The Hidden Fortress

is a 1958 Japanese jidaigeki adventure film directed by Akira Kurosawa, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. It tells the story of two peasants who agree to escort a man and a woman across enemy lines in return for gold without knowing that he is a general and the woman is a princess. The film stars Toshiro Mifune as General Makabe Rokurōta and Misa Uehara as Princess Yuki while the peasants, Tahei and Matashichi, are portrayed by Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara respectively.


Two bedraggled peasants, Tahei and Matashichi, sell their homes and leave to join the feudal Yamana clan, hoping to make their fortunes as soldiers. Instead, they are mistaken for soldiers of the defeated Akizuki clan, have their weapons confiscated, and are forced to help dig graves before being sent away without any food. After quarreling and splitting up, the two are both captured again and reunite when they are forced alongside dozens of other prisoners to dig through the ruins of the Akizuki castle for the clan's secret reserve of gold. After a prisoner uprising, Tahei and Matashichi go on the run, steal some rice, and make camp near a river.