[[quoteright:350:[[Literature/OniheiHankachou http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/oniheian03.jpg]]]]

''(The following description should ideally be read under falling CherryBlossoms.)''

Jidai Geki is a genre of HistoricalFiction and {{Period Piece}}s found in JapaneseMedia.

These works are set before (or around the beginning of) the UsefulNotes/MeijiRestoration when the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shogun Shogunate]] was deposed. The time subdivisions most often found in Japanese media include the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sengoku_period Sengoku Period]] (or "Warring States", an era of civil war from about 1467-1573), the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo_period Edo Period]] (after Japan was united under the Tokugawa shogunate, 1603-1868),[[note]]For the curious, the 30 years in between those two is called the Azuchi-Momoyama Period; important in history, not so much in media.[[/note]] and the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Tokugawa_shogunate Bakumatsu/early Meiji Period]] (1853-1868, the part of the Edo Period leading into the Meiji Period, 1868-1912).

Jidai Geki can be idealized or realistic, operate as rigorous HistoricalFiction that [[ShownTheirWork show their work]]. It can also be like the American [[TheWestern Western]], [[SoapOpera soapy drama]] or hardass action, and feature a rich cast of [[CharactersAsDevice character tropes]]. Jidai Geki that emphasize swordplay are often referred to as ''chanbara'', especially the live-action movies, and counted on for lots of hot {{Samurai}} action ({{Ninja}}, {{Ronin}}, and {{Yakuza}} are also frequent players)[[note]]Although it's also been said that if a critic likes a particular film, it's ''jidai geki'', and if they don't, it's ''chanbara''.[[/note]]. Given the fact that there are plenty of Edo-era buildings in Japan still standing, and that Edo-era costumes are dime-a-dozen, [[PropRecycling that period appeals a lot to Japanese TV producers]]. Compare and contrast the sheer amount of BBC costume dramas set in the Victorian age, or the innumerable Chinese films and series set in the Qing dynasty.

Among western audiences, the most notable jidaigeki tend to feature Samurai, and from this some have hypothesized that jidaigeki films refer to Samurai films in particular. This is an exaggeration. Jidaigeki basically means historical settings or something set in the past, and does not by itself concern samurai or ronin by default. A number of jidaigeki exist that focus on women, on painters, actors, and even burakamin (the lower-caste Japanese underbelly who are the ancestors to TheYakuza). In the classical era of Japanese cinema, jidaigeki was the most prestigious and serious genre.

Likewise, while it may seem American and European directors have been borrowing (or, depending on your [=POV=], appropriating) these conventions -- sometimes whole ''plots'' -- for years, Jidai Geki pieces have long borrowed in equal measure from {{Western}}s and FilmNoir. Creator/AkiraKurosawa himself was known to be a fan of director Creator/JohnFord. Creator/GeorgeLucas took some inspiration from this cross-pollination while writing ''Franchise/StarWars'' -- guess where he got the word "Jedi". Even before that, jidaigeki borrowed and took inspiration from American films, like ''Film/StellaDallas'' (a popular melodrama in Japan), and also from European drama such as Creator/HenrikIbsen and Creator/LeoTolstoy. Kurosawa likewise also won fame for his transpositions of Creator/WilliamShakespeare to feudal Japan.

For Western depictions of Japanese history, see HollywoodMedievalJapan. See also {{Wutai}} for {{Fantasy Counterpart Culture}}s that are based upon Japan.
Some notable historical names that have been originating from this era includes:
* '''Heian Period (794-1185)'''[[note]]court nobles writing poetry, crying at the slightest pull of the heartstrings, and scheming to get into the beds of other court nobles' wives; noblewomen *also* writing poetry (or the earliest novels) and wearing GorgeousPeriodDress consisting of twelve-layered kimono; and the random peasant, such as your typical [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_the_Bamboo_Cutter humble woodcutter]][[/note]]
** UsefulNotes/{{Fujiwara}}
** UsefulNotes/{{Genji}}
** Creator/MurasakiShikibu
** Creator/SeiShonagon
** Abe no Seimei
** Sugawara no Michizane
** UsefulNotes/{{Heike}}
** Taira no Masakado
* '''Genpei War (1180-1185)''':[[note]]This is a pretty peculiar setting, because while most Jidai Geki media are set in Sengoku and Tokugawa eras (with a large and influential minority being set in late Edo/early Meiji Periods), when the Samurai class and its influence and customs were long established, Genpei War took place in the 12th century late-Heian era, that is, the High Middle Ages, when samurai were only a nascent community, widely derided as coarse and uncouth by the [[UpperClassTwit sophisticated court aristocrats]]. Works set in this period are usually to describe a rise to power by the samurai class and the societal change it brought.[[/note]]
** Nasu no Yoichi
** Minamoto no Yoritomo
** Minamoto no Yoshitsune
** UsefulNotes/MusashiboBenkei
** Taira no Kiyomori
** Tomoe Gozen
* '''Kamakura and Muromachi Periods (1185-1573)''':
** UsefulNotes/MuramasaAndMasamune
* '''Sengoku Period (14671603)''':
** UsefulNotes/OdaNobunaga
** UsefulNotes/ToyotomiHideyoshi
** UsefulNotes/TokugawaIeyasu
** UsefulNotes/AkechiMitsuhide
** UsefulNotes/DateMasamune
** UsefulNotes/FuumaKotaro
** UsefulNotes/HattoriHanzo
** UsefulNotes/HondaTadakatsu
** UsefulNotes/IshidaMitsunari
** UsefulNotes/IshikawaGoemon
** UsefulNotes/DomJustoTakayamaUkon
** UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi
** UsefulNotes/SanadaYukimura
** UsefulNotes/SasakiKojiro
** UsefulNotes/TakedaShingen
** UsefulNotes/UesugiKenshin
** UsefulNotes/YagyuJubei
* '''Edo Period (1603-1868)''':
** UsefulNotes/AmakusaShiro
** UsefulNotes/The47Ronin
* '''Bakumatsu Period (1853-1868)''':
** Saigo Takamori
** Sakamoto Ryoma
** UsefulNotes/SarutobiSasuke
** UsefulNotes/TheShinsengumi
!!Examples of shows taking place in this era:


[[folder:Vague Period]]
[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Anime/MissHokusai'': Follows the life of Hokusai's daughter.
* ''Anime/{{Mononoke}}'' skips around madly between the Sengoku and post-Meiji eras thanks to its immortal protagonist. None of said eras are particularly well-defined or historically accurate, though.
* ''Manga/ShuraNoToki'' (mostly) self-contained story arcs is set in multiple periods, except Azuchi-Momoyama (yes, none of the Mutsu encountered Oda Nobunaga or his contemporaries). Well, except for one arc [[TheWestern set in American frontier]].
* Made explicit in ''Anime/MillenniumActress'', which recounts the story of Chiyoko's life largely in the form of scenes inspired by her films. So the setting follows Japanese history from the Heian era all the way through to the modern world and even beyond into science fiction with callbacks to earlier eras embedded in some of the later ones. Lampshaded when a supporting character asks another "Aren't you dressed for the wrong era?" after a particularly abrupt transition.
* ''Manga/SgtFrog'': The entire ''Musha Kero'' arc takes place on an AlternateUniverse planet vaguely like ancient Japan. All the best-known JidaiGeki tropes are played straight, from the alternate IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming to Keroro saying "Kore nite, ikken rakchaku... ''[[VerbalTic de arimasu.]]''"

* In universe example for ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' has Shotaro and Akiko become fans of a JidaiGeki series, including a themed dream sequence.
** Although set in the modern day, ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'' seems to be taking influence from the genre: the {{Transformation Trinket}}s are called "Sengoku Drivers" in reference to the time period, and the Rider vs. Rider rivalries are directly compared to the time's civil wars, with one of the characters even pointing out how it's developing into a modern day Sengoku War. As the episodes go on, the [[GenreShift tone begins to shift]] and the Sengoku War feel fades away. It doesn't go into obscurity, as the main character retains this feel with his {{Super Mode}}s giving him a general motif.
* The backstories for Juzo and Daiyu in ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger''. The series as a whole uses tropes and conventions of the genre despite being set in the modern day.

* ''Ikki'', an early Creator/{{Sunsoft}} game set during some farmer's rebellion.
* ''VideoGame/{{Kenseiden}}'' in which Benkei shows up as a boss and the final boss is an indeterminate individual named "Yonensai".
* ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'': Sure it's an alternate world, but the setting clearly takes inspiration from Heian and Sengoku stories, events and characters.
* ''VideoGame/DeaeTonosamaAppareIchiban'' includes a rather insane mishmash of Japanese historical figures.
* ''VideoGame/{{Toukiden}}‎'' has "Ages" loosely corresponding to periods of Japanese history.
* ''VideoGame/ToukenRanbu'' technically takes places TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, but it involves going back in time to various times in Japanese history (from the Heian to Bakumatsu periods) in order to prevent historical revisionists from [[MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight changing history]]. The characters, apart from the FeaturelessProtagonist, are {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s of famous Japanese swords, ranging from the 10th to 19th centuries.

[[folder:Heian Period (late 8th century to 12th century)]]
[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Anime/GAROGurenNoTsuki''
* ''Anime/OtogiZoshi'' (first arc)
* ''LightNovel/ShonenOnmyouji''

* ''Anime/TheTaleOfThePrincessKaguya''
* ''Film/{{Onmyoji}}''
* ''Film/{{Rashomon}}''

* ''Literature/ThePillowBook''
* ''Literature/SugawaraAkitada''
* ''Literature/TheTaleOfGenji''

* ''VisualNovel/SixRules''
* ''VideoGame/NinetyNineSpirits''
* ''Heiankyo Alien''
* ''Manga/HikaruNoGo: Heian Gensou Ibunroku''
* ''VideoGame/{{Kuon}}''
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Onmyoji}} Onmyōji]]'' is an interesting case. Being a Sino-Japanese game, it is guilty of both this ''and'' HollywoodMedievalJapan.
* ''VideoGame/OtogiMythOfDemons''
* ''VideoGame/OreshikaTaintedBloodlines''
* In one of the missions from ''Franchise/CarmenSandiego[='s=] Great Chase Through Time'', you have to help Creator/MurasakiShikibu overcome her writer's block after the first chapter of ''Literature/TheTaleOfGenji'' is stolen by one of Carmen's thieves.

[[AC:{{Web Comics}}]]
* ''WebComic/BeneathTheClouds''

[[folder:Genpei War (1180 to 1185)]]
* ''Film/SukiyakiWesternDjango'' (AlternateHistory version)

* ''Heike Monogatari''
* ''Literature/TomoeGozenSaga'' (a fantasy alternate Earth version thereof)

* ''Series/CosmosAPersonalVoyage'' recreates the battle of Dan-no-ura to explore artificial selection based on the resemblance of the Heike crabs to the Samurai.

* ''VideoGame/{{Genji}}''
* ''VideoGame/GenpeiToumaDen'', naturally.
* ''Lords of the Rising Sun''
* ''VideoGame/TotalWarShogun2: Rise of the Samurai DLC''

[[folder:Kamakura and Muromachi Periods (1185-1573)]]
[[AC: Film]]
* ''Film/{{Onibaba}}''

[[folder:Sengoku Period (15th to 17th centuries)]]
See [[UsefulNotes/SengokuPeriod here]].

[[folder:Edo Period (1603 to 1868)]]
[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Manga/{{Amakusa 1637}}''
* ''Manga/{{Amatsuki}}''... well, the [[InsideAComputerSystem virtual setting]] at least.
* ''Manga/{{Azumi}}'' - set during the last years of the Sengoku period and the beginning of the Edo period
* ''Manga/{{Basilisk}}''
* ''Manga/BladeOfTheImmortal''
* ''Manga/{{Gintama}}''... all things considered.
* ''Manga/HouseOfFiveLeaves''
* ''LightNovel/{{Katanagatari}}''
* ''Anime/KazemakaseTsukikageRan''
* ''Manga/LoneWolfAndCub''
* ''Manga/{{Mushishi}}''
* ''Anime/NinjaScrollTheSeries''
* ''Anime/OhEdoRocket''
* ''Manga/{{Ooku}}: the Inner Chambers'' is an AlternateHistory (specifically, GenderFlip) take on this era, specifically from the reign of Shogun Iemitsu to, at this point, [[spoiler: Iesada, which coincides with Commodore Perry's arrival in Japan.]]
* ''Anime/RakugoTennyoOyui'', at the very tail end.
* ''Anime/SamuraiSeven''
* ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo''...technically.
* ''Manga/SamuraiDeeperKyo''
* ''Manga/{{Shigurui}}''
* ''[[Manga/HakodateYoujinBuraichouHimegami Tokugawa Buraichou]]''
* ''Manga/{{Tsukigasa}}''
* ''Manga/{{Vagabond}}''

* ''Film/{{Azumi}}''
* ''Film/The47Ronin''
* ''Film/TheCrucifiedLovers'': early 18th century, based on a play from that era
* ''Film/TheGhostOfYotsuya'' -- based on a famous kabuki play written in 1825, during the Edo period
* ''Film/{{Harakiri}}''
* The ''Series/KamenRiderOOO'' movie temporarily transports the main characters and a crowd of random people back to this period.
* ''Film/TheLifeOfOharu''
* ''Film/SamuraiIMusashiMiyamoto'' actually starts at the tail end of the Sengoku period, showing the Battle of Sekigahara that ended the shogunate wars, and then continues on to the start of the Edo period.
* ''Film/SamuraiRebellion''
* ''Film/SamuraiReincarnation''
* ''Film/{{Silence}}'' by Creator/MartinScorsese which adapts a Japanese novel about the failure of the Jesuit mission.
* ''Film/ThirteenAssassins''
* ''Franchise/{{Zatoichi}}''. [[Film/{{Zatoichi2003}} The 2003 version]], in particular, is set at the tail end of the period (if the presence of a civil-war era revolver is any indication).
* ''ZenigataHeiji''

* ''Literature/GaiJin''
* ''Literature/OniheiHankachou''
* The ''Literature/SanoIchiro'' series.
* ''[[Literature/TheRoyalDiaries Kazunomiya: Prisoner of Heaven]]''
* ''Literature/YoungSamurai'', which is set during at the end of the Sengoku and beginning of the Edo Periods.

* ''Abarenbou Shougun''
* ''Chou Ninja Tai Inazuma!''
* ''Kage no Gundan'' (''Shadow Warriors'')
* ''Series/KaiketsuLionMaru''
* ''Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger''. At least for two episodes.
* ''Mito Komon''
* ''Touyama no Kin-san''

* ''VideoGame/GanbareGoemon'', though the later games became heavily anachronistic.
* ''Kanshakudama nage Kantarō no Tokaidō Gojūsan Tsugi'', a Creator/{{Sunsoft}} game for the Famicom based on a famous series of woodblock prints from the period.
* ''Kaze Kiri''
* ''VideoGame/KidNikiRadicalNinja''. The type of oval coins [[MoneySpider dropped by one enemy]] are specific to the Edo period.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfKage 2''
* ''VideoGame/MuramasaTheDemonBlade''
* ''Mystical Fighter''
* ''VideoGame/NazoNoMurasamejo''
* ''Oh! Edo Towns''
* ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown''
* ''VideoGame/ShadowTacticsBladesOfTheShogun''
* ''VideoGame/WayOfTheSamurai 2''

* ''Literature/LookToTheWest'' is an alternate history story that, at one point, features Japan balkanized by the European powers after an apocalyptic civil war.

[[folder:Bakumatsu/Early Meiji (1853-late 19th century)]]
[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Anime/AyakashiAyashi''
* ''Anime/BakumatsuGijindenRoman''
* ''Anime/BakumatsuKikansetsuIrohanihoheto''
* ''Manga/{{Jin}}''
* ''Manga/KazeHikaru''
* ''Anime/KidouShinsengumiMoeyoKen''
* ''Manga/LadySnowblood''
* ''Manga/LaughingUnderTheClouds''
* ''Manga/PeacemakerKurogane''
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', a {{deconstruction}} of the genre itself.
* The third arc of ''Manga/ShuraNoToki''
* ''Manga/{{Sidooh}}''
* ''Anime/WinterCicada''

[[AC: AudioPlay]]
* ''AudioPlay/ShinsengumiWasurenagusa''

* More from Creator/AkiraKurosawa:
** ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}'' and ''Film/{{Sanjuro}}''
* ''Film/TheLastSamurai'' is very loosely based on the Satsuma revolt
* ''Film/RedSun'', where the idea of jidai-geki being the Japanese equivalent to the western is taken to [[LetsYouAndHimFight its logical conclusion]].
* ''Film/TheSwordOfDoom''
* ''Film/TheTwilightSamurai''

* ''Ryomaden''

* ''Theatre/PacificOvertures''

* ''VideoGame/{{Hakuouki}}''
* ''VideoGame/KeioFlyingSquadron''
* ''VideoGame/TheLastBlade'', as told in its Japanese title of ''Bakumatsu Roman: Gekka no Kenshi'' ("A Bakumatsu Romance: Swordsmen in the Moonlight"), and evidenced in many visual elements in the game.
* The ninja chapter of ''VideoGame/LiveALive''
* ''VideoGame/NinjaSpirit''
* ''VideoGame/TotalWarShogun2: Fall of the Samurai'' DLC
* ''VideoGame/WayOfTheSamurai''
** ''VideoGame/WayOfTheSamurai4''