Tag Archives: Tsunehiko Watase

Haruhiko Mimura – Amagi goe AKA Amagi Pass (1983)

Quote:
Based on novel by MATSUMOTO Seicho
The year is 1926. Unhappy with his drunken father and the constant bickering, 15-year-old Takichi runs away from home to Mt. Amagi. During his lonely escapade, he meets interesting characters, including a beautiful prostitute named Hana. They stumble upon a drifter who is later found dead. Hana is implicated in the murder, but she is released for the lack of evidence. Thirty years later, they’ve gone on with their separate lives. Takichi hears of Hana’s whereabouts from a retired police investigator. He embarks on yet another journey to find her… 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: 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 »

Satsuo Yamamoto – Kôtei no inai hachigatsu AKA August without Emperor (1978)

Taking the Chilean coup as an example, a group of young officers plan to overthrow the Japanese government on V-J Day. They aim to abolish the post-war constitution, restore the national army and revive the traditional spirit of Japan. As the conspiracy is exposed, the coup squadrons are wiped out one by one. The remaining squadron takes over a night train bound for Tokyo. Read More »

Haruki Kadokawa – Aijou monogatari AKA Curtain Call (1984)

Miho Nakamichi, an orphan adopted by Haruko, dreams to star in a musical. One day, Haruko promised Miho that she could go on a journey to find her real father, “Daddy-Long-Legs”, who sends a bouquet of flowers every birthday, once she can wear a special pair of pointe shoes. The day finally arrives and Miho’s small adventure begins. Read More »

Motohiro Torii – Sanbiki no mesubachi AKA Three Pretty Devils (1970)

Quote:
A trio of teenaged tarts try to earn money through shoplifting and prostitution scams and get into trouble deep. Hilarious scenes where the girls try to pick up gaijin at Osaka’s World Expo 70. A colorful kaleidoscope of nudity, violence, drama, yakuza machinations and music, with cameos by transvestite (transsexual?) singer/actor Ikehata Shinnosuke (aka “Peter”, see here and there), who still acts today and did voiceover for Death Note: The Last Name (!?) and Wada “Akko” Akiko who beats up yakuza thugs and croons the film’s theme song. Read More »

Shinji Sômai – Sêrâ-fuku to kikanjû AKA Sailor Suit and Machine Gun (1981)

Synopsis:
High school student Hoshi Izumi (Yakushimaru Hiroko) is just a normal teenaged schoolgirl, except for the fact that her father is a yakuza boss. When her father suddenly dies, Izumi inherits his position as the clan head. Pulled into the wheeling, dealing, and fighting of the mob world, Izumi slowly comes into her own as she leads the gang in search of her father’s murderer. Read More »