This film, or rather the only surviving reel of this 1926 sword-fighting film, is like the final hallucinating scene from a Shakespearean tragedy. A lone samurai battles with 100 others. In the film’s twelve minutes, the framing, the rhythm, the modernity and tension of the editing is breath-taking. The alternation of wide shots and sudden close-ups on the samurai’s face (actor Denjirô Okochi’s extraordinary expressive mobility) adds to the theatrical tension of the mise-en-scène. Chôkon resembles a tragic surreal ballet, a teetering ritual unfolding under the immobility of the trees, an inebriated choreography, like a death rattle heard in the blue of the night, a dance of death, in other words, a sword dance.