IMDb > Tora no o wo fumu otokotachi (1945)

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Release Date:
28 February 1960 (USA) See more »
A Japanese general and his men disguise themselves as monks in order to pass an enemy border patrol. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Japanese Jackanapes See more (25 total) »


  (in credits order)
Denjirô Ôkôchi ... Benkei
Susumu Fujita ... Togashi
Ken'ichi Enomoto ... Porter

Masayuki Mori ... Kamei

Takashi Shimura ... Kataoka
Akitake Kôno ... Ise
Yoshio Kosugi ... Suruga
Hanshirô Iwai ... Yoshitsune (as Shubo Nishina)
Dekao Yokoo ... Hidachibo
Yasuo Hisamatsu ... Kajiwara's Messenger
Sôji Kiyokawa ... Togashi's Messenger

Directed by
Akira Kurosawa 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Nobumitsu Kanze  play "Ataka"
Akira Kurosawa 
Gohei Namiki  play "Kanjinchô"

Produced by
Motohiko Itô .... producer
Original Music by
Tadashi Hattori 
Cinematography by
Takeo Itô 
Production Design by
Kazuo Kubo 
Production Management
Jin Usami .... unit production manager
Sound Department
Keiji Hasebe .... sound
Ichirô Minawa .... sound effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Iwaharu Hiraoka .... lighting technician
Koichi Shikida .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Toshio Gotô .... negative cutter
Other crew
Hachiko Toi .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail" - International (English title) (literal English title), USA (literal English title)
See more »
59 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

British filmmaker Michael Powell visited Toho studio just after the film was finished, and Akira Kurosawa showed him the film, saying that Powell's only repeated comment was "It's wonderful."See more »
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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Japanese Jackanapes, 4 September 2010
Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach

I chose to watch this on the way home from a trip where Japanese heritage was central. I have saved this early Kurosawa for such a special occasion, knowing that it would be heavily stylized. I thought that would detract from the effect; surely that is what most commentors say.

Cinematically, this has the essential Kurosawa: layered staging, profound cosmic forces testing human resources and strong character extremes.

The central character is disowned royalty, determined to set things right. We see little of him, and not even his face until things are nearly over.

I believe that it is Kurosawa's intention that he be the watcher and motivator both. As our on screen surrogate, this places us as both the watcher and the governing truths. It is a very clever reversal of the tradition, strong even then and even in Japan. The reversal is overt: he/we displace a comic porter, a simpleton that in a slightly less modern story would be the watcher.

He does watch, but as the thing evolves, he becomes more and more a featured act. Coming at the beginning of Kurosawa's career, it is tempting to think of this as paired with "Ran," the fool of the beginning to the King Lear of the end. This fool is not wise, but he is present in a way that no one else is, allowing us to carry the film.

The "film within" in this case is an impromptu prospectus for a rebuilt temple. I know of no more dramatically effective sequence than this, witnessed by an honorable man who takes the blessing seriously, and a foppish villain who creeps around during the speech. These are the fundamentals. As time would go, he could work with something better than a two-layered sound stage, and more complex narratives than this simple vignette. But I think the soul and sound of this is every bit as good as his best.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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