IMDb > Harakiri (1962)
Seppuku
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Harakiri (1962) More at IMDbPro »Seppuku (original title)

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Harakiri -- Following the collapse of his clan, unemployed samurai Hanshiro Tsugumo arrives at the manor of Lord Iyi, begging to commit ritual suicide on his property.

Overview

User Rating:
8.7/10   16,388 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay)
Yasuhiko Takiguchi (novel) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Harakiri on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 August 1964 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
8 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Disharmony of Sword and Pen See more (185 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Masaki Kobayashi 
 
Writing credits
Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay)

Yasuhiko Takiguchi (novel "Ibun rônin ki")

Yasuhiko Takiguchi 

Produced by
Tatsuo Hosoya .... producer
Gin'ichi Kishimoto .... assistant producer
Makoto Naitô .... development producer
Tsugio Saitô .... assistant producer
 
Original Music by
Tôru Takemitsu 
 
Cinematography by
Yoshio Miyajima 
 
Film Editing by
Hisashi Sagara 
 
Art Direction by
Junpei Oosumi 
Shigemasa Toda 
 
Set Decoration by
Zenichi Tajiri 
 
Costume Design by
Mitsuzô Ueda 
 
Makeup Department
Gyôuemon Kimura .... key hair stylist
Yoshiko Kimura .... hair stylist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kôji Niwa .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Shigeru Fujita .... assistant sound
Hideo Nishizaki .... sound
 
Stunts
Hideki Kato .... fight choreographer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Takao Kajihara .... still photographer
Shôjirô Kamohara .... gaffer
Tamotsu Okutani .... assistant camera
Shigeyuki Sekine .... assistant photographer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Chôkan Kawamura .... costume researcher
Shigenosuke Sumida .... costume researcher
 
Editorial Department
Junpei Segashira .... assistant editor
Sofu Teshigahara .... titles
 
Other crew
Kaneshige Inokuma .... historical researcher
Ryôzô Nakamura .... equipment
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Seppuku" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
133 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Germany:16 (re-rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:X | UK:15 (DVD rating) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:18 (cut version)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
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...See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Jeanie's Magic Box (1972)See more »

FAQ

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53 out of 61 people found the following review useful.
Disharmony of Sword and Pen, 21 March 2007
Author: Galina from Virginia, USA

I've said it once about another movie, incidentally by the other great Japanese director as well and I want to repeat my words in regard to "Harakiri": "There are good, very good, and even great movies. But among them there are just a few that go beyond great. They belong to the league of their own". Masaki Kobayashi's "Harakiri" aka "Seppuku" is one of them. The film of rare power and humanism, of highest artistic achievements, profoundly moving, tragic like the best Shakespeare's plays, universal and timeless even if it takes place in the faraway country of 1630, by the words of one of the reviewers "Harakiri" "is to cinema as the Sistine Chapel is to painting. Unsurpassable!"

The film grabbed me from the very first shot, from its opening credits with their perfect harmony of kanji (I believe it is a correct word to describe the writings) characters, with the unusual disturbing score and with the dark beauty of the images. And then the story begins that centers on Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai), one of hundreds or maybe even thousands unemployed lord less samurais, ronin, that in the blessed times of peace had not many choices to adjust to new life and often preferred to commit a ritual suicide, hara-kiri or seppuku on the property of the wealthy estate owners. According to Bushido, the way of the samurai, "One who is a samurai must before all things keep constantly in mind, by day and by night . . . the fact that he has to die. That is his chief business."

At the same time, samurai and anti-samurai film, "Harakiri" offers the masterfully screened scenes of sword-fights, not plentiful but exquisitely choreographed, perfectly paced and unbearably intense but the film is much more than that. It is also a gripping court drama where the truth is unfolded in the flashbacks. The viewers are allowed to look closer at the noble Samurai code of behavior and to reflect on how its abuse impacts the fate of an individual and the society in general. Compelling, poetic, and tragic, the movie has one of the most pessimistic endings ever that makes you wonder how the history is made, how the historical events are interpreted and who decides what would be written in the chronicles and important documents and what would be left out.

A Masterpiece, one of the best movies ever made, "Harakiri" deserves all its praise. It is not in my nature to force my opinion on anyone but if you call yourself a movie buff or a movie lover, you MUST see this film.

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