I'm not sure whether, historically, Samurai - members of the Japanese warrior caste - were supposed to always be clean-shaven or not. But I seem to recall that Samurai characters in film are mostly beardless.

How exceptional is it for Samurai characters in Japanese Jidaigeki films (period dramas) to have beards? And is it typically some particular type of Samurai characters to have them (e.g. evil vs good, old vs young, sophisticated vs. plain)?

  • Sounds more like a question about Japanese history than movies & TV. I'm not aware of any rules regarding facial hair for samurai, but I'm far from an expert on the subject. – Steve-O Mar 27 '17 at 13:07
  • @Steve-O: See edit; hopefully it makes the question for apprioriate for this venue. – einpoklum Mar 27 '17 at 13:09
  • Is Toshiro Mifune a Japanese filmmaker? Perhaps editing the question to center around the specific character you are referring to rather than all samurai in movies would not make the question "too broad" – steelersquirrel Mar 27 '17 at 18:38
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    @user22792: No, he's an actor. And - I am asking about Samurai characters in Japanese films in general. I don't think that's too broad. – einpoklum Mar 27 '17 at 19:12
  • Okay. I didn't vote to close the question, I was just trying to help your question so that the close votes would be removed :) – steelersquirrel Mar 27 '17 at 19:24

Here's a good article on the topic. Most samurai were supposed to actually let their facial hair grow to show their "fighting spirit". Those with poor facial hair even got fake facial hair to avoid being mocked. Their lack of beard depiction in films is probably more because of modern Japanese ideas on beards

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