Tenchi Meisatsu (TENCHI: The Samurai Astronomer)

2.5 stars (out of 4)

Released 2012 (in Japan)

This biopic is based on the true story of Yasui Santetsu, a professional go player and recreational mathematician/astronomer, who was appointed by the Shogun to reform the calendar in 17th century Japan. It was becoming evident during that time that the Chinese calendar which had been in use for 800 years was inaccurate.

The film chronicles the various obstacles that Yasui faced in his decades-long quest; scientific challenges, to be sure, but also political opposition to change.

The story was pretty straightforward, nothing earthshaking, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed seeing the costumes of the period and being immersed in the historical setting. There was also enough levity to keep the movie from being just a dry retelling of what is essentially a tale of math and politics.