7.6/10
365
1 user 15 critic

A Sun-Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era (1957)

Bakumatsu taiyôden (original title)
Set in the last few years of the shogun's rule, this period/ensemble movie depicts the lives of the young and the restless at a whorehouse. The protagonist is Saheiji, a resourceful, witty ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Keiichi Tanaka), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Schoolteacher Hisako Oishi forms an emotional bond with her pupils and teaches them various virtues, while at the same time worrying about their future.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
Stars: Hideki Gôko, Itsuo Watanabe, Makoto Miyagawa
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The lives of two slum neighbors, one of a happy-go-lucky gambler and the other of a poor ronin, converge when the two get involved with the affairs of a powerful samurai official and his gangsters.

Director: Sadao Yamanaka
Stars: Chôjûrô Kawarasaki, Kan'emon Nakamura, Tsuruzô Nakamura
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Three thieves escape from a heist, one of them killing the other two. He is sheltered by a prostitute and sought after by the police, but only after ten years his true motivation unravels.

Director: Tomu Uchida
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Sachiko Hidari, Kôji Mitsui
Naked Youth (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Kiyoshi is a brooding young man who treats women solely as objects. Makoto is a young woman who is just reaching her sexual awakening. She and her friends accept car rides from middle aged ... See full summary »

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Miyuki Kuwano, Yûsuke Kawazu, Yoshiko Kuga
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The Yagyu family's elder son sends an old and cheap looking pot to his young brother, ignoring that the pot contains a map showing where it was hidden a treasure of a million ryo. He tries ... See full summary »

Director: Sadao Yamanaka
Stars: Denjirô Ôkôchi, Kiyozo, Kunitarô Sawamura
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An engineer from Tokyo arrives on a drought-ridden tropical island to drill a well to power a nearby sugar mill. He meets the inbred Futori family, hated by the locals for breaking religious customs.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Chôichirô Kawarasaki, Kazuo Kitamura
Repast (1951)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Michiyo lives in the small place Osaka and is not happy with her marriage, all she does is cook and clean for her husband.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Ken Uehara, Setsuko Hara, Yukiko Shimazaki
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the ... See full summary »

Director: Yoshimitsu Morita
Stars: Yûsaku Matsuda, Jûzô Itami, Saori Yuki
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kazuo Hasegawa, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarô Shindô
Crazed Fruit (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Spending their summer on an exotic beach, two brothers fall for the same beautiful girl, whose charm and looks may hide more than they they bargained for.

Director: Kô Nakahira
Stars: Masahiko Tsugawa, Yûjirô Ishihara, Mie Kitahara
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During the violent chaos of post-War Japanese black market, a young gangster called Shozo Hirono has to keep up with the rapid shifts of power between unscrupulous bosses.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata, Kunie Tanaka
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two geisha sisters lead a hard life in the Gion district of Kyoto. After one of them feels obliged to support a bankrupt businessman, the other sister sets up various schemes to get rid of him.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Isuzu Yamada, Yôko Umemura, Benkei Shiganoya
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Inokori Saheiji, the stayer
...
Osome, the prostitute
Yôko Minamida ...
Koharu, the prostitute
...
Izumi Ashikawa ...
Ohisa, the maid
Toshiyuki Ichimura ...
Mokubei
Nobuo Kaneko ...
Denbei
Hisano Yamaoka ...
Otatsu - Denbei's wife
Yasukiyo Umeno ...
Tokusaburô - Otatsu's son
Masao Oda ...
Zenpachi
Masumi Okada ...
Kisuke
Toshio Takahara
Tomio Aoki ...
Tadasuke
Sanpei Mine ...
Sanpei
Kin Sugai ...
Okuma
Edit

Storyline

Set in the last few years of the shogun's rule, this period/ensemble movie depicts the lives of the young and the restless at a whorehouse. The protagonist is Saheiji, a resourceful, witty free spirit. It's 1862, 6 years before the Shogun turned his political power over to the Emperor. Penniless Saheiji splashes out at a famous Shinagawa whorehouse. He's forced to stay on at the whorehouse to repay his debt. At first Saheiji is regarded as an unwelcome guest who never leaves but it turns out he is not just a poor grifter. None of the whorehouse's guests, hosts, servants and attending ladies are innocent but they are pragmatic schemers. Saheiji soon endears himself to them all and solves many whorehouse disputes with his wit. But it is slowly revealed that the seemingly perfect Saheiji is suffering from tuberculosis and his future is uncertain... Written by Nikkatsu

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 July 1957 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Movements
19 April 2013 | by (Jyväskylä, Finland) – See all my reviews

I have rarely had so toweringly high expectations for a film as I had for Kawashima Yûzô's "Bakumatsu taiyôden" (1957). So high that I knew this wouldn't be a good thing unless I exerted to utmost patience. Most often great films loaded with too much (false, misguided) expectation from the part of this particular viewer tend to disappoint on first viewing and only grow in the mind to be fully appreciated later, sometimes years after.

But what a hoot this film is! The first expository reel where Kawashima puts all the plates spinning is breathtakingly relentless. Doing comedy right so it's funny enough but doesn't lose steam is as difficult as it gets. The best comedy, in my mind, injects the whole world and how that world functions with a sense of the askew, after which basically anything can happen, even when on face value what is seen appears "normal". The comedy then arises spontaneously as the characters interact with the world, the narrative sometimes ebbing towards drama, sometimes flowing towards bursts of comedy.

This ebb and flow is acutely present in the film. It's a riotously funny film in dialogue, gesture and movement, and it has a free-flowing spirit. But why it works for me as well as it does is because it's full of fleshed out characters, much like Yamanaka's "Ninjô kami fûsen" (1938), which not only makes the comedy more bittersweet, but also gives it gravity. Not "gravity" in the sense of 'seriousness or solemnity of manner', really, but more like a central point from which it gushes. "Gravity" in the sense of purpose and home. For me the most effective form of comedy is the one that allows the viewer to see oneself in the characters' stead. It's us whom things are done to, and who get to experience that catharsis that might or might not come. I haven't seen any other films by Kawashima so I can't credit him as much as he probably deserves, but this sense of humanity is strong in Imamura's films, and it's here, too. It might sound like the mother of clichés (which in itself sounds awfully soppy) but when one cares about the characters, their comings and goings don't have to amount to much for the viewer to like and relate them, no matter how different in likeness, manner, ambition. In short, these characters feel like real people who are playing in constant role-play.

Of course it helps how cunningly Kawashima connects all this to then-modern times. The narrator towards the beginning says the film is not about modern Shinagawa and the changes to prostitution, then proceeding to tell us what we need to know about the period (it's set in the second year of the Bunkyu Era, in 1862, six years before the fall of the Shogun) but then keeps reminding us of the parallels constantly (Imamura's "Buta to gunkan", 1961, actually plays a similarly delicious game of irony with us in its opening credits). Kawashima even had in mind to have Frankie Sakai's Inokori, or the Grifter, to not only escape down the road in the very end, but to burst out of the studio. Without going to such lengths, the point is still very well taken. Kawashima uses visuals counterpoint (marching procession/praying to Buddha; "beautiful sea view"/dead dog in the water, people dumping their trash at the docks) to absolutely great effect.

There's a very interesting remark made by Fujimoto Giichi concerning Kawashima's working methods, quoted by Frederick Veith in the essay "Bakumatsu taiyô-den" (available in the booklet of the Region B Blu-ray released in the Masters of Cinema series): "First he would visualize everyone's movements in the film by drawing lines on a plan of the set. Only then did he think about their characters and situation. But it was more important to him to determine what kind of places people were moving in and out of, rather than what they actually did in them." I think you can see this in the film, and it's very enjoyable. I've now seen this twice, spending some time with this notion the second time.

At this writing there are only 143 votes for this film. Hopefully people get to see this now that it's available in a handsome edition.


10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?