This is one of the bloodiest black and white films from the mid-sixties. This film tells the brutal story of a young recruit to the Shinsengumi, the para-military force of ronin led by Kondo Isami, and made famous to the west in Sword of Doom. This is another view of that group without the usual whitewashing of their character. The full translation of the title tells it all. A Cruel Story set during the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate. It's a powerful indictment of the brutality going on in Japan at the time in the name of keeping the West out of the country.