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Sanshiro Sugata (1943)
"Sugata Sanshirô" (original title)

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Sugata, a young man, struggles to learn the nuance and meaning of judo, and in doing so comes to learn something of the meaning of life.



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Title: Sanshiro Sugata (1943)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Denjirô Ôkôchi ...
Susumu Fujita ...
Yukiko Todoroki ...
Ryûnosuke Tsukigata ...
Hansuke Murai, Sayo's father
Ranko Hanai ...
Sugisaku Aoyama ...
Tsunetami Iimura
Ichirô Sugai ...
Police Chief Mishima
Yoshio Kosugi ...
Master Saburo Kodama
Kokuten Kôdô ...
Buddhist Priest
Michisaburo Segawa ...
Akitake Kôno ...
Sôji Kiyokawa ...
Kunio Mita ...
Akira Nakamura ...
Toranosuki Niiseki


Sanshiro, a strong stubborn youth, comes to the city to apprentice at a jujitsu school. His first night, he sees Yano in action, a master of judo, a more spiritual art, and he begs to be Yano's student. As the youth learns technique, he must also learn "satori," the calm acceptance of Nature's law. If he can balance strength and control, then judo may become the training regimen for the city's police, Sanshiro can gain respect from an old teacher in a jujitsu school, and he can win the hand of Sayo, that teacher's daughter, who is also sought by jujitsu's finest master, the implacable Higaki, who vows to kill Sanshiro in a midnight fight on a windswept mountainside. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

28 April 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sanshiro Sugata  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs


| (original)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The book "Sanshiro Sugata," from which the movie was based, was written by Tsuneo Tomita who at the time of the book release was a 38 year old judo master turned novelist. The Sanshiro character was sculpted around Tsueno's teacher and celebrated judo expert Shiro Saigo (1866-1922). See more »


Featured in Kurosawa: The Last Emperor (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

6 November 2000 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

This film was Kurasawa's big splash. The story based on the legends of Shiro Sakata, Jigoro Kano's (the founder of Kodokan Judo) bad boy is told with the art that only Kurasawa could muster. Fantastic camera work, tense and controlled action and done when Japan was losing the war. The film was competently remade in the early 60's with Mifune and Koyama. But, Koyama could not capture the simple intensity of Fujita in the original title role. A great monument to one of the greatest directors of all times, this film must be seen more than once to be thoroughly enjoyed.

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