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Yojimbo (用心棒, Yōjinbō, "Bodyguard") is a 1961 Japanese samurai film directed by Akira Kurosawa, who produced the film with Tomoyuki Tanaka and Ryūzō Kikushima. Kurosawa wrote the screenplay with Kikushima and Hideo Oguni based on Kurosawa's story. Kurosawa also edited the film and it tells the story of a rōnin, portrayed by Toshiro Mifune, who arrives in a small town where competing crime lords vie for supremacy. The two bosses each try to hire the newcomer as a bodyguard.
Based on the success of Yojimbo, Kurosawa's next film, Sanjuro (1962), was altered to incorporate the lead character of this film. In both films, the character wears a rather dilapidated dark kimono bearing the same family mon.
The film was released and produced by Toho on April 25, 1961. Yojimbo received highly positive reviews, and, over the years ,became widely regarded as one of the best films by Kurosawa and one of the greatest films ever made. It earned over $2.4 million, and, became the primary inspiration for Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars, which was released three years following Yojimbo ,and, Toho sued Dollars's production.

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