Our one and only stop for today is New York City for a major American premiere.
Itself allegedly derived from Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest, Yojimbo would become a template in its own right, most famously for Sergio Leone's Fistful of Dollars (Kurosawa sued) and subsequently for any picture in which a tough guy intervenes in a feud with the intention of destroying both parties. If not Kurosawa's definitive film -- there are too many choices -- it's probably Toshiro Mifune's definitive performance, at least for audiences outside Japan. He would play the role again for Kurosawa in a sequel and a very similar "yojimbo" in a comics team-up with Shintaro Katsu's Zatoichi a decade later. Fifty years ago today he reached American shores, and he has never really left.
So here's an English-subtitled version of the Japanese trailer from the Criterion Collection.