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Shôrinji kenpô (1975)

R | | Action, Drama | February 1976 (USA)
Sonny Chiba plays the character referred to as "Mr Soh", who is based on the true life founder of Shorinji Kempo, Doshin So. Mr Soh has been acting as a secret agent in Manchuria during the... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Doshin So (as Sonny Chiba)
Yutaka Nakajima ...
Kiku Sakamoto
Makoto Satô ...
Kentaro Otaki
Naoya Makoto ...
Hiroshi Tomoda
Sanae Kitabayashi ...
Kino Nakano
Akiko Mori ...
Akira Ôizumi
Hôsei Komatsu ...
Sakai Osa
Kyôichi Satô ...
Kaga
Genji Kawai ...
Murayama Senzo
Junichi Tatsu ...
Miyoshi Bungo
Kazuhide Haruta ...
Michiomi Nakano
Kinji Takinami
Rikiya Yasuoka ...
Takehara
Joya Sato
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Storyline

Sonny Chiba plays the character referred to as "Mr Soh", who is based on the true life founder of Shorinji Kempo, Doshin So. Mr Soh has been acting as a secret agent in Manchuria during the Japanese occupation. He is first seen spying on a meeting of Chinese soldiers as they plan a surprise ambush on the retreating Japanese Army. He is discovered and has to fight his way out, using fists, feet and then a machine gun. He rushes to inform the Japanese commanders of the plot, but is horrified to learn that Japan has done the unthinkable by surrendering unconditionally. Soh returns to his homeland to find a ravaged land of beaten people. Victimised by gangsters, occupation forces and corrupt local officials, the poor and the disenfranchised have lost the will to fight back. Using his "Shao Lin" skills (subtitle translation of Shorinji Kempo), he regularly champions the weak and teaches the black market thugs the error of their ways, becoming a regular guest at the local prison. He is seen... Written by David Noble

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martial arts | See All (1) »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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February 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Killing Machine  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The promotional trailer on the DVD release shows a missing scene, where Otaki is involved in a one-to-one fight with Soh just before he breaks down and tells him his wife is dead. See more »

Connections

Followed by Shorinji Kempo: Musashi Hong Kong ni arawaru (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
manliness personified
20 January 2013 | by See all my reviews

In a defining moment of this movie, Sonny Chiba stares ahead in the snow with those strangely piercing otter eyes of his and monologues: "love and strength are one. Strength without love is nothing. Love and strength... ARE ONE!" Maybe that's about all you need to know to determine whether or not this is your thing.

It's important to note this is one of the few 70s Chiba films that isn't just an exploitation flick, although there are a few bones thrown to that audience (pun intention status classified)--I'm sure a few other reviews mention the violence highlights. It's not even really a martial arts movie, or rather, maybe it could be said it's more "purely" about martial arts than your average Hong Kong yarn; it's a slow-burning post-war drama in which the plot emerges from the underlying philosophy, rather than the narrative simply being a vehicle for combat. Action junkies will be bored, but in typical 70s Japanese fashion it's extremely stylish and watchable, even a bit funky.

Somehow the melodrama is layed on thick without ever getting overly sappy, and watered down bushido philosophy & anti-imperialism make for a righteous mix of thematic meat as Chiba punishes thugs and does the best he can to protect his own. Yes, there are "troublesome" nationalistic overtones that turn a questioning eye toward multiculturalism, go cry about it. It is an extremely masculine, sincere film, so of course modern audiences probably can't relate either way.


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