The Ii Clan were close allies, retainers of the Tokugawa clan having become pledged vassals back in the 1500s. So they are very close to the center of power in the Tokugawa hierarchy. A Fudai Daimyo house, they were the most trusted type of Daimyo and often received high-appointments in the bureaucracy. An Ii clan clember, Ii Naosuke,had such an appointment and was perceived to be a bit too tyrannical in 1860 and was asassinated as he was entering the Edo palace. It was a shocking event and, in some ways, it marked the beginning of the end of Tokugawa Rule.
So movie-goers would have that association with the name of this clan in 1962, especially as Japan was gearing up to celebrate the centennial of the Meiji Restoration in 1968, the event that marked the end of the Tokugawa system of government, of feudal rule, of the era of the samurai.
TSUGUMO Hanshiro (NAKADAI Tatsuya), a Ronin whose master was forced to commit seppuku in 1619.
CHIJIWA Motome, his son-in-law, also a ronin
Miho, Tsugumo's daughter, Chijiwa's wife
Kingo, their infant son
SAITO Kageyu, (MIKUNI Rentaro) the "KARO" (Elder) or Houseman/Direct
Retainer of the Ii clan; TSUGUMO regularly calls him "GO-Karo," or Honrable Elder
OMODAKA Hirokuro, samurai and top swordsman, Ii clan
Two other top swordsmen: Kawabe and Yazaki
1. The Suit of Armor, Symbol of the Clan Lord/Daimyo
2. The Log or Record Book of the Official Daimyo Residence of Ii House
3. Samurai Sword
4. Top knots
5. Rhetoric of the samurai code ("a samurai's sword is his soul")
Rigidity of Tokugawa order/Samurai code
Destructiveness/Inhumanity of bushido, the warrior's code
The issue of warriors in peacetime (tenka no taihei)
Erosion/Destruction of warrior class--ronin means loss of social function
False/distorted codes of honor and the Hypocrisy of the powerful clans
Deceptiveness of History--the written record is not complete; it suppresses
what it does not want to acknowledge