Sanbiki ga Kiru (Three for the Kill)
Title                                  Duration    (Number of episodes)

Sanbiki ga Kiru ! : Oct.22,1987 - Mar. 31, 1988 ( 21 )   
Zoku Sanbiki ga Kiru Dec.1,1988- May 11,1989 (18 )    
ZokuZoku Sanbiki ga kiru Jan.4,1990 - Jun. 28,1990 (18 )    
Matamata Sanbiki ga Kiru  Apr.11,1991-Oct.24,1991 (21)      
Shin Sanbiki ga Kiru Jul. 9,1992 -  Feb.25,1993 (21)     
New Sanbiki ga Kiru Dec.23,1993- Jun.    ,1994) (16)  
Tsukai Sanbikiga Kiru! Apr.6,1995 -Aug.31,1995 (18)

                                  
Cast
Takahashi, Hideki ... Yasaka Heishiro or Tonosama
Yakusho, Koji ...  Kuji Shin-nosuke  or Sengoku
Shunputei, Koasa ... Tsubakuro Jinnai  or Tako
(Kondo, Masahiko... Tachibana Ukon)
 
In 1980s, Koji Yakusho was known to the public chiefly as a historical period tv drama star in three dramas,
namely "Tokugaawa Ieyasu" (1983), a year-long NHK TV drama; "Miyamoto Musashi "( 1984), another
year-long NHK serial drama in which he played the title role; and  "Sanbiki ga Kiru" ("Three for the Kill" or
Three Sword Men), which continued with some intervals.

Both
"Tokugawa Ieyasu" and "Miyamoto Musashi" were serious samurai dramas, whereas "Sanbiki ga
Kiru" was a light comedy. It is thought that Koji Yakusho owes a lot of his nationwide fame and popularity
to his portrayal of the character, Kuji, Shin-nosuke. In these TV drama series, Kuji Shinnosuke is portrayed
as good- looking and also strong in sword fighting, albeit rather easy-going, short-tempered, reckless and
thoughtless.

I did not watch this drama every week but when I did have the chnace to watch it, I always enjoyed the story
and the excellent acting.  I especially liked the character, Kuji Shinnousuke whom Koji portrayed.  He
looked so charming and his sword fighting was breathtaking.

Although "Sanbiki ga Kiru" serial dramas have not been released on video or DVDs,  despite many fans'
eager requests, they have occasionally been released on various TV stations in Japan. I hear that every time
they have been shown,  these series have never stopped gaining new fans.

wikipedia.       
Sanbiki ga Kiru!  is a group of seven television jidaigeki series broadcast by TV Asahi in Japan. The show aired in the
Thursday evening eight o'clock time slot.

The title characters are three men who wander throughout Japan in the late Edo period. In each episode they encounter
antagonists, and in the final tachimawari (fight scene) kill them. The characters traveled sometimes together, sometimes
separately. When they arrived in a town they might settle in the same lodging, but sometimes take up with rival factions. In
the end, they work together to overcome evil.

source:
Wikipedia, Sanbikiga Kiru!
Created on June 2, 2008
The DVD BOX of "Sanbiki ga Kiru"
(the 21 episodes) will be on sale from
March 12, 2010.
The DVD BOX of Zoku-Sanbiki ga Kiru"
will be on sale from June 11, 2010.
Updated on April 9, 2010