1 user 4 critic

The Ghost Story of Oiwa's Spirit (1961)

Kaidan Oiwa no borei (original title)
Tamiya, an egomaniacal samurai, determines to reunite with his wife Oiwa, who's left him after a murder scandal. When her sister Osode is tricked into prostitution by a masseuse, Tamiya is ... See full summary »



, (novel)


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The ghost of a samurai's wife takes revenge on her husband.

Director: Nobuo Nakagawa
Stars: Shigeru Amachi, Noriko Kitazawa, Katsuko Wakasugi
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A samurai warrior is haunted by the spirit of his first wife.

Director: Shirô Toyoda
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Mariko Okada, Junko Ikeuchi
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young man breaks into a nurse's rooming house and one-by-one kills off nurses.

Director: Kôji Wakamatsu
Stars: Juro Kara, Keiko Koyanagi, Miki Hayashi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Tokuzô Tanaka
Stars: Kazuo Hasegawa, Raizô Ichikawa, Shintarô Katsu
Action | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Stars: Kôichi Satô, Saki Takaoka, Keiko Oginome
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The murder of an old man on sacred grounds provokes the intervention of vengeful yôkai (Japanese spirits.)

Directors: Yoshiyuki Kuroda, Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Stars: Kôjirô Hongô, Pepe Hozumi, Masami Burukido
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Oiwa has been searching for the one who killed her father for a long time. She comes to Yedo and sees a man named Naosuke. The film is based on the kabuki classic: Toukaidou Yotsuya Kaidan ... See full summary »

Director: Masaki Môri
Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Akemi Tsukushi, Chieko Sôma
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Kazuo Mori
Stars: Kei Satô, Yoshihiko Aoyama, Akiji Kobayashi


Credited cast:
Yoshiko Fujishiro ...
Sentarô Fushimi ...
Jûshirô Konoe ...
Yumiko Mihara
Kikugorô Onoe ...
(as Kikunosuke Onoe)
Hiroko Sakuramachi ...
Thosho Sawamura
Tomisaburô Wakayama ...
Atsushi Watanabe


Tamiya, an egomaniacal samurai, determines to reunite with his wife Oiwa, who's left him after a murder scandal. When her sister Osode is tricked into prostitution by a masseuse, Tamiya is joined by his friend Naosuke in turning the situation into a plot to win back Oiwa, which complicates as a new girl enters the picture. Tamiya's scheming injustices backfire in the form of an onryo, a vengeance-seeking ghost, and yet the movie's horror is entirely of human contrivance. Based on the famous Japanese Kabuki play Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan, written by Tsuruya Nanboku IV in 1825. Written by MichelleYeohFan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »







Release Date:

4 September 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Ghost Story of Oiwa's Spirit  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Yet another go at 'Ghost Story of Yotsuya'
1 September 2014 | by (Ohio, USA) – See all my reviews

This tale of greed, betrayal and revenge from beyond the grave is based on "Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan;" a kabuki play by Tsuruya Nanboku and one of the most famous and influential Japanese ghost stories ever written. It was so popular, in fact, that it was filmed nearly 20 times (!) between 1912 and 1937 alone and well over 30 times in total; influencing all manner of later stage plays, paintings, anime, movies (including hundreds of recent 'ghost girls' movie filmed throughout Asia), you name it. Among the most famous of the filmed versions are Nobuo Nakagawa's excellent THE GHOST OF YOTSUYA (1959), produced by Shintoho and usually considered the very best of the adaptations, and Shirô Toyoda's ILLUSION OF BLOOD (1965), which was produced by Toho Studios and is also quite good. Falling right in between those two is this one, which was a Toei Company production. I guess every major Japanese studio just had to film this particular story.

Things center around Tamiya Iemon (Tomisaburô Wakayama) who, as the film opens, is searching for his runaway wife Oiwa (Yoshiko Fujishiro), who fled from him because of his violent temper (and the fact he killed someone). Tamiya's father-in-law also wants nothing to do with him and doesn't want Oiwa (who has been hiding out in his home all this time) to stay married to a known murderer. Having fallen on hard times due to an ongoing war, the father-in-law has little choice but to put his youngest daughter Osode (Hiroko Sakuramachi) to work at a massage parlor / whorehouse. The agreement is that she only works as a masseuse, but naturally the beautiful Osode becomes a coveted piece of tail at the establishment. Already betrothed to Yomoshichi (Sentarô Fushimi), Osode also has an obsessive admirer in Naosuke (Jûshirô Konoe), who is willing to do anything it takes to get his hands on her. In order to get the women they want, Tamiya and Naosuke strike up a bargain. They murder the father-in-law while Yomoshichi is off serving in the war and then take "ownership" over the two sisters; promising to avenge their father's death (which naturally never happens since they are the killers).

A year passes and, not surprisingly, neither of the couples are happy. Osode refuses to have sex with Naosuke and threatens to kill herself with a dagger if he forces himself upon her. Even worse, despite having a baby, Tamiya becomes resentful and abusive toward the miserable and sickly Oiwa. He beats her, berates her, kicks her and even sells the mosquito net protecting their baby for drinking money. Tamiya finally comes to the conclusion he wants rid of her altogether and, rather conveniently, the accommodating and wealthy Ito family move in next door. The Ito daughter Oume falls in love with Tamiya, so they and Tamiya conspire to kill Oiwa by giving her a poison "potion" that ends up horribly disfiguring her face and leading her to commit suicide. Tamiya then kills thieving helping hand Keiho; justifying the crimes with an adultery alibi. Oiwa and Keiho are nailed together on a board and sunk in the river and Tamiya is then free to marry Oume.

It doesn't take long after the deaths for the ghost of Oiwa to return to settle the score. She appears to Tamiya on the night of his honeymoon and ruins the festivities by causing him to accidentally decapitate his new bride and slash to death the entire Ito family and servants. From there, Tamiya retreats to a mountain sanctuary where he continues to have scary visions of the people he murdered and starts going mad. When Yomoshichi returns from war service, he, Osode and Naosuke (attempting to redeem himself) head to the sanctuary for a final confrontation.

I've already seen several versions of this same story, but this is a solid enough version itself and sticks very close to the source material (unlike some of the other versions). The actors are all fine, including lead Wakayama, who'd already played this same role in a 1956 version of the story called YOTSUYA KAIDAN, which was directed by Masaki Mori and is currently not even listed on IMDb. The horror scenes toward the end (including a blood hand reaching up out of a wash basin and a board with the corpses nailed to it rising from the river waters) are also well done. The only real qualms I have with this one are that some of the scene transitions and editing cuts are abrupt and the staging of the finale is a bit on the messy side.

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

Message Boards

Discuss The Ghost Story of Oiwa's Spirit (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: