The Last Samurai, Ujio (Hiroyuki Sanada) Hero Costume

original movie costume

This is a complete Samurai costume worn by Ujio (Hiroyuki Sanada) in the 2003 epic film The Last Samurai, directed by Ed Zwick. Sanada was chosen for the role as he is a well-known and highly-regarded Japanese actor. Ujio is one of the lead Samurai in the film along with Katsumoto, and is the toughest warrior in the film. This costume was designed by Ngila Dickson, the Kiwi costume designer best known for her work on The Lord of the Rings films. The costume design on The Last Samurai was Oscar nominated, and in fact Dickson lost the Oscar for Samurai that year to her own work on The Return of the King. The costumes were constructed under the direction at Richard Taylor and WETA, although much of the actual fabrication was farmed out to some of WETA’s armor makers.

 

 

This complete costume was obtained directly from Warner Brothers Archives, and includes their paperwork. It is believed to be the only complete Ujio costume in private hands, and it is unlikely that another costume will ever be released. The sword were obtained from another source who obtained them directly from Warner Brothers. The swords do not have WB paperwork. To show the full complexities and intricacies of this costume, we have photographed it on a mannequin in several layers, and also photographed the components individually. We have also photographed the extensive labeling found throughout the costume. The suit was crafted as a replica of a genuine period Samurai armor, and while many of its finer features cannot be appreciated on screen, all were in place to give the film a more authentic feel. A good example of this is the beautiful lining fabrics on the underside and interior of many of the armor components.

 

 

The main component of the costume, the chest armor, can be screen matched to several shots during the battle scene. It is evident in looking at the film that the weathering / paint on the armor was probably modified on set during production, and thus matching other components is difficult. All components show signs of film use, and most are labeled. Some labels indicate use for Riding scenes (Sanada did much of his own riding for the film), and some are labeled “Dbl” which in this instance means a double to the first hero costume, not used by a double or stand-in in the film. The interior of the chest armor is lined with black leather and shows evidence of modification and repair on set. The chest armor can be screen matched to shots during the final battle where Ujio is hit with bullets, thus damaging the chest. The chest armor also features dried blood on the fabric sides, indicating that it was used for the bullet hit shots and then repaired for use in other scenes.

costume: collector:
category: original / screen-used
type: costumes/wardrobe
movie: The Last Samurai (2003)
original (57)  |  replica (4)
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My favorite armor from any film. So amazing. [by theronstang ]
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