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Kwaidan (1964)
"Kaidan" (original title)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 8,517 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 68 critic

A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Kwaidan (1964)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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The story takes place in feudal Japan, when any commerce with the rest of the world was strictly prohibited. An idealist suddenly appears in an isolated inn (the one that the title refers ... See full summary »

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Komaki Kurihara, Wakako Sakai
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michiyo Aratama ...
First wife (segment "Kurokami")
Misako Watanabe ...
Second Wife (segment "Kurokami")
Rentarô Mikuni ...
Husband (segment "Kurokami")
Kenjirô Ishiyama ...
Father (segment "Kurokami")
Ranko Akagi ...
Mother (segment "Kurokami")
Fumie Kitahara ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Kappei Matsumoto ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Yoshiko Ieda ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Otome Tsukimiya ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Kenzô Tanaka ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Kiyoshi Nakano ...
(segment "Kurokami")
...
Mi nokichi (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Keiko Kishi ...
Yuki the Snow Maiden (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Yûko Mochizuki ...
Minokichi's mother (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Kin Sugai ...
Village woman (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Edit

Storyline

This film contains four distinct, separate stories. "Black Hair": A poor samurai who divorces his true love to marry for money, but finds the marriage disastrous and returns to his old wife, only to discover something eerie about her. "The Woman in the Snow": Stranded in a snowstorm, a woodcutter meets an icy spirit in the form of a woman spares his life on the condition that he never tell anyone about her. A decade later he forgets his promise. "Hoichi the Earless": Hoichi is a blind musician, living in a monastery who sings so well that a ghostly imperial court commands him to perform the epic ballad of their death battle for them. But the ghosts are draining away his life, and the monks set out to protect him by writing a holy mantra over his body to make him invisible to the ghosts. But they've forgotten something. "In a Cup of Tea": a writer tells the story of a man who keep seeing a mysterious face reflected in his cup of tea. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tea | snow | samurai | promise | spirit | See All (250) »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ghost Stories  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

JPY 350,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the film adaptation of four stories from the book "Kwaidan: Stories and studies of strange things" by Lafcadio Hearn and is actually a collection of Japanese ghost stories, taken from various sources, some even stemming from China. Originally published in 1904, there are actually seventeen ghost stories in total, as well as insect studies including butterflies, mosquitoes and ants. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lake of Dracula (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Masterpiece of Japanese Supernatural
16 November 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

This film presents four supernatural tales:

"Black Hair" ("O Cabelo Negro"): In the ancient Kyoto, a samurai decides to leave his poor but beloved wife and become a rich man marrying a wealthy wife. He misses his wife, and years later, when he returns to her, he finds a surprise waiting for him.

"The Woman in the Snow" ("A Mulher da Neve"): An old and a young woodmen are surprised by a snow storm, and the younger is saved by the spirit of a snow woman. He promises to never tell what had happened to him. Years later, he breaks his promise, disclosing the secret to his wife.

"Hoichi the Earless" ("Hoichi, O Sem Orelhas"): The blind Hoichi lives in a temple and magnificently plays his biwa and tells the sea battle of Dan-No-Ura between the clans of Genji and Heike. One night he is invited to perform his skills to a rich family and their guests in their house.

"In a Cup of Tea" ("Em Uma Xícara de Chá"): a samurai drinks water in a cup of tea, and he sees the soul of a former samurai. Later, he is haunted by the spirit.

"Kaidan" is the first work of Masaki Kobayashi that I have had the chance to see, and I am really impressed with such masterpiece of Japanese supernatural. Beginning with the visual using of awesome colors and cinematography, which look like paints on exhibition, all the stories are amazingly great without exception. The title of the third story spoils the twist, and the storyline of the second story was adapted in one episode of "Tales From the Crypt" years later. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Kwaidan, As Quatro Faces do Medo" ("Kwaidan, The Four Faces of Fear")


19 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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