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Agent Shiranui (1960)

Shiranui kengyô (original title)
Before he portrayed the legendary blind swordsman, Zatoichi, Shintaro Katsu played Suganoichi, a blind court masseur with a dark side. An outcast since birth, he learned from a young age ... See full summary »

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(screenplay) (as Minoru Inuduka), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Suginoichi
Tamao Nakamura
Mieko Kondô
Matasaburô Niwa
Jôji Tsurumi
Mayumi Kurata
Tôru Abe
Fujio Suga
Ichirô Izawa
Shinobu Araki
San'emon Arashi
Osamu Maruyama
Yôko Wakasugi
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Storyline

Before he portrayed the legendary blind swordsman, Zatoichi, Shintaro Katsu played Suganoichi, a blind court masseur with a dark side. An outcast since birth, he learned from a young age that the only way to get ahead was to take advantage of others. Now an expert con-artist with a heart of coal, Suganoichi is on a vile quest for power, and everyone else will suffer along the way! Written by Anonymous

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based on novel | See All (1) »

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Drama

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Release Date:

1 September 1960 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Agent Shiranui  »

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Trivia

"Kengyô" was the highest of the four official ranks (kan'i) within the Tôdô-za - the Kyôto-based guild for the blind established early in the Muromachi Period (1392-1573), and abolished in 1871 (the fourth year of the Meiji Restoration). The three other ranks, in descending order, were "bettô", "kôtô", and "zatô" - as in The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003). The head of the Tôdô-za was the sô-kengyô (a.k.a. shoku-kengyô); the guild's headquarters was the Shoku-yashiki in Kyôto. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Proto Zatohichi
3 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Based on a play by Nobuo Uno, Shiranui Kenko is a story about Sugino Ichi who showed unusual talent in evil ways since his early childhood.

Sugino Ichi (Shintaro Katsu) was blind since he was a child, but he used his talent to commit crime to make his living. One day he meets Kurakichi, a thief, and he becomes part of his gang lead by Shiranui Kenko. He is ordered to refuse the loan request by Namie (Tamao Nakamura) - a wife of samurai Tojuro Iwai. Sugino Ichi tells Namie he will loan the money in exchange for him having an affair with her. Namie's husband finds out and Namie commits suicide. Next, Sugino Ichi schemes to kill his boss Kenko Shiranui, and take over as the the second Kenko Shiranui. His scheme seems to be succeeding, but not everything is going the way he expects.

Starring Shintaro Katsu, and his future wife Tamao Nakamura. Katsu plays a seminal role as the blind masseuse 2 years prior to his leading role as Zatohichi. This movie also was the first hit for Katsu, and established him as a bankable actor for Daiei corporation. Following year this movie was released, he marries his co-star, and his stellar rise to stardom starts.

It's a story about evil which sometimes plays the central theme in early Japanese samurai movies. Tamao Nakamura played a similar role of wife getting raped by a person she asks favor from in Daibosatsu Toge. Even with theme like this, this movie has lot of class and is high in artistry. It's certainly one of the better samurai movie from the early '60s, and is worth a watch.


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