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


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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:
Stunning 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?

Based on the (Mishima's) works : Sun and Steel (1970), Confessions Of A Mask (1948), Runaway Horses (1969), Kyoko's House (1959), The Temple Of The Golden Pavilion (1956).See more »
Factual errors: There were two cadets outside the building, not just Morita.See more »
Mizoguchi:[stuttering] It was as s-small as this, but grew so big... it filled the world like... tremendous music. That's the p-p-power of beauty's eternity. It poisons us. It blocks out our lives.
Mariko:Please, enough of your pride! Beauty is like a rotten tooth. It rubs against your tongue, hurting, insisting on its importance. Finally you go to a dentist and have it pulled. Then you look at the small bloody tooth in your hand and say, "Is that all it was?" That's the way it is.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Videoclub (2013)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Stunning, 9 July 2008
Author: ametaphysicalshark from

"Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters" is one of those films which is extremely hard to write about simply because it hit me on such an emotional level and stunned me with its artistry to the point where writing a review or comment on the film seems trivial and useless. Hence, this will be rambling and poorly-written, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

The easiest thing to talk about when discussing "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters" is the technical elements of the film. The narrative is superb and fairly original with a fine script by Chieko, Leonard, and Paul Schrader and Schrader's decisions as director are pretty much faultless. Every stylistic turn the film took, every sequence which took a risk, and pretty much the whole time the camera was in motion I was utterly enthralled and fascinated with how well the film works as a film. Paul Schrader may not be as great a storyteller as some of the great directors are but in "Mishima" he proves that he is more than capable of being a wonderful storyteller if necessary. The film moves at an extraordinarily fast pace and one barely notices the passing of the two hours.

I have to say, despite being a literature buff to an extent, I have never read anything by Mishima. I knew one or two things about Mishima, including the big ending to his story (which I won't reveal, to keep this spoiler-free) prior to seeing the film, but not much else. Perhaps this is why I felt, contrary to some others, that the film got progressively stronger and ended with a breathtakingly brilliant final act. I also found it completely refreshing how this biopic took no position on Mishima or the final act of his life- it is simply a portrait of a man, not a comment on his life.

The Phillip Glass score is utterly brilliant. There is very little of this film that doesn't prominently feature it, which can come off as the result of a lack of confidence from the director, but in this case it is used superbly well in the film. The score is original, vibrant, interesting, and memorable- much like the film itself.

"Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters" is a film that is certainly ripe for interpretation and analysis. I am not going to attempt to provide either of those, mostly because I'm not really in a position to, and also because I found this a profoundly emotional experience, a film of such artistry that it is a film that everyone should experience without preconceived notions of quality or content and one that everyone should attempt their own analysis of. It's that special. It's that good.


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New Criterion DVD! graydons9
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