Bushido zankoku monogatari

Cruel Tale of Bushido | Bushido (Schwur der Gehorsamkeit)
The attempted suicide of his fiancée prompts a Japanese salary-man to read his family chronicles and look back at the life of his ancestors. They were samurai, the military nobility caste who carried out acts of violence at the behest of feudal lords, but suffered even more so under their cruelty, often forced into ritual suicide (seppuku). The women were under constant threat of kidnapping and rape, and the men subjected to arbitrary disfigurement and homosexual slavery … In a radical departure from the usual romanticisation of the samurai, director Tadashi Imai – using period sets and sometimes graphic images – made a film fundamentally critical of medieval Japan’s feudal system and the inhumane samurai code called bushido. In addition, the final two of the eight episodes in the film draw parallels between that and kamikaze pilots of World War II, as well as Japan’s modern achievement-oriented society. Bushido zankoku monogatari was awarded the Golden Bear at the 1963 Berlin International Film Festival. World premiere of the digitally restored version.
by Tadashi Imai
with Kinnosuke Nakamura, Satomi Oka, Kyoko Kishida, Misako Watanabe, Yoshiko Mita, Kei Sato, Choichiro Kawarasaki, Seichiro Sawamura, Kei Yamamoto, Masao Oda, Yoshi Kato
Japan 1963 Japanese 123’ Black/White

With

  • Kinnosuke Nakamura (in 7 roles)
  • Satomi Oka
  • Kyoko Kishida
  • Misako Watanabe
  • Yoshiko Mita
  • Kei Sato
  • Choichiro Kawarasaki
  • Seichiro Sawamura
  • Kei Yamamoto
  • Masao Oda
  • Yoshi Kato

Crew

Director Tadashi Imai
Screenplay Naoyuki Suzuki, Yoshikata Yoda
Story Norio Nanjo Hiryo no keifu (Genealogy of Slaves)
Cinematography Makoto Tsuboi
Editing Shintaro Miyamoto
Music Toshiro Mayuzumi
Choreography Reijiro Adachi
Sound Yoshitake Watabe
Art Director Taizo Kawashima
Production Design Kikiharu Tsujino, Takaya Ogawa, Enzaburo Honda
Costumes Go Mikami
Producer Hiroshi Okawa

Produced by

Toei Company Ltd.

Additional information

DCP: Toei Company, Ltd., Tokyo, restoration funded by the Toei Company, Ltd., and carried out by the Toei Lab Company.

Tadashi Imai

Filmography

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020