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Ninjas of the Southeast: The Code of Bushido is a 2014 Action Fantasy Adventure film written by Dan Gilroy & Max Borenstein and directed by Takashi Shimizu. The film stars Tony Goldwyn, James Franco, Zooey Deschanel, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang and Ryo Ishibashi.

The film was conceived by Gilroy & Borenstein as the periodical tofugu franchise answer to Ninjas. It is the first of a franchise of four instalments titled under the Earth, Air, Fire & Water beginning with The Code of Bushido and concluding with the 2020 final instalment.

It was met with critical acclaim and became a fantasy, action adventure classic catapulting it and it's sequels into the biggest film franchises of all time upon it's release theatrically and in IMAX theatres on January 11th, 2014.

The film was distributed by Dreamworks studios and Amblin Partners.


In 1721 a young nameless boy living on the streets of Metsui, Japan is rescued by Shaolin Master Shang as men pursue him for thievery. He is brought back to the Temple of Whispers and christened Byram Kitashi.

Present day 1748 American runaway Cobalt Endome arrives at the city of Lake Totoa in Japan fairing as an assistant to impatient Ramen chef Tatsu Nomorii, his wife and two twin daughters. At Emperor Rodako's imperial palace in Totoa he oversees five captured thieves who he sentences to death, despite his daughter Yukio's objections, as they are instead escorted to the dungeon but the escorting guard in front is revealed as an adult Master Byram Kitashi who frees them. After stealing the Jade family Benitoite jewels in the palace Byram's five disciples betray him and scamper away with the stones, allowing him to be captured. Yukio having constructed the traps and placing false Jade beads in place of the jewels apprehends Byram.

Byram's betraying men are killed by Yukio's traps as former advisor to the Emperor ninja master Aito Shang arrives with an Oni troll and his masked samurai army the Shuriktan to lay waste to the village and storm the palace. They destroy Tatsu's Ramen house ultimately causing his death, Cobalt succeeding in saving Mrs. Nomorii and daughters. Cobalt runs into the concealed night visitor of Yukio's revealed as an American woman Alice Morway.

Shang abducts the Emperor, and leaves Yukio wounded after battle, as well as his men and new advisor Somori dead, a result of his black magic abilities which cause slow disintegration, the rest dead by the force of his Oni and army. Cobalt and Alice are captured and brought to be executed alongside Yukio until Master Byram intervenes and releases them through a trapdoor dropping them into the lake. Byram then takes them to the Den of Thieves and reveals the hidden Temple of Light, where they assemble a team of apprentices to be trained as Ninjas to combat Shang. Witch Doctor Aina, Mother and daughter boatswomen Wa and Letti Loa, Identical thief brothers Ting and Tang and their sensei Oram become the Ninjas of Shinoba.

Beneath the Temple of Whispers Shang prepares to sacrifice the Emperor to Hachiman, the God of War in the hidden Temple of Darkness at the Shrine of Sura, Master Byram, Cobalt, Alice and Yukio enter and the Ninjas of Shinoba enter, destroying his Oni and overcoming the Shuriktan who are revealed to be one ninja warrior with the ability to multiply. The Emperor is wounded in Shang's ritual and Shang after being initially defeated by Byram, Yukio and Cobalt becomes a dragon and is ultimately destroyed by Byram, in an explosion that seemingly kills Byram. The Temple collapses and the others escape, The Emperor saying his goodbyes to Yukio as he passes. Back at the Temple of Light Master Byram appears to Yukio after she shares a moment with Cobalt, who admits his feelings for Alice. Byram tells her that she is like him producing fire from his hand, Yukio producing water from her hand.


  • Tony Goldwyn as Master Byram Kitashi
  • James Franco as Cobalt Endome
  • Zooey Deschanel as Alice Morway
  • Jake Gyllenhaal as The Scholar
  • Ken Watanabe as Master Aito Shang
  • Ziyi Zhang as Yukio Rodako
  • Ryo Ishibashi as Oni
  • Sonny Chiba as Emperor Hei Rodako
  • Courtney Halverson as Maid Mona
  • Takeshi Kitano as Oram Yao
  • Rinko Kikuchi as Letti Loa
  • Kimiko Yo as Ma Wa Loa
  • Dennis Haysbert as Aina
  • Jo Young-min as Ting
  • Jo Kwang-min as Tang



  1. The Way of the Ninja/Byram's Theme (Main Theme)- James Horner
  2. Young Byram- James Horner
  3. Landing in Lake Totoa- James Horner
  4. The Emperor's March- James Horner
  5. The Jade Palace- James Horner
  6. The Oni Attacks- James Horner
  7. Shuriktan Siege- James Horner
  8. Temple of Light- James Horner
  9. The Shinoba- James Horner
  10. Shang & Byram- James Horner
  11. Love on the Legs of a Grasshopper- James Horner
  12. Temple of Darkness- James Horner
  13. Shang's Evolution- James Horner