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Harakiri (1962)
"Seppuku" (original title)

 -  Action | Drama | History  -  4 August 1964 (USA)
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 14,285 users  
Reviews: 177 user | 60 critic

An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.

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Title: Harakiri (1962)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Akira Ishihama ...
...
Tetsurô Tanba ...
Hikokuro Omodaka
Masao Mishima ...
Tango Inaba
Ichirô Nakatani ...
Hayato Yazaki
Kei Satô ...
Masakazu
Yoshio Inaba ...
Jinai Chijiiwa
Hisashi Igawa ...
Retainer
Tôru Takeuchi ...
Retainer
Yoshirô Aoki ...
Umenosuke Kawabe
Tatsuo Matsumura
Akiji Kobayashi
Kôichi Hayashi
Ryûtarô Gomi ...
(as Katsuo Gomi)
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Storyline

Peace in 17th-century Japan causes the Shogunate's breakup of warrior clans, throwing thousands of samurai out of work and into poverty. An honorable end to such fate under the samurai code is ritual suicide, or hara-kiri (self-inflicted disembowelment). An elder warrior, Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai) seeks admittance to the house of a feudal lord to commit the act. There, he learns of the fate of his son-in-law, a young samurai who sought work at the house but was instead barbarically forced to commit traditional hara-kiri in an excruciating manner with a dull bamboo blade. In flashbacks the samurai tells the tragic story of his son-in-law, and how he was forced to sell his real sword to support his sick wife and child. Tsugumo thus sets in motion a tense showdown of revenge against the house. Written by Kevin Rayburn <kprayb01@homer.louisville.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

samurai | suicide | hara kiri | ronin | poverty | See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

4 August 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harakiri  »

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 »
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stage-trained actor Tatsuya Nakadai and older film actor Rentarô Mikuni could not agree on an acceptable speaking voice while sharing the film stage. Nakadai spoke loudly and Mikuni spoke softly each citing their related acting experiences for their choice. They strongly disagreed with each other. The director, Masaki Kobayashi, halted filming and stated that he would not resume until both the actors came to an agreement. They did; stopping the shooting for three days! See more »

Quotes

Kageyu Saito: The ronin from Hiroshima, Hanshiro Tsugumo, committed hara kiri. All our own men died of illness. The house of Iyi has no retainers who could be felled or wounded by some half-starved ronin.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Your Killer (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Great movie
28 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

When I first saw this movie, I did not know much about it. I saw it for a class so I was given a little background of the time period. In fact I was pretty much just told this:

This movie takes place during the time where many Samurai were left ronins, or masterless. These samurai were unable to find work and thereby were left in poverty. Eventually many would go up to clans and ask to commit seppuku.

It was dishonorable to refuse such a "noble" request, but most clans did not want samurai to kill themselves on their property so they would just pay the samurai to go elsewhere.

So I watched the movie and well... I loved it. During the class discussion the next day I found most people hated the movie. Not because it was a bad movie, but because of how it made people feel about themselves. And that's exactly why this movie is genius. If you're interested in watching this movie, do not read the summary in detail - reading the summary in detail will deprive you of what one of the key things that made the movie great IMO.


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