Bunta Sugawara

  • Yasuo Furuhata – Gendai yakuza: yotamono jingi (1969)

    Back after four years, Goro learns his younger brother’s been thrown out of the gang and his girlfriend’s married another man. It’s payback time.Read More »

  • Norifumi Suzuki – Torakku yarô: Goiken muyô AKA Trucker Yaro: No One Can Stop Me AKA Fireball On Highway (1975)

    A pair of truckers show off their driving skills to each other while evading pursuing law enforcement.Read More »

  • Norifumi Suzuki – Torakku yarô: Bôkyô Ichibanboshi AKA Truck Yaro III – Truckstar Goes to Hokkaido (1976)

    Momojiro comes to the rescue of beautiful Akiko who struggles to run a ranch on her own.Read More »

  • Norifumi Suzuki – Torakku yarô: Otoko ippiki momojirô AKA Trucker Yaro VI : I am a Man of Honour (1977)

    A truck driver in Yamagata prefecture finds himself stuck on the road due to a police speeding checkpoint. The trucker decides to use the road shoulder instead. Wen stopped they explain to the police that they have an emergency and are in a rush. Then a police cruiser with two policewomen again catches them. Apparently, this time it is for the crime of having been in a woman’s public bath.Read More »

  • Norifumi Suzuki – Torakku yarô: Totsugeki ichiban hoshi AKA Trucker Yaro VII: Another Odyssey of Momojiro (1978)

    “Truck Yaro films usually repeat the same patterns again and again in almost every instalment. It may sound boring but it actually works out great and it’s a series trademark. You always know what to expect from the plot. Bunta is gonna fall in love and see stars but in the end he never gets the girl, Kinya is gonna forget his kids’ names, Bunta visits the bath house and bring gifts for the girls, later he has a comic fight sequence at a restaurant, usually against a rivaly truck driver… But Totsugeki Ichiban-boshi is a weird bird. The opening alone is, well, very weird. There’s also no rivalry driver, no probles with the kids’ names (they don’t even appear in the film, except in a photo) and no bath house scene… wait, did I say no topless bath house girls? Yeah, I did. But that sector gets taken care of when it later turns out that Kinya’s new lady friend Mary is a stripper by profession.Read More »

  • Shûji Terayama – Bokusâ AKA The Boxer (1977)

    In mid-career, while he is on a winning streak, and in the middle of a fight he is winning, a young boxer is revolted by the violence of the game. He allows himself to be beaten up and quits the match and the sport. He also leaves his wife and child and lives alone with his moth-eaten old dog, all the while losing his sight. Years later, he is hunted down by a young man who is ambitious to become a prize-winning boxer. Persistence pays off, and he eventually persuades the ex-boxer to be his manager and trainer. The boy begins his rise to success, though he has a stormy relationship with his manager.Read More »

  • Kinji Fukasaku – Jingi naki tatakai: Chojo sakusen AKA The Yakuza Papers 4: Police Tactics (1974)

    As Japan gears up for the 1964 Olympic games, the cops start to crack down under pressure from the public and the press, adding a new dimension in the war for power among the yakuza families of Hiroshima. Takeda (Akira Kobayashi) tries to keep a lid on things, but hotheaded underlings create chaos, with one boss whacked in neutral territory and the craven boss, Uchimoto, informing on an assassination attempt by his own minions. While the police round up hundreds of yakuza foot soldiers, Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara) plots to finally take out longtime nemesis, boss Yamamori.Read More »

  • Kinji Fukasaku – Jingi naki tatakai: Dairi sensô AKA The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 3: Proxy War (1973)

    The successor to Hiroshima’s most powerful yakuza family, the Muraokas, is whacked in broad daylight on a busy city street. What unfolds is a yakuza succession crisis, as the weaseley Uchimoto (Takeshi Kato) dithers and the slimy, backstabbing boss Yamamori steps in as the Muraoka’s new boss. Bunta Sugawara’s would-be independent yakuza, Shozo Hirono, is caught in the middle, having to play powerbroker. But the opposing factions seek support from powerful families in Kobe, making all out war inevitable.Read More »

  • Kinji Fukasaku – Jingi naki tatakai: Hiroshima shito hen AKA The Yakuza Papers 2: Deadly Fight In Hiroshima AKA Hiroshima Death Match (1973)

    Repeatedly beat to a pulp by gamblers, cops, and gangsters, lone wolf Shoji Yamanaka (Kinya Kitaoji, who went on to star as Rhett Butler in the Tokyo stage version of Gone with the Wind), finally finds a home as a Muraoka family hit man and falls in love with boss Muraoka’s niece. Meanwhile, the ambitions of mad dog Katsutoshi Otomo (Sonny Chiba) draws our series’ hero, Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara), into a new round of bloodshed, culminating with the tragic demise of the young Yamanka.Read More »

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