Hako Otoko

The Box Man
A man with a cardboard box over his head wanders the streets of Tokyo. Peering at the world through a peephole, he incessantly writes down in a notebook what he can see. The photographer Myself spots the man and is fascinated. He decides to do the same thing and become a box man himself. But his path to get there is not easy; countless challenges and dangers lie in wait. They include a fake doctor who wants to rob him of his box-man identity; a military man who seeks to use him for the perfect crime; and a mysterious woman who does everything she can to seduce him. Can Myself achieve his dream of becoming a box man? Hako Otoko is an adaptation of the 1973 novel “The Box Man” by Kōbō Abe.
by Gakuryu Ishii
with Masatoshi Nagase, Tadanobu Asano, Koichi Sato, Ayana Shiramoto, Yuko Nakamura, Kiyohiko Shibukawa
Japan 2024 Japanese 120’ Colour & Black/White World premiere


  • Masatoshi Nagase (Myself)
  • Tadanobu Asano (Fake Doctor)
  • Koichi Sato (General)
  • Ayana Shiramoto (Yoko)
  • Yuko Nakamura (Detective)
  • Kiyohiko Shibukawa (Badge-wearing Beggar)


Director Gakuryu Ishii
Screenplay Kiyotaka Inagaki, Gakuryu Ishii
Cinematography Hideho Urata
Gaffer Yoshio Tsunetani
Editing Banri Nagase
Music Michiaki Katsumoto
Sound Masashi Furuya
Production Design Yuji Hayashida
Costumes Yoshie Ogasawara
Make-Up Shinji Hashimoto
Producers Keisuke Konishi, Tomohiko Seki

World sales

Happinet Phantom Studios

Produced by

Happinet Phantom Studios


Gakuryu Ishii

His 1980 film Crazy Thunder Road made the director, at that time known as Sogo Ishii, the spearhead of the Japanese Nouvelle Vague. He went on to direct punkish avant-garde films including Crazy Family which screened in the 1985 Berlinale Forum, to which he was also invited in 1986. Labyrinth of Dreams was selected for the 1997 Panorama. In 2010, he changed his name to Gakuryu Ishii. His most recent films include The Flower of Shanidar, Bitter Honey and Punksamurai Slash Down.


1976 Koukou Dai Panick (Panick High School); short film 1977 Isolation of 1/880000 1980 Kuruizaki Thunder Road (Crazy Thunder Road) 1982 Bakuretsu Toshi BURST CITY (Burst City) 1984 Gyaku Funsha Kazoku (Crazy Family) 1994 Angel Dust 1995 Mizu no Naka no Hachigatsu (August in the Water) 1997 Yume no Ginga (Labyrinth of Dreams) 2000 Gojyo Reisenki (Gojoe) 2001 ELECTRIC DRAGON 80000V 2012 Ikiteru Mono ha Inaika (Isn’t Anyone Alive?) 2013 Shanidar no Hana (The Flower of Shanidar) 2015 Sore Dake (That’s It) 2016 Mitsu No Aware (Bitter Honey) 2018 Punksamurai Kirarete Sourou (Punksamurai Slash Down) 2023 Jibun Kakumei Eiga Tousou (Self-Revolutionary Cinematic Struggle) · Almost People; second episode 2024 Hako Otoko (The Box Man)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024