Harakiri (1962)
"Seppuku" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  4 August 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 17,319 users  
Reviews: 185 user | 71 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.



(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Akira Ishihama ...
Tetsurô Tanba ...
Hikokuro Omodaka
Masao Mishima ...
Tango Inaba
Ichirô Nakatani ...
Hayato Yazaki
Kei Satô ...
Yoshio Inaba ...
Jinai Chijiiwa
Hisashi Igawa ...
Tôru Takeuchi ...
Yoshirô Aoki ...
Umenosuke Kawabe
Tatsuo Matsumura
Akiji Kobayashi
Kôichi Hayashi
Ryûtarô Gomi


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


Action | Drama | History


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Release Date:

4 August 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harakiri  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The clan featured in the film, the Ii (sometimes spelled Iyi) have produced one of the most important and controversial figures of modern Japanese history: Ii Naosuke, Chief policymaker of the Tokugawa Shogunate best known for signing the Harris Treaty with the United States, granting access to ports for trade to American merchants and seamen and extraterritoriality to American citizens. See more »


Hanshiro Tsugumo: When my master's house fell we immediately left the domain and moved to Edo. The streets of Edo were crowded with ronin - flotsam from the Battle of Sekigahara. In former times, other clans would have gladly taken in any ronin who'd earned a name for himself. But in an era no longer in need of warriors or horses, so peaceful that no wind even rustled the leaves on the trees, it was a constant struggle simply to find a meal. Indeed, it shames me to recall our miserable lives of these last eight ...
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Referenced in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2011 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Great movie!!!!!
7 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

Little did I know that when my teacher said that this movie would be one of the best, if not the best, movies I have ever seen, that he would be telling the truth. I thought the movie was great. I thought `Hara-kiri' was very well written and well developed. I originally thought I was in for another Asian samurai movie filled with sword swinging, kung fu action, but it was so much more than that. It was a movie that shined a light on Japanese traditions and the hypocrisy of those in authoritative places. I really enjoyed the movie. It was one of those movies that if you fell to sleep on it or weren't paying attention you couldn't just fall back in line and think you could still follow the story. There was so much going on that you just wanted to give it all your attention. I enjoyed it because even though it `Die Hard' action packed, it still captured you. To one who knows that `hara-kiri' refers to suicide, you would probably assume that the movie would be grim and coarse. However, it was absolutely the opposite. It was a movie that really helped me to appreciate the strong and noble traditions of ancient Japan.

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