Shochiku has announced that Yoji Yamada will complete the trilogy of samurai dramas he beganwith The Twilight Samurai - nominated for best foreign-language film atthe Oscars in 2004 - and The Hidden Blade.

Tentatively titled BushiNo Ichibun (A Warrior's Duty), the final instalment in the trilogyis based on a story by Shuhei Fujisawa about a blind young samurai, who goesout to get vengeance after his wife dies protecting his honour.

Fujisawa's fiction also supplied materials for the first twofilms in the trilogy, which both depicted samurai on the lower rungs of thesocial scale, living everyday lives with extraordinary courage. Bushi NoIchibun will star Takuya Kimura, an enduringly popular TV celebrity and popstar who also appeared in Wong Kar-wai's 2046. Principal photography isscheduled to start early in 2006.

Yamada, a Shochiku studiopillar for four decades, is best known in Japan for his 48-episode Tora-san series about awandering peddler who is forever falling in love.

The Twilight Samurai, his first period drama, was a solid hit in Japan and screened around the world, while scoopingnumerous awards both at home and abroad. His follow-up, The Hidden Blade,was also a box office success in Japan last year prompting Yamada to undertake and Shochikuto underwrite the final film in the trilogy.