It is available today in DVD with English subtitles, make sure to get a copy! This movie deserves more recognition! You can find it on Amazon.

The Story - Yoshimura Kanichirou is a lower ranked samurai from Nanbu. He is a teacher in his han but unfortunately cannot make ends meet. He deserts his clan with much regret, essentially betraying the trust of his childhood friend Jiroemon who was the leader of Nanbu and leaves his family behind so that he may provide for them. He finds himself in Kyoto and with his sword skills was able to gain entrance in the Shinsengumi.  We are shown his life as a member of the Shinsengumi, his interactions with Kondou, Hijikata, Nagakura and even Okita. However, Yoshimura is hated by Saitou Hajime because the man is a money grubber and considers him a disgrace for being a Samurai who will do anything for money, but several incidents lead the two to work together and eventually leads to Yoshimura finding out about Saitou's private life with his mistress Nui-dono. In Saitou's infiltration into Itou Kashitarou's splinter group, Yoshimura finds his sense of loyalty once again refusing to betray the Shinsengumi and helps Saitou to foil the plans of Itou. As the war broke out, Yoshimura's sense of bushidou comes to fore and he finally displays character that Saitou learns to respect. Unfortunately as fate would have it they would lose the battle of Toba-Fushimi and the two will never see each other alive again. Desperate to see his family once more, Yoshimura goes back to Nanbu and requests to be pardoned by his bestfriend Jiroemon. But for his friend to place above the clan was impossible and Yoshimura is forced to kill himself for the safety of his clan and his own sense of honor. His story however remained untold, until a grandfather found his grandson sick and asks for help from a small clinic in Tokyo. Generations meet when Jiroemon's son tells the old man, Saitou, of Yoshimura's fate.

The Movie - Mibugishiden (When the Last Sword is Drawn - Int'l Title) was aired in June 25, 2003 in the Tokyo Film Festival. It did quite well in the box office and was actually nominated for 8 awards and won 3 in the Japanese Academy Awards.

Picture of the Year Winner (Japan Academy Prize 2004)
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Winner (Japan Academy Prize 2004)
Director of the Year Nomination (Japan Academy Prize 2004)
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Nomination, Miyake Yuji (Japan Academy Prize 2004)
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Nomination, Nakatani Miki (Japan Academy Prize 2004)
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography Nomination (Japan Academy Prize 2004)
Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing Nomination (Japan Academy Prize 2004)
Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction Nomination (Japan Academy Prize 2004)
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Recording Nomination (Japan Academy Prize 2004)
Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction Nomination (Japan Academy Prize 2004)

The following are the superb cast that made this movie by Director Yojiro Takita and Story by Jiro Asada an excellent film. 
Kiichi Nakai .... Kanichiro Yoshimura
Koichi Sato .... Hajime Saito
Yui Natsukawa .... Shizu, Kanichiro's wife
Takehiro Murata .... Chiaki Ono
Miki Nakatani .... Nui, Hajime's girl friend
Yuji Miyake .... Jiroemon Ohno
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Keisuke Horibe .... Yasunoshin Shinohara
Hideaki Ito .... Yoshinobu Tokugawa
Ryo Kase .... Shuhei Kondo
Eugene Nomura .... Toshizo Hijikata
Ayumu Sait˘ .... Ito
Masato Sakai .... Soji Okita
Sansei Shiomi .... Isamu Kondo
K˘ji Tsukamoto .... Sonoyama
Dai Watanabe
Tatsuo Yamada .... Sasuke

And let's not forget that the musical scores on this film was by Hisaishi Joe, who was the composer of many other wonderful music like "Spirited Away" and "Princess Mononoke"

It is available today in DVD with English subtitles, make sure to get a copy! This movie deserves more recognition! You can find it on Amazon.