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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) ...
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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 »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
(55 articles)
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User Reviews:
Magnificent 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 Kato ... 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)
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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

Jun Shiragi (scenario conceived in collaboration with: literary executor of the Mishima Estate)

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
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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?

Mishima's family originally cooperated with the making of this film but when their request that the gay bar scene be removed was denied, they withdrew their help.See more »
Factual errors: The globe's stand was not knocked during the scuffle.See more »
[last lines]
Yukio Mishima (Narrator):The instant the blade tore open his flesh, the bright disk of the sun soared up behind his eyelids and exploded lighting the sky for an instant.
See more »
Movie Connections:


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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Magnificent, 21 February 2003
Author: Baroque

A story told in four chapters and in three levels. Flashbacks of Yukio Mishima's life, dramatizations of his written works, and the events of his final day of life.

If Mishima was a fictional character, I doubt if anyone would believe or accept such a creation. But he was a real, flesh and blood, human being, which makes the film all the more incredible. Granted that some of the facts have been dramatized or "enhanced" for the screen, but the story is quite factual.

A man of many contrasts: A devoted family man who kept a gay lover. A writer who saw his words being "not enough". A patriotic man at home in the present who yearned for a return to Imperial Japan's past glory. A man who struggled to unite movement with action, and saw everything he strove for fall apart at the most critical moment.

The film is lovingly made, magnificently acted, painstakingly edited and the musical soundtrack by Philip Glass will stay with you for days. The film's tight budget doesn't show at all.

Now available on DVD, this film is a worthy addition to the collections of true cinemaphiles.

My rating: 10/10

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