IMDb > Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
Sanshô dayû
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Sansho the Bailiff (1954) More at IMDbPro »Sanshô dayû (original title)

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8.4/10   10,182 votes »
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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Fuji Yahiro (screenplay)
Yoshikata Yoda (screenplay)
View company contact information for Sansho the Bailiff on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1955 (USA) See more »
A film of unparalleled beauty by the great Japanese Master Kenji Mizoguchi
In mediaeval Japan a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A haunting, heartbreaking masterpiece See more (48 total) »


  (in credits order)

Kinuyo Tanaka ... Tamaki
Yoshiaki Hanayagi ... Zushiô
Kyôko Kagawa ... Anju
Eitarô Shindô ... Sanshô dayû
Akitake Kôno ... Taro
Masao Shimizu ... Masauji Taira
Ken Mitsuda ... Prime Minister Fujiwara
Kazukimi Okuni ... Norimura
Yôko Kosono ... Kohagi
Kimiko Tachibana ... Namiji
Ichirô Sugai ... Minister of Justice
Teruko Ômi ... Nakagimi
Masahiko Kato ... Young Zushio
Keiko Enami ... Young Anju
Bontarô Akemi ... Kichiji
Chieko Naniwa ... Ubatake
Kikue Môri ... Priestess
Ryôsuke Kagawa ... Ritsushi Kumotake
Kanji Koshiba ... Kaikudo Naito
Shinobu Araki ... Sadaya
Reiko Kongô ... Shiono
Shôzô Nanbu ... Masasue Taira
Ryônosuke Azuma ... Landlord
Saburô Date ... Kimpei
Sumao Ishihara ... Yakko
Ichirô Amano ... Guard
Yukio Horikita ... Jiro
Hachirô Ôkuni ... Saburo Miyazaki
Jun Fujikawa ... Kanamaru
Akiyoshi Kikuno ... Guard
Sôji Shibata ... Sado Man
Akira Shimizu ... Slave Trader
Goro Nakanishi ... Guard
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Naoki Fujima
Sachio Horikita
Eiji Ishikura ... Farmer #1
Midori Komatsu ... Harbour's lady
Keiko Koyanagi
Kazuko Maeda
Tokio Oki ... Harbour's man
Shiro Ozaki ... Farmer #3
Akira Shiga ... Farmer #2
Sachiko Sôma ... Sugano

Directed by
Kenji Mizoguchi 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ogai Mori  short story "Sanshô dayû"
Fuji Yahiro  screenplay
Yoshikata Yoda  screenplay

Produced by
Masaichi Nagata .... producer
Original Music by
Fumio Hayasaka 
Kinshichi Kodera 
Tamekichi Mochizuki 
Cinematography by
Kazuo Miyagawa 
Film Editing by
Mitsuzô Miyata 
Production Design by
Hisakazu Tsuji 
Art Direction by
Kisaku Itô 
Set Decoration by
Kosaburô Nakajima 
Costume Design by
Shima Yoshizane  (as Shima Yoshimi)
Makeup Department
Ritsu Hanai .... hair stylist
Masanori Kobayashi .... makeup artist (as M. Kobayashi)
Production Management
Hiroshi Ozawa .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tokuzô Tanaka .... assistant director
Art Department
Akira Naitô .... assistant art director
Uichirô Yamamoto .... set designer
Sound Department
Iwao Ôtani .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
En'nosuke Asada .... still photographer
Yasuo Iwamoto .... lighting technician
Kenichi Okamoto .... gaffer
Shôzô Tanaka .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Yoshio Ueno .... costume researcher
Other crew
Yoshikazu Fujiwara .... architecture researcher
Emi Kimura .... archivist
Genjirô Nakamura .... stage manager
Tasaburô Oota .... background design
Hiroshi Shibata .... movement director

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sanshô dayû" - Japan (original title)
"Legend of Bailiff Sansho" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
124 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Kenji Mizoguchi left the composer alone to do the music. He also did that before in his previous films Ugetsu Monogatari as much as Chikamatsu Monogatari.See more »
Masauji Taira:[Speaking to his son Zushio on the verge of being exiled and separated from his family] Zushio, I wonder if you'll become a stubborn man like me. You may be too young to understand, but hear me out anyway. Without mercy, man is like a beast. Even if you are hard on yourself, be merciful to others. Men are created equal. Everyone is entitled to their happiness.See more »
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25 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
A haunting, heartbreaking masterpiece, 24 October 1999
Author: sansho-4 from Seattle, WA

Man's inhumanity to man is presented here with no artifice. This has long been a favorite of mine, although it's difficult to sell many others on the premise -- an honest, benevolent Governor in medieval Japan is imprisoned by the military regime, forcing his wife, son, and daughter to fend for themselves. They are soon captured, separated, and sold into slavery, but remained determined to reunite.

There's something about the medieval Japanese setting that lends itself to explorations of grandiose themes painted with a broad brush. This will break your heart, and belongs on your shelf next to "Ran".

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (48 total) »

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