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The Ninja Wars (1982)
"Iga ninpôchô" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy  |  18 December 1982 (Japan)
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A fortuneteller prophesizes that whoever marries the beautiful Ukio will become the ruler of the world. Naturally, this makes her very popular with those vying for power, particularly the ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jotaro Fuefuki (as Henry Sanada)
Noriko Watanabe ...
Kagaribi / Ukyodayu
Jun Miho ...
Yuki Kazamatsuri ...
Chidori (as Miho Kazamatsuri)
Strong Kongô ...
Kongôbô (as Kongo Kobayashi)
Mikio Narita ...
Kashin Koji
Gajirô Satô ...
Curly haired Evil Monk (as Gajiro Sato)
Noboru Matsuhashi ...
Akira Hamada
Nokoda Kawai
Sanji Kojima
Hiroshi Tanaka ...
Tyrus Bromley ...
Devil Monk #4
Syunji Sasamoto


A fortuneteller prophesizes that whoever marries the beautiful Ukio will become the ruler of the world. Naturally, this makes her very popular with those vying for power, particularly the insatiably greedy Lord Donjo. Only the ninja Jotaro can stop Donjo's plan, but to do so, he must first battle the deadly team of "Devil Monks" serving the lord. Will Jotaro succeed in his mission? And if so, will Ukio marry him, thus making him the ruler of the world? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The True Professionals of Death!


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Release Date:

18 December 1982 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Death of a Ninja  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

beautiful and bonkers
30 January 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

(Please note I somehow own a subtitled, widescreen version of this so can't comment on the dubbing)

This is one crazy, and beautiful looking film. A warlord falls in love with a Shogun's daughter, and somehow is approached by a mysterious (and creepy) wizard called Kishon, whom Sonny Chiba finds hiding in a cupboard. Kishon offers to make the warlord (named Danjo) a love potion, so he can win over the girl and rule the land. Chiba warns the warlord that Kishon is evil and storms off, but the warlord's got the hots and agrees, finding himself now joined by five weird magician types. Now these are some weird looking guys. One is blind and shoots nails from his wrists, another can fly, and one can spew acid from his mouth.

Together, they manage to capture the girl's twin sister, who has just completed ninja training with her boyfriend Jitaro (she walks through a bamboo forest cutting the trees with her fingertips!). They are attacked by the magicians and Jitaro receives a faceful of acid for his trouble. Once back at the warlords house, the ninja girl cuts her own head off (again with her fingers), causing one of the magicians to cut the head off a concubine and indulge in a bit of head swapping (and one of the girls ends up with her head on the wrong way).

I'll go no further with the plot, but let's just say Jitaro is out for revenge, and to protect the other twin, which leads to all sorts of showdowns with the magicians (as they are referred to in the subtitle), which includes be-headings, eye gouging, flying through the air, and a lot of stolen identities. Oh, and at one point the blind guy shoots lasers from his eyes.

This is one bonkers film with plenty to enjoy. It seems to have had quite a big budget too, judging by the sets and the gorgeous cinematography, and I wouldn't be remiss in suggesting that Ninja Wars has art house leanings, as there's a lot of eye-popping imagery on view, and it all seems to be about how you can't simulate true love (that's what I got from it anyway). This is one of those Japanese films where, if someone is beheaded, their body sprays blood like a fountain. It's also one of those Japanese films where I felt I wasn't quite picking up on all the cultural references, and reality is kind of played about with (the last third comes across as a bit disjointed).

Still, this is no Godfrey Ho film. This is something else altogether. Recommended at least in the form I viewed it.

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