With the change in the aesthetic of the yakuza genre that occurred in the 1970s towards the realist style of the innovator Fukasaku Kinji ‘jitsuroku’ film series, the ninkyo ethic of the 1960s films again shifted genre. After the great success of the three-part epic War and Humanity (Senso to ningen), based on the six-part novel by Gomikawa Junpei (1916-1995) and released by Nikkatsu between 1970 and 1973, epics based on the war or military themes became increasingly popular throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The great majority were produced by the Toei and Toho studios. Former stars of the ninkyo genre increasingly took on roles as military leaders in films such as the three-hour epic Mount Hakkoda (Hakkodasan), released by Toho 1977. Based on an ill-fated military training incident that occurred in 1913, where many young Japanese soldiers died on the snow-covered slopes of Mount Hakkoda in the northernmost part of Honshu, the film stars Takakura Ken and Kitaoji Kin’ya. Disturbance (Doran), a three-hour epic released in 1980 by Toei, was based on the 26 February 1936 Incident when a group of young army officers staged a military coup d’etat in Tokyo. This film also features Takakura Ken as the disaffected officer protecting the interests of the hapless soldiers under his command. Both films were directed by Moritani Shiro (1931-1984). Furthermore, as accomplished yakuza genre screenplay writers, such as Kasahara Kazuo, turned to producing screenplays for war epics, these films increasingly became imbued with many of the same conventions of the ninkyo yakuza genre. Military epics scripted by Kasahara include The Battle for Nihyaku-sankochi (Nihyakusankochi) (1980), based on a battle during the Russo-Japanese War, in which Japan took heavy casualties, and The Great Japanese Empire (Dainihon Teikoku) (1982), both directed by Masuda Toshio (1927-), and yet another film based on the 26 February Incident released by Shochiku in 1989 and directed by Gosha Hideo.
0.98GB | 2h 50m | 608×240 | avi