Tag Archives: Kôji Tsuruta

Hiroshi Inagaki – Zoku Miyamoto Musashi: Ichijôji no kettô AKA Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (1955)

Synopsis:
Hiroshi Inagaki’s acclaimed Samurai Trilogy is based on the novel that has been called Japan’s Gone with the Wind. This sweeping saga of the legendary seventeenth-century samurai Musashi Miyamoto (powerfully portrayed by Toshiro Mifune) plays out against the turmoil of a devastating civil war. The Trilogy (whose first part won an Academy Award) follows Musashi’s odyssey from unruly youth to enlightened warrior. In the second and most violent installment, Duel at Ichijoji Temple, Musashi beats a samurai armed with a chain and sickle and is later set upon by eighty samurai disciples—orchestrated by the sinister Kojiro—while the two women who love him watch helplessly. Read More »

Hiroshi Inagaki – Miyamoto Musashi kanketsuhen: kettô Ganryûjima AKA Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956)

Synopsis:
Hiroshi Inagaki’s acclaimed Samurai Trilogy is based on the novel that has been called Japan’s Gone with the Wind. This sweeping saga of the legendary seventeenth-century samurai Musashi Miyamoto (powerfully portrayed by Toshiro Mifune) plays out against the turmoil of a devastating civil war. The Trilogy (whose first part won an Academy Award) follows Musashi’s odyssey from unruly youth to enlightened warrior. In the third installment, Duel at Ganryu Island, Musashi reunites tragically with the women who love him, and battles for samurai supremacy in a climactic confrontation with his lifelong nemesis. Read More »

Tomu Uchida – Jinsei-gekijô: Hishakaku to kiratsune aka Theater of Life: Hishakaku and Kiratsune (1968)

Quote:
Hishakaku (Koji Tsuruta), a kyakubun (visitor) with the Kokin gang, frees his lover Otoyo (Junko Fuji) from a brothel run by boss Oyokota (Tatsuo Endo), accompanied by Miyagawa (Ken Takakura) and other Kokin gangsters — and consequently brawls with Oyokota’s gang. After killing several of Oyokota’s men, including a former anikibun (elder brother) who has betrayed him, Hishakaku flees, with the police in close pursuit, and takes refuge in a strange house. There, he encounters Kiratsune (Ryutaro Tatsumi), an old man who calmly invites him in, gives him sake, and advises him to give himself up. Struck by the nobility of the old man’s character and the sageness of his advice, Hishakaku does as he says. 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 »

Shigehiro Ozawa – Tosei-nin retsuden AKA Yakuza’s Tale (1969)

Synopsis
A yakuza member embarks on a trail of revenge for his murdered boss. Senzo, the successor of the Mita Family, searches for the man bearing a tattoo of a dragon who is said to be responsible for the death of their former leader. – Letterboxd Read More »

Sadao Nakajima – Nihon ansatsu hiroku AKA Memoirs of Japanese Assassins (1969)

Quote:

This anthology film consists of nine incidents in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when assassins changed the course of Japanese history. Among them are the Sakurada Gate Incident that occurred in 1860 (Assassination of Ii Naosuke) and the February 26th Incident of 1936, when a group of Japanese Army troops attempted a coup d’état. The vignettes are all played out in ultra-violent form by a large number of Japan’s major stars, including Wakayama Tomisaburo, Sugawara Bunta, Tsuruta Koji, Takakura Ken, Chiba Shinichi, and Kataoka Chiezo. Read More »