In basing some ideas in the movie on actual facts from Japanese history, the most interesting to me was the Sword-making and the Sword, the Muramasa. In the movie, the Muramasa Sword that Jubei needs to fight demons is based on an actual Sword, the Muramasa, notorious for its “evil.” Apparently, its evil aura or vibrations originated from the feeling of envy and resentment harbored by Muramasa toward his teacher, Masamune. It was this resentment that was picked up by the blades as they were being made by Muramasa. The difference between the Swords of Muramasa and Masamune can be seen in the water & leaf test. If a Muramasa blade is put vertically in a stream, a nearby leaf will be instantly drawn to the blade, floating up to it to be cut in half. On the other hand, it will Not happen to the Masamune.
What’s interesting in the movie is that Jubei needs to fight Evil by using a correspondingly-evil weapon, which is why he needs to use a Muramasa. Certainly an Unusual twist in that it’s not good fighing against evil but instead using evil to defeat evil.
At this point, I deem it pertinent that I add information from Nemuri Kyoshiro, a television series starring KATAOKA TAKAO. The point is pertinent because Nemuri in that TV series uses a Sword called a Masamune. In the TV series, one of the best episodes was when Nemuri had to use his Masamune-blade against a villain who uses a Muramasa. Throughout the episode, the curse of that Sword could be seen when the Muramasa got different owners, owners who went berserk by simply unsheathing the Sword.
While the Sword makes the user invincible, its curse also makes the user go berserk. At the climax, the main villain becomes seemingly invincible, so even Nemuri has a difficult time fighting it.
It’s a tribute to Yagyu Jubei in the movie “Samurai Reincarnation” that he can use the Muramasa-Sword withOut becoming evil himself.
(Footnote: the Nemuri Kyoshiro TV-series starring Kataoka Takao is now available on dvd.)