Mifune is the ultimate cinematic samurai. Across the planet, consciously and unconsciously, when people try to bring up a mental image of a samurai, he has Toshiro Mifune’s face.

It almost pains me to have Mifune this low on the list, but again, he is more of the roots or ancestry behind what we consider an action hero today. Without Mifune’s ‘Yojimbo,’ or ‘Seven Samurai’ or ‘Samurai Trilogy,' we really wouldn’t have a Clint Eastwood or a Charles Bronson.

Imagine an alternate world where John Woo or Sergio Leone could have cast Mifune in a modern-style action film. Our minds would be blown.

"I'm not dying yet. I have to kill quite a few men first." -– The Samurai, ‘Yojimbo’