Yojimbo (1961) Meaning And Ending Explanation

Yojimbo is a great example as to what makes a movie good or bad. Many other movies have similar plots and characters, but somehow this film consistently surprises me and keeps me engaged. Yes, it’s because of the engaging characters of Yojimbo, the intriguing plot and Yojimbo interpretations.

And lastly, the ending of the film is what makes me fall even more in love with it! In this blog, we are going to discuss Yojimbo meaning and ending thoroughly.

All Discussion Of Yojimbo 1961

Yojimbo (1961) Meaning And Ending Explanation

The Meaning of the Movie

Yojimbo is a 1961 film directed by Akira Kurosawa. It tells the story of a wandering samurai who seeks to maintain order in feudal Japan, as well as his exploits with other ronin.

The movie is set in 16th century Japan and features Toshiro Mifune as Sanjuro (the yojimbo), one of many samurai roaming the countryside for reasons unknown, until he encounters the rural town of Beika on their way to Edo.

In Beika, he becomes an indispensable man; dispensing justice at will and imposing order on any troublemakers that may come his way. He begins a new life but his past haunts him as he grows older.

The Message of the Movie

Yojimbo (1961) Meaning And Ending Explanation

The message of the Yojimbo is that in order to be successful, you have to have a great deal of patience and determination. Yojimbo shows us that if you want something done right, then it needs to be done slowly. The samurai can’t rush things because he could get hurt or killed if he does. That’s why Yojimbo makes sure everything is done correctly before leaving his house.

He also finds out that one person cannot do everything alone. He needs help from others such as his wife and his son. Also, it is important for him to look after the people around him so they don’t become suspicious about what he is doing at night when he goes out on the town with a sword on his back walking like a samurai through the streets looking like an ordinary man.

If they did they would be killed by other samurai who would assume that Yojimbo was planning an attack against them just because he looks different than everybody else in town who has no swords or armor on their backs but only wear ordinary clothes and walk as regular men through the streets like everybody else does every day even though they are secretly planning an attack against another clan or another family of samurai?

Ending Explanation

Yojimbo (1961) Meaning And Ending Explanation

In “Yojimbo” there are many different meanings to the word yojimbo. The first is the name of an important man in charge of a small village in feudal Japan and one who serves as an example for all others. It’s also a reference to Sanjuro, who has spent his life serving people, like Yajiimo did.

Another meaning is that yojimbo can be translated as “old companion.” The last meaning is that it’s a slang term for another person with whom you have shared good times or bad times in your life. As such, when Sanjuro says to Tatsuo he has not seen him since he was little more than a child: “You were my yojimbo.”

When Sanjuro sees Tatsuo again, he doesn’t know what happened to him after they parted company on their travels; but looking at his face and remembering how much he cared about him, it makes sense that when they finally meet again after so many years away from each other – maybe even more than half a lifetime – Sanjuro would think back on their past together and call Tatsuo by this familiar term: his old companion.

The Main Idea of The Movie

Yojimbo (1961) Meaning And Ending Explanation

The Main Idea of the Yojimbo (1961) Movie is a feudal period movie. It was released in 1961 and is directed by Akira Kurosawa. This movie was produced with a budget of $600,000 and grossed over $100 million at the box office. The screenplay was written by Kurosawa’s close friend, Shinobu Hashimoto, based on an original story written by renowned novelist Donald Richie.

Kurosawa wanted to film this movie for almost five years before he started shooting it but due to financial constraints he had to make some changes in the script. He first changed its title from Seven Samurai to Yojimbo which means a “ranger” or “guardian”.

The main characters are played by Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura who portray two samurai whose names were taken from two famous Japanese poems: Sillagesu and Uta-yama respectively.

Yojimbo is also referred to as Sanjuro when it was dubbed into English because there were no Japanese subtitles available for it during its release in 1961. A few actors like Kenji Sahara, Akiko Wakabayashi, Chishu Ryu and Minoru Chiaki have featured in this movie along with many others that you might not know about now if they weren’t included in the credits!

Hidden Meaning of the Movie

This movie has an underlying theme about how corruption will always thrive no matter what you do, especially when it involves money. If you take away all the violence from this movie, then what remains is one man’s journey to find his true purpose in life, as well as how he overcomes greed and corruption by using his skills as a swordsman to help people. He also tries to find out why he was called Yojimbo (samurai), which means “one who leaves behind only footprints”.

Was the Ending Satisfying?

While some people may have found the ending to be unsatisfying, others might appreciate how it wraps up all of the storylines and leaves things open for a possible sequel.


Yojimbo (1961) is a Japanese film based on a short story written by Hiroshi Takahashi. The film was directed by Akira Kurosawa and stars Toshiro Mifune in the lead role. Here, we have discussed the movie’s meaning and ending scenes.


1.What Happens At the End Of Yojimbo?

Ans: In the end of Yojimbo, Tom and his men go to Tom’s hometown in order to finish off the bad guys. At this point in time, things have settled down.

After having a nice dinner with his friends, Tom goes back to the city of Ya-Ya where he is introduced to two old friends that are now responsible for keeping peace and order within the town. The next day he goes back to see how things are going at home, and finds out that everything is okay as well as taking care of business at his farm.

2.What Is the Message Of Yojimbo?

Ans: Yojimbo is a Japanese term which means ‘waiter’. It refers to the character of Kurosawa’s film, The Seven Samurai. The story is about a village that has been taken over by bandits. To save the villagers from their plight, seven samurai arrive at the village with an offer of protection and provide them with the needed manpower to defend themselves against their enemies.

3.What Is the Movie Yojimbo About?

Ans: Yojimbo is a 1961 film about an honest, hard-working Samurai who becomes involved in the affairs of two competing gangs. The title character is portrayed by Toshiro Mifune.

The movie takes place in feudal Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate period and is based on a play by Akira Kurosawa. It was filmed in black and white, with its tone intentionally ambiguous, but also has several violent scenes.

4.Why Is Yojimbo Called Yojimbo?

Ans: Yojimbo is a Japanese word that means “to be at the head of the pack.” In other words, it means to lead by example. The term has been used in martial arts and bushido since time immemorial.

Yojimbo describes someone who, in a military context, brings his troops forward as if he were leading them with the surety of knowing where they are going. In this context, yojimbo refers to an action or policy by which you set the standard for your team and deliver on it without fail.

5.Your Favorite Kurosawa Scenes?

Ans: I’m not really a fan of Kurosawa’s work but there are some scenes that I like.

“The Seven Samurai”

This scene is from the movie “The Seven Samurai”. It shows how people can unite together to fight for their common goal and I believe this has inspired many people.

“Hidden Fortress”

In this scene, it shows how General Kagemusha fights against bandits with his four comrades. This is one of my favorite scenes because it shows how friendship and teamwork can help you accomplish your goals.

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