Tag Archives: Kinji Fukasaku

Kinji Fukasaku – Jingi no hakaba AKA Graveyard of Honor (+Extras) (1975)

Quote:
Set during the turbulent post-war years, Fukasaku’s original 1975 film charts the rise and fall of real-life gangster Rikio Ishikawa (Tetsuya Watari, Outlaw Gangster VIP). Shot through with the same stark realism and quasi-documentarian approach as Fukasaku’s earlier Battles Without Honor and Humanity, Fukasaku nonetheless breaks new ground through his portrayal of a gangster utterly without honor or ethics, surviving by any means necessary in a world of brutal criminality. Read More »

Kinji Fukasaku – Omocha AKA The Geisha House (1998)

Set in the late 1950s, when geisha culture was threatened by moral crusades, it tells the story of Omacha (Miyamoto Maki), a young girl who sees the geisha life as a way to lift her poverty-stricken family from their hand-to-mouth existence. Through her eyes, we see the protocols and complex financial relationships which dictate the running of the geisha house. Fukasaku’s film is a work of great delicacy with moments of hypnotic beauty, and his tender direction, often touched with a sense of wonder, fills the screen with lovingly constructed scenes. At its heart is the poignant situation of the women who must sacrifice their normal relationships to live an ambiguous life in which they are a key part of society while being kept, for the most part, on its periphery, like perpetual mistresses. Read More »

Kinji Fukasaku – Bakuto gaijin butai AKA Sympathy for the Underdog [+extra] (1971)

Synopsis:
From Kinji Fukasaku (Battles Without Honor & Humanity) comes this pivotal early crime drama in the celebrated career of the director who changed the face of Japanese action cinema. Stylish and hard-boiled, Sympathy for the Underdog stars Koji Tsuruta, one of Japan’s seminal figures in the Yakuza genre, as Gunji, an aging Yakuza who is released from prison after ten years. Gunji lives by a code of honor that has no place among Tokyo’s modern corporate gangs. He gets a new lease on life by reforming his former gang and taking over the whiskey trade on the island of Okinawa. But he is forced to make a final, fateful, bloody stand against the mainland gang that sent him to prison. Read More »

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

Synopsis:
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)

Synopsis:
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)

Synopsis:
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 »

Kinji Fukasaku – Jingi naki tatakai AKA Battles Without Honour and Humanity AKA The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 1: Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973)

Synopsis:
In the teeming black markets of postwar Japan, Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara) and his buddies find themselves in a new war between fractious and ambitious yakuza. After joining boss Yamamori, Shozo is drawn into a feud with his sworn brother¹s family, the Dois. But that¹s where the chivalry of traditional yakuza film ends and the hypocrisy, betrayal, and assassinations begin. A rare and critical perspective on the history of Japan after World War II, BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY is a tour-de-force that revolutionized the yakuza genre and launched Kinji Fukasaku and Bunta Sugawara to international stardom. Read More »