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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8.3/10   8,887 votes »
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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:
exceptionally sad tale of the evils of medieval Japanese society See more (40 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 Kongo ... Shiono
Shôzô Nanbu ... Masasue Taira
Ryonosuke Azuma ... Landlord
Saburô Date ... Kimpei
Sumao Ishihara ... Yakko
Ichirô Amano ... Guard
Yukio Horikita ... Jiro
Hachiro Okuni ... 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 Ito 
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
Uichiro Yamamoto .... set designer
Sound Department
Iwao Ôtani .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Ennosuke 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 »
Taro:[to Zushio] I found that humans have little sympathy for things that don't directly concern them. They're ruthless. Unless those hearts can be changed, the world you dream of cannot come true. If you wish to live honestly with your conscience, keep close to the Buddha.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Water (2005/I)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
exceptionally sad tale of the evils of medieval Japanese society, 8 July 2005
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

The story begins with the governor of a province being stripped of his position because he was too kind and thought foremost about the welfare of his people. This would upset the terror and repression used to control the people! His family is cast out of the land and it's unknown what the exact fate was of the kind governor. Not too long after that, the family is torn apart by bandits and the 13 and 8 year-old children are sold into slavery. Their mother, unknown to them, if forced into prostitution. Now if the movie only wallowed in this misery, I would have no doubt hated it. However, what is interesting is what the boy does 10 later when he finally escapes his slave master. His actions and his subsequent attempts to find his family make the movie well worth seeing. Yes, it is quite depressing but there are some good moments as well and the story kept my attention throughout.

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See more (40 total) »

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