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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 14,853 users  
Reviews: 179 user | 63 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

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

4 August 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harakiri  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Hanshiro Tsugumo: Swordsmanship untested in battle is like the art of swimming mastered on land.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2011 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent cinematography
20 April 2006 | by (Genova,Italy) – See all my reviews

It's quite surprising that some old masterpieces fall easily into the oblivion. Harakiri (Seppuku) is a good example. Quite simply this is one of the best Japanese movies I've ever seen.

Everything is this movie is exceptional: the cinematography is top notch, the acting is very good, the direction is almost perfect.

Tragedy, revenge, ethics, political contents...this movie has all of these elements wrapped in an exceptional 16th century samurai environment.

The only defects I could see in this movie is that someone may feel it is slightly slow (as actually there are very few action scenes...this is not a "chambara" movie!) and the fact that it is not dubbed (at least in the Italian edition)...so you lose some of the details while reading the subtitles....that is, unless you understand Japanese.

If you like black & white Japanese movies this is definitely a must see. GREAT.


13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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