Harakiri (1962)
"Seppuku" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  4 August 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 17,052 users  
Reviews: 186 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?


While filming, Tatsuya Nakadai was afraid during most of the sword and spear fighting scenes because real swords were being used, a practice now forbidden in Japanese films. His concern was not alleviated even though professional swordsmen were employed during the choreographed swordplay. See more »


Hanshiro Tsugumo: The suspicious mind conjures its own demons.
See more »


Referenced in Jeanie's Magic Box (1972) 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.

41 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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