IMDb > The Ninja Wars (1982)

The Ninja Wars (1982) More at IMDbPro »Iga ninpôchô (original title)

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The Ninja Wars -- 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?


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Release Date:
18 December 1982 (Japan) See more »
The True Professionals of Death!
A fortuneteller prophesizes that whoever marries the beautiful Ukio will become the ruler of the world... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins See more »
User Reviews:
beautiful and bonkers See more (21 total) »


  (in credits order)

Hiroyuki Sanada ... Jotaro Fuefuki (as Henry Sanada)
Noriko Watanabe ... Kagaribi / Ukyodayu
Jun Miho ... Isaribi
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 ... Miyoshi
Akira Hamada

Seizô Fukumoto
Nokoda Kawai
Sanji Kojima
Hiroshi Tanaka ... Hanzo Hattori
Tyrus Bromley ... Devil Monk #4
Syunji Sasamoto
Rantaro Mine
Yoshiji Nakahigashi
Mieko Hoshino
Reiko Tamano
Yasumori Hikita
Yukio Miyagi
Kazuyuki Kosuga
Gentarô Mori
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Shin'ichi Chiba ... Shinzaemon Yagyu (uncredited)
Akira Nakao ... Donjo Matsunaga (uncredited)

Directed by
Kôsei Saitô 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ei Ogawa 
Fûtarô Yamada  novel

Produced by
Haruki Kadokawa .... executive producer
Masao Satô .... producer
Izumi Toyoshima .... producer
Original Music by
Toshiaki Yokota 
Cinematography by
Fujio Morita 
Film Editing by
Isamu Ichida 
Art Direction by
Norimichi Igawa 
Kazuyoshi Sonoda 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Isao Yoshihara .... assistant director
Isao Yoshiwara .... assistant director
Sound Department
Fumio Hashimoto .... sound recordist
Special Effects by
Hideo Suzuki .... special effects director
Shin'ichi Chiba .... action coordinator (as Sony Chiba)
Camera and Electrical Department
Yoshiaki Masuda .... lighting technician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Junko Koshino .... wardrobe advisor
Other crew
Yukiko Morimura .... continuity
Toshio Sugawara .... choreographer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Iga ninpôchô" - Japan (original title)
"Death of a Ninja" - USA (DVD title)
See more »
Japan:100 min | USA:95 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:


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beautiful and bonkers, 30 January 2014
Author: Bezenby from United Kingdom

(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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