Harakiri (1962)
"Seppuku" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  4 August 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 17,321 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>

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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?


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 »


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.
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Referenced in Hero (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Rituals and appearances aren't just about the Japanese
17 July 2005 | by (Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques, Norfolk, VA.) – See all my reviews

"Harakiri" ("Seppuku") (Japanese, 1962): It is the 17th century. A young Samurai warrior arrives at a mansion, asking to perform his ritual death there. In a series of flashbacks, we learn who he is, why he came, and what has occurred since. Although quietly told by another ex-warrior (about whom we also learn more), this is an interesting story that builds in complexity and tension. Debates about rituals and appearances may at first seem to hold more significance in old Japan than in the contemporary United States, but it is not difficult to translate and implement such thoughts. Love, honor, duty, family, children, saving "face", determination, desperation…they all exist in OUR everyday lives. Dramatically photographed in beautiful black & white, given a strong Japanese score, and paced so that even the mildly patient will be glad they saw it, "Harakiri" is epically huge, and a must-see for story & film lovers.

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