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Postman Blues (1997)

Posutoman burusu (original title)
A postman is mistaken for a dangerous criminal by the police.


(as Sabu)


(story) (as Sabu), (screenplay) (as Sabu)
2 wins. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Ryuichi Sawaki
Keisuke Horibe ...
Ren Ohsugi ...
Joe (as Ren Ôsugi)
Kyôko Tôyama ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sei Hiraizumi ...
Police Chief
Yôzaburô Itô ...
Konta ...
(as Atsushi Kondo-Konta)
Akaji Maro ...
Boss of Minato gang
SABU ...
Kurokawa (as Hiroyuki Tanaka)
Hiroshi Shimizu ...
Ikkô Suzuki ...
Masayoshi (as Ikko Suzuki)
Tomorowo Taguchi ...
Ryoko Takizawa
Yôji Tanaka ...
Susumu Terajima ...
Detective Maeda


Sawaki is a postman who's not quite thrilled about his boring way of life. But his life is about to change when he delivers mail to his old schoolmate Noguchi, who's now a member of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia, and just finished cutting his little finger off. Sawaki stays only for a short time and Noguchi manages to smuggle a package full of drugs into Sawakis bag. And, like that's not enough, accidentally his separated finger falls into Sawakis bag too. Because Noguchi has been spied out for quite a while by the police, they think that Sawaki has something to do with his criminal schemings and decide to stick onto his feet. When Sawaki bonds with the fatally ill hit man Joe, it's clear for the police what he must be: A schizophrenic-paranoid, perverse drug dealer, murderer and even terrorist sent from the Yakuza! Written by ToDumbToPickAUsername

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

police | yakuza | postman | finger | death | See All (46) »


Crime | Drama | Action | Comedy


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| |

Release Date:

16 August 1997 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Postman Blues  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Woman In The Street: [stopping Sawaki]
[subtitled from Japanese]
Woman In The Street: Mr. Postman, could you send this out?
[Sawaki takes the envelope and puts in the mailbox right next to him]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film continues during and after the end credits. See more »


References Chungking Express (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Works as a romance, a comedy -- it's a wonderful combo!
9 July 2001 | by (Miami, Florida) – See all my reviews

There's something in POSUTOMAN BURUSU for everybody: the romantic story, for women, about the postman who decides to date a woman on the brink of committing suicide; a quasi-detective story, where undercover cops try tracking down members of a yakuza gang; and a comical story, because they instead track down the postman since they think he may be their distributor, among other things. A light-hearted touch, involving the friendship between the postman and a washed-up hitman. Yeah, there's lots to find entertaining in this surprisingly flawless concoction of several genres by Japanese filmmaker, Sabu. What's great about POSUTOMAN is that the combo works!

The film begins, when Ryuichi Sawaki, the postman (played by Shinichi Tsutsumi), is caught by undercover cops, not only mailing a letter to the member of a yakuza gang, but walking in and staying there for quite a while. This gives the cops the idea that he maybe their distributor, so they follow him home. [NOTE: For the sake of plot-pointing, the mailman stays in the yakuza's apartment because they're high school buddies. They were just talking about stuff]

Returning home, they find him with bags of beer, figuring there may be other people inside.

Inside, Sawaki goes through a bag of mail he hadn't the time to send. One letter he finds, that touches him, is one of a woman, Kyoko (played by Kyoko Toyama), who has sent mail to her boyfriend that he hasn't replied to, and she's so lonely she's thinking about committing suicide. This prompts Sawaki to meet her, and hopefully change her mind.

The following day, after mailing his last batch of letters, he heads over to the Hospital where Kyoko is staying. He meets her, but only for a little while, she hands him a letter. He then meets a hitman, named Joe (played by Ren Osugi). These two have an engaging conversation on the lifestyles of assassins.

He tells him about a hitman competition he was in, and looks pretty confident that he won it. But as we hear his story, the judges were very worried about his health: he's getting too old.

Talking outside of the building, there are two undercover cops watching them from afar. Now, they figure the yakuza sent the postman to ask the hitman for a favor to kill someone.

Back at home, Sawaki reads the letter Kyoko gave him to send. This is about the time when he falls in love with her. So the next day, he meets her and talks to her.

Not looking all that confident about taking her on a date that moment, Kyoko gives a subtly sly speech about: "Not waiting to do something the next day, but instead, doing it now."

I'm going to quit plot-pointing right now -- I feel I'm saying too much. How 'bout some talk concerning 'why' this film is so good.

First of all, 'POSUTOMAN' isn't too timid about going deeper into the lives of its main characters. Particularly, the life of the hitman. If this were a Hollywood film, the hitman would have been younger and indestructible, not a "good guy," nothing to care for.

Sabu, working as both, director and writer, definitely gave himself a lot to work with, as far as making the romantic aspects romantic; the comical aspects comical; and the exciting aspects -- you know.

What made this all work, may be the reality of the characters. The postman is lonely and bored by his job, and has nothing to live for. So one day, he meets a girl who's going through the same dilemma, and they're able to comfort each other and eventually, love life -- and as seen in the last scene, the postman's only reason for going on (living and working) is so he'll meet her at the end of the day, as quickly as possible.

And the cops who are making themselves crazy out of the fear that there is a very dangerous man in their town, aren't that silly or cartoonish. These people are afraid, and will do anything their impulses tell them that'll extinguish that fear. [NOTE: This is all done in a very subtle manner, I might add.]

So, I think I've said enough.

Oh! The editing is one of the best I've seen. You'll notice this in the introduction of the postman character. I think I can guarantee that your jaw will be dropped for the duration.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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