IMDb > Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 4)
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters -- Taking place on Mishima’s last day, when he famously committed public seppuku, the film is punctuated by extended flashbacks to the writer’s life as well as by gloriously stylized evocations of his fictional works.
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters -- Interviews with producers Tom Luddy and Mata Yamamoto.
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters -- Taking place on acclaimed Japanese author and playwright Yukio Mishima's last day, when he famously committed public seppuku, Paul Schrader's film is punctuated by extended flashbacks to the writer's life as well as by gloriously stylized evocations of his fictional works.
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters -- Interviews with cinematographer John Bailey, production designer Eiko Ishioka, and composer Philip Glass.


User Rating:
7.9/10   4,695 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 41% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Paul Schrader (written by) &
Leonard Schrader (written by)
View company contact information for Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 September 1985 (USA) See more »
On November 25, 1970, Japan's greatest author Yukio Mishima commited an act that shocked the literary world...
A fictionalized account in four segments of the life of Japan's celebrated twentieth-century author Yukio Mishima... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
MISHIMA: A Troubled Life in Four Chapters See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Ken Ogata ... Yukio Mishima (segment "November 25, 1970") / Narrator
Masayuki Shionoya ... Morita (segment "November 25, 1970")
Hiroshi Mikami ... Cadet #1 (segment "November 25, 1970")
Junya Fukuda ... Cadet #2 (segment "November 25, 1970")
Shigeto Tachihara ... Cadet #3 (segment "November 25, 1970")
Junkichi Orimoto ... General Mashita (segment "November 25, 1970")
Naoko Ôtani ... Mother (segment "Flashbacks")
Gô Rijû ... Mishima, age 18-19 (segment "Flashbacks")
Masato Aizawa ... Mishima - age 9-14 (segment "Flashbacks")
Yuki Nagahara ... Mishima, age 5 (segment "Flashbacks")
Kyûzô Kobayashi ... Literary Friend (segment "Flashbacks")
Yuuki Kitazume ... Dancing Friend (segment "Flashbacks")
Haruko Katô ... Grandmother (segment "Flashbacks")
Yasosuke Bando ... Mizoguchi (segment "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion")
Hisako Manda ... Mariko (segment "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion")
Naomi Oki ... First Girl (segment "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion")
Miki Takakura ... Second Girl (segment "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion")
Imari Tsujikoichi Sato ... Madame (segment "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion") (as Imari Tsuji)
Kôichi Satô ... Kashiwagi (segment "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion")
Kenji Sawada ... Osamu (segment "Kyoko's House")
Reisen Ri ... Kiyomi (segment "Kyoko's House")
Setsuko Karasuma ... Mitsuko (segment "Kyoko's House")
Tadanori Yokoo ... Natsuo (segment "Kyoko's House")
Yasuaki Kurata ... Takei (segment "Kyoko's House")
Mitsuru Hirata ... Thug (segment "Kyoko's House")
Toshiyuki Nagashima ... Isao (segment "Runaway Horses")
Hiroshi Katsuno ... Lieutenant Hori (segment "Runaway Horses")
Naoya Makoto ... Kendo Instructor (segment "Runaway Horses")
Hiroki Ida ... Izutsu (segment "Runaway Horses")
Jun Negami ... Kurahara (segment "Runaway Horses")
Ryô Ikebe ... Interrogator (segment "Runaway Horses")
Toshio Hosokawa ... 'Rokumeikan' Producer
Hideo Fukuhara ... Military Doctor
Yosuke Mizuno ... 'Yukoku' Producer
Eimei Esumi ... Ichigaya Aide-de-Camp
Minoru Hodaka ... Ichigaya Colonel
Shôichirô Sakata ... Isao's Classmate

Alan Poul ... American Reporter (as Alan Mark Poul)
Ren Ebata ... Reporter #1
Yasuhiro Arai ... Reporter #2
Fumio Mizushima ... Reporter #3
Shinji Miura ... Pavilion Acolyte
Yuichi Sato ... Student
Sachiko Akagi ... Thug's Girl Friend
Tsutomu Harada ... Romeo
Mami Okamoto ... Juliet
Atsushi Takayama ... Interrogation Policeman
Kimiko Ito ... Grandmother's Nurse
Kojiro Oka ... First MP
Tatsuya Hiragaki ... Actor #1
Shinichi Nosaka ... Policeman
Sachiko Hidari ... Osamu's Mother

Roy Scheider ... Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Chishû Ryû ... A monk (uncredited)

Directed by
Paul Schrader 
Writing credits
Paul Schrader (written by) &
Leonard Schrader (written by)

Yukio Mishima (novels: "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion", "Kyoko's House" and "Runaway Horses) uncredited

Produced by
Francis Ford Coppola .... executive producer (as Francis Coppola)
George Lucas .... executive producer
Tom Luddy .... producer
Yosuke Mizuno .... line producer
Alan Poul .... associate producer (as Alan Mark Poul)
Chieko Schrader .... associate producer
Leonard Schrader .... associate producer
Mataichirô Yamamoto .... producer (as Mata Yamamoto)
Original Music by
Philip Glass 
Cinematography by
John Bailey (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Michael Chandler 
Tomoyo Oshima 
Casting by
Nobuaki Murooka 
Production Design by
Eiko Ishioka 
Art Direction by
Kazuo Takenaka (executive art director)
Set Decoration by
Kyoji Sasaki 
Costume Design by
Etsuko Yagyu 
Eiko Ishioka (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Noriyo Ida .... makeup artist
Yasuhiro Kawaguchi .... makeup artist
Masayuki Okubi .... makeup artist
Junji Ota .... hair stylist: Ken Ogata
Production Management
Whitney Green .... production manager: U.S.
Atsushi Takayama .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Takayoshi Bunai .... second assistant director
Yasuo Matsumoto .... second assistant director
Koichi Nakajima .... first assistant director
Hisashi Tôma .... second assistant director (as Hisashi Toma)
Art Department
Masato Endo .... prop assistant
Yuji Fukuzawa .... assistant property master
Yoshikazu Furuya .... prop assistant
Kyôko Heya .... art department (as Kyoko Heya)
Toshihiko Higashimukai .... prop assistant
Yoshiyuki Ishida .... art department
Yasue Ito .... art department
Kazumi Koike .... prop assistant
Kyoko Machida .... assistant property master
Yoichi Minagawa .... property master
Akira Mizuno .... set artist
Norio Morisaki .... prop assistant
Sharon Nakazato .... calligrapher: titles
Kunio Okimura .... assistant set decorator
Yasushi Ono .... art department
Shunichiro Shoda .... art department
Kazuo Suzuki .... construction coordinator
Shoichiro Takenoshita .... assistant to production designer
Sound Department
Tom Bellfort .... sound editor
Gary Clayton .... sound effects editor
Lizi Gelber .... assistant sound editor (as Lizabeth Gelber)
Soichi Inoue .... boom operator
Tom Johnson .... sound re-recording mixer
Masashi Kikuchi .... boom operator
Jerry Ross .... sound editor
Leslie Shatz .... sound designer
Leslie Shatz .... sound re-recording mixer
Jenny Stein .... assistant sound editor (as Jennifer Hodgson Stein)
Giorgio Venturoli .... sound editor
Shôtarô Yoshida .... sound recordist (as Shotaro Yoshida)
Jeff Kliment .... sound editor (uncredited)
Martin Maryska .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Greg Smith .... machine room operator (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Catherine Craig .... effects camera operator (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
James Finnerty .... key grip (as Jim Finnerty)
Yoshinori Ishizuki .... still photographer
Munetoshi Kamata .... grip assistant
Tsutomu Kamata .... lighting assistant
Toyomichi Kurita .... camera operator
Kitaro Miyazawa .... still photographer
Takamasa Nakamura .... lighting assistant
Kazuhiro Nozaki .... camera assistant
George R. Schrader .... dolly grip (as George Schrader)
Kazuo Shimomura .... gaffer
Chuuji Sueyoshi .... lighting assistant (as Chuji Sueyoshi)
Kazuo Takano .... lighting assistant
Yuichi Tamura .... camera assistant
Kazuhiko Tateishi .... lighting assistant
Masanobu Tomura .... lighting assistant
Katsuji Watanabe .... lighting assistant
Yuji Watanabe .... lighting assistant
Kagari Yasuda .... grip assistant
Animation Department
Bruce Walters .... animator: title
Casting Department
Kei Sugiura .... assistant casting director
Yoshiro Yamaguchi .... assistant casting director
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Katsumi Harada .... wardrobe assistant
Toshiaki Manki .... wardrobe assistant
Editorial Department
Rick Finney .... apprentice editor
Kathleen Korth .... first assistant editor
Tome Minami .... negative cutter: Japan
Wataru Takahashi .... assistant editor
Jenny Weyman-Cockle .... first assistant editor (as Jennifer Weyman-Cockle)
Music Department
Dan Dryden .... music recording engineer
Philip Glass .... music arranger
Kurt Munkacsi .... music producer
Michael Riesman .... conductor
Elliot Rosoff .... concertmaster
Elliot Rosoff .... musician: solo violin
Earl Shendell .... music personnel manager
Other crew
Jean A. Autrey .... production accountant (as Jean Autrey)
Francis Ford Coppola .... presenter
Susumu Ejima .... location coordinator
Mitsuo Endo .... bodybuilding instructor
Kaname Hayase .... production accountant
Akiko Hitomi .... executive production assistant
Akiko Hitomi .... script researcher
Kenichi Horii .... production assistant
Keiko Kawaguchi .... assistant: Mr. Schrader, Japan
Fusako Kawasaki .... unit publicist
George Lucas .... presenter
Chiyo Miyakoshi .... script supervisor
Kazuko Nishikawa .... production accountant
Linda Reisman .... assistant: Mr. Schrader, U.S.
Keiko Sakurai .... production assistant
Kuniko Sato .... production accountant
Chieko Schrader .... script: Japanese
Takao Shibaki .... production assistant
Jun Shiragi .... scenario conceived in collaboration with
Makito Sugiyama .... aide: Mr. Schrader
Hiroki Tomohara .... production coordinator
Hiroko Uchida .... production accountant
Kappei Uehara .... consultant: historical art
Kanzô Uni .... action director (as Kanzo Uni)
Christopher Werner .... title designer
Sidney Ganis .... special thanks
George Hayum .... special thanks
John Peters .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Mishima" - USA (short title)
See more »
121 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

There are two versions of the film, one with English narration by Roy Scheider, the other with Japanese narration by Ken Ogata. The Ogata version also has scenes added by Paul Schrader that were cut out from the original 1985 release. These scenes were added by Schrader to the Criterion DVD release. Paul Schrader : "We did quite a bit of work on it--John Bailey and I worked a week redoing the D.I. and balancing the color. We did great work to the soundtrack. We added a short little scene that I had cut out featuring Chishu Ryu, the Ozu actor, that I always regretted cutting out--we found the original negative and I put that back in. I did some sky replacement at the end of "Runaway Horses" because I wasn't really happy with the shots at the end. We were able to go back and replace the natural sky with an artificial sky. Then we went back to the original digital on Philip Glass' soundtrack and so the sound is much better on the Criterion version. We also put Ken Ogata's narration in, so now it finally has Japanese narration."See more »
Factual errors: It was Morita, not Mishima, who locked the doors. When he saw that some doors couldn't be locked, Mishima ordered them barricaded.See more »
Isao:By turning one's life into a line of poetry written in a splash of blood.See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
23 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
MISHIMA: A Troubled Life in Four Chapters, 3 April 2001
Author: irajoel ( from new york city

One would think that a film based on the life of the Japanese author Yukio Mishima would be a daunting if not impossible task. However Paul Schrader has indeed made a film "about" Mishima that is both superb & complex. While it is not a literal biography, Schrader & his co-screenwriter Leonard Scharder (his brother) have taken several incidents from his life, including his sucide and crafted what can best be described as incidental tableaus that are visually sparse and stunning. Mishima's homosexuality is almost not there, due to legal threats from his widow, but in spite of this, the film is still terrific, and one of the best films I saw in 1985. I should also mention the important contribution of Philip Glass who did the score, which adds an additional texture to the film, and is superior to the one he did for Scorsese's Kundun. Also notable is John Bailey's fine crisp beautifully colored cinematography and the great production design & costumes by Eiko Ishioka who went on to do the memorable costumes for Coppola's Dracula for which she received a well deserved Oscar. Hopefully this film will soon be available on DVD.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (26 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Other Movies of Similar Quality dgg97
The Film's Score zen_janitor
Differences Between Roy Scheider's Narration and Schrader's Narration thekarelianisthmus
John Lennon's Imagine in a Wal-Mart Cinefilodough
Criterion through Netflix? banana_on_a_skateboard
New Criterion DVD! graydons9
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
El diputado The Black Dahlia Persepolis The Battle of Algiers Fellini Satyricon
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Biography section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.