A crippled kabuki player is taken into a strolling company of itinerant actors. An influential publisher notices his honest, bold drawings, and nurtures him despite persecution and betrayal... See full summary »

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14 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Tonbo
...
Tsutaya
...
Troupe Leader
Tsurutarô Kataoka ...
Goro
Shirô Sano ...
Utamaro
Riona Hazuki ...
Hanasato
Toshiya Nagasawa ...
Tetsuzo (the future Hokusai)
Yasosuke Bando ...
Matsudaira Sadanobu
Tomijuro Nakamura ...
Gosei
Naoko Kato ...
Ohuji
Masumi Miyazaki ...
Gohi
Chôichirô Kawarasaki ...
Santo Kyoden
Naomasa Musaka ...
Manager Yohei
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eisuke Sasai ...
Tomisaburo Segawa
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Storyline

A crippled kabuki player is taken into a strolling company of itinerant actors. An influential publisher notices his honest, bold drawings, and nurtures him despite persecution and betrayal. The film explores the eternal relationship between artist and producer, and describes the emanicipation of a man who refuses to let himself become the plaything of power and money. Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jidai geki | art | based on novel | See All (3) »


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Release Date:

4 February 1995 (Japan)  »

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User Reviews

 
wonderful physicality/language
27 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I think this is a movie where it helps to know at least a little Japanese. There is some fun wordplay in it. I haven't seen it with subtitles yet, so I'm sure I've missed a lot, since I am not in any way native-speaker proficient in Japanese. I think the parts that may seem slow-moving go a little faster if you know Japanese.

All the performances are excellent. There is a wonderful physicality to the acting, not just the dance, acrobatics and fight scenes. As in kabuki, every movement tells a story with great precision and power.

The score combines elements of traditional shamisen, flute. vocals and percussion with Jazz-age orchestral passages. It works to show the parallels between Late-Edo era Japan and the 1920's in the U.S., both times of semi-controlled, hypocritical lawlessness. The title character, played by Hiroyuki Sanada, could have stepped out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.

Major props to Frankie Sakai, a jazz drummer turned movie producer and actor, for a fine performance as the publisher Tsutaya, and for being the force behind the tone of the film.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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