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Harakiri (1962)

Seppuku (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, History | 4 August 1964 (USA)
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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(screenplay), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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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
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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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Details

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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?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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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Connections

Featured in Through the Mist (2009) 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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