
* GiantMook: [[http://historymike.blogspot.com/2009/05/namigoro-rashomon.html Kannuki the Giant]], one of Ushitora' mooks. None of the other {{Mook}}s are even as tall as his shoulders and he wields a [[{{BFS}} big freakin]]' [[DropTheHammer mallet]].
* {{Gonk}}: Most of the bad guys except for Unosuke. Inokichi's the real standout here.
* GuileHero: While Sanjūrō is more than capable of handling open conflicts, he spends most of the movie implementing {{Batman Gambit}}s against his enemies instead.
* HollywoodHealing: Sanjūrō manages to heal quickly and apparently without lasting consequences after being beaten pretty badly. Although it takes him at least a week if not more to fully recover.
* {{Homage}}: The scene where Sanjūrō is thrown around by his face is an homage to the 1942 film version of ''The Glass Key''.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Averted. [[spoiler: Unosuke can hit stationary targets just fine, but he misses badly in the climax when aiming at a moving Sanjuro.]]
* ISurrenderSuckers: Subverted. [[RevolversAreJustBetter Unosuke]] [[spoiler:is so far into his death throes]] that he can't even finish Sanjūrō off at point blank range.
** Strangely, Unosuke takes a bit longer to die than that and talks some more later. Perhaps he considered Sanjūrō a WorthyOpponent he couldn't bring to kill like that.
*** He could have even gotten away since revolvers were rare in Japan at that time that Sanjuro didn't realize until he got close it still had bullets left!
* LineOfSightName: When asked what his name is, Mifune looks out over a field of mulberry trees and gives the name Kuwabatake (mulberry field) Sanjūrō (thirty-ish).
* LostHimInACardGame: The husband in the family in the PetTheDog example lost his wife (and their house) gambling.
* MadeOfIron: AvertedTrope, after Sanjūrō is beaten up and guarded by two of Ushitora's thugs and one of the guards asks the other if it's all right to keep him tied up while the GiantMook says he's nothing without his sword anyway in a way that would rather seem to be TemptingFate to many GenreSavvy viewers, Sanjūrō escapes through more sneaky means and drags himself to his escape from being unable to stand.
* MasterSwordsman: Sanjūrō, naturally. It comes back to bite him when [[spoiler: Unosuke notes that he's the only one skilled enough with a sword to kill six men single-handed.]]
* MobWar
* MrExposition: Gonji, who lays out the whole situation in town and who everybody is to Sanjūrō (and the audience).
* NervesOfSteel: Sanjūrō, as best displayed during the escape scene. Even after being beaten within an inch of his life, he's still able to think clearly enough to make an effective escape.
* NeverBringAKnifeToAGunfight: [[spoiler:Averted. Sanjūrō wins.]]
* NoNameGiven: The main character's real name is not revealed. "Kuwabatake Sanjūrō" is just a name he made up on the spot.
* NoDubForYou: Despite including ''Film/{{Rashomon}}'''s original dub for the updated DVD/Blu-Ray release, The Criterion Collection failed to include the U.S. theatrical dubbed track for ''Yojimbo's'' reissue.
* PetTheDog
** Sanjūrō manages to save a family that's been caught between the quarrels of the two gangs, which [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold tends to make him less antiheroic.]] In order to act a little more rugged, Sanjūrō [[ShooTheDog threatens them with death if they don't get the hell out of there fast enough. He does so with good reason: If they're caught, they'll likely be killed.]]
** Also, at the very beginning of the film, he chances to see a farmer boy quarreling with his parents; he intends to join one of the gangs, thinking that the excitement and riches are preferable to a boring life of farming and eating gruel. Near the end of the film, Sanjūrō actually has that ''same farmer-turned-gangster'' at swordpoint. Rather than cut him down, though, Sanjūrō just remarks to him that perhaps the gruel-eating life ''is'' better than this. The boy, elated at this mercy, runs off.
* PlayingBothSides: Sort-of the movie's main premise. Arguably this is the [[TropeCodifier codifying]] example as it is the most identifiable element in the remakes ''Film/AFistfulOfDollars'' and ''Film/LastManStanding'', and is oft cited as a primary influence in later works that revolve around this premise.
* PsychopathicManchild: Inokichi is somewhere between Type A and Type E.
* RockBeatsLaser: [[spoiler: Unosuke and his overconfidence in his gun are no match for a superbly trained samurai like Sanjuro, who defeats him easily with his throwing knife and a [[KatanasAreJustBetter single deadly katana]] blow]].
* {{Ronin}}: Sanjūrō
* SanitySlippage: Tazaemon, the Silk Merchant falls victim to this. His grip on reality is tenuous even at the start of the film and by the end [[spoiler: he appears to have gone completely insane.]]
* SamuraiPonytail: Mifune is a poor wandering ronin with a short, scruffy ponytail that sticks straight out of the back of his head.
* [[spoiler:SeeYouInHell: Unosuke's final words to Sanjuro.]]
* ShopKeeper: Gonji, the much put-upon restaurant owner, and the cooper/coffin-maker next door.
* SlasherSmile / PsychoticSmirk: Unosuke's default facial expressions.
** After Sanjuro escapes having taken a severe beating, Gonji tells him he doesn't look alive... and it's even worse when he smiles.
* WalkingTheEarth: At the beginning, Sanjūrō wanders in whatever direction a casually thrown branch suggests.
* WarForFunAndProfit: The casket-maker has this attitude.
** Sanjūrō himself, at first. While he tells Gonji he's going to get rid of the gangs, his reasoning is basically summed up by the fact that he gets to kill men who deserve to die and get paid for it.
* WeaponOfChoice: Unosuke wears a sword on him, but shows the constable the pistol he got in his travels and proceeds to never be seen without it at least once in any given scene.
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