Kambei is the leader of the seven samurai hired by a peasant village to fight off a gang of bandits.
Kambei, after surviving the battle.
Kambei is the first samurai to be hired by the villagers. He is brought to their attention after an impressive display of talent. He tricked a thief holding a baby hostage to think he was a monk, only to kill him with his own sword. A young samurai Katsushiro asks to be his disciple, but Kambei is too humble to accept his offer. He eventually does accept Katsushiro's offer and the villager's offer to fight for them. He then recruits four more samurai, along with Kikuchiyo. Kambei is a brilliant military mind when in battle, and is able to defend the village successfully. He is one of the three samurai to survive.