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, 2K DCP Digitally restored version 2020

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

DirectorTadashi Imai
ScreenplayNaoyuki Suzuki, Yoshikata Yoda
StoryNorio Nanjo, Hiryo no keifu (Genealogy of Slaves)
CinematographyMakoto Tsuboi
EditingShintaro Miyamoto
MusicToshiro Mayuzumi
ChoreographyReijiro Adachi
SoundYoshitake Watabe
Art DirectorTaizo Kawashima
Production DesignKikiharu Tsujino, Takaya Ogawa, Enzaburo Honda
CostumesGo Mikami
ProducerHiroshi 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.