Kurosawa presents to the viewers the main character (Sanjuro) which in spite of all his humanity couldn’t exist in real life – couldn’t be from the same specie as we who are born from animalistic fight for existence. Between Sanjuro and us traumatized from childhood, touched by vices, corrupted by socio-political organization oriented on power, baptized by sins and tempted by money – is a gap of mystery. While he is full of humility we are prone to aggrandize ourselves, he doesn’t have any interest in accumulation and consumption – we are permanently extending ourselves through our petty achievements, he is a master-swordsman yet not aggressive – we are belligerent even when behaving cautiously, he has no interest in money, career or fame – we are money-lustful, possession-greedy and obsessed with social success, he is not authoritarian and knows how to discuss problems and compromise – we dedicate our lives to compete for a higher place in the social hierarchy and never stop hunting after fun and pleasures, etc.

In “Yojimbo” Sanjuro meets a situation when mortally rivaling groups are equally immoral, hateful and cruel. The best he can do in the midst of this situation is not to take sides – let both groups destroy one another. When one side is grimly successful in exterminating the other, Sanjuro feels obliged to step in to punish the winner. He is leaving town he just emptied of any evil and with only two persons who are empathic towards of moral goodness but without much viable energy.

In “Sanjuro” the situation seems at first not so bleak. Sanjuro appears in place where conservative plotters try to destroy a democratic way of life. They are quite successful except there is a slight opposition consisting of several idealistic liberal youth ready to sacrifice themselves for the sake of democracy. They will be successful, no doubt, in their self-sacrifice for the sake of the moral ideal if it wasn’t for Sanjuro’s help. After finishing his job of helping democracy Sanjuro refuses gratitude and leaves – free, independent but unsure that the young carriers of democratic principles will be capable of protecting democracy against the future conservative plotters.

The progress from “Yojimbo” to “Sanjuro” (in terms of the legacy Sanjuro is able to create before departing is not too impressive) – from old weak old people with taste for moral goodness to carriers of goodness – young people filled with positive superstitions and unable to grasp the nightmarish nature of conservative opponents of democracy. Both films look not too optimistic in their conclusions but carry a mighty charge of primordial, “instinctive” optimism – of Sanjuro and Kurosawa himself. It is this intuitive exuberant optimism (bathing in wit, humor and cinematic virtuosity) has already helped people from several generations not to become too desperate about the condition of the world around them in the Western, Eastern, and Southern countries.