3 user 2 critic

The Man Without a Map (1968)

Moetsukita chizu (original title)
A private detective is hired to find a missing man by his wife. Contradictory evidence and the lack of clues soon render the case as virtually unsolvable, as the detective grows more and more frustrated.


(screenplay), (novel)


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pitfall (1962)
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man wanders into a seemingly deserted town with his young son in search of work. But after a bit of bad luck, he joins the town's population of lost souls.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Hisashi Igawa, Sumie Sasaki, Sen Yano
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Keith Sykes, Reisen Ri, Kazuo Kitamura
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A businessman with a disfigured face obtains a lifelike mask from his doctor, but the mask starts altering his personality.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Mikijirô Hira, Kyôko Kishida
Rikyu (1989)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Legendary tea master Sen no Rikyu is faced with his warmongering lord's unrealistic pretensions.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Yoshiko Mita, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Gô-hime (1992)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Rie Miyazawa, Tatsuya Nakadai, Toshiya Nagasawa
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Hiroshi Teshigahara's camera takes us over, under, around, and into buildings and a park designed by Antonio Gaudí (1852 - 1926), Catalan architect, ceramist, and sculptor. Teshigahara ... See full summary »

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Isidro Puig Boada, Seiji Miyaguchi
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A family of four are the sole inhabitants of a small island, where they struggle each day to irrigate their crops.

Director: Kaneto Shindô
Stars: Nobuko Otowa, Taiji Tonoyama, Shinji Tanaka
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Directors: Gian Vittorio Baldi, Michel Brault, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Michel Aracheguesne, Bernard Arcand, Nadine Ballot
Hozee Tooresu (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Hiroshi Akutagawa, José Torres
White Morning (1965)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A day in the life of Ako, a 16 year old Japanese girl, and her friends and co-workers. An alarm clock wakes her in a dorm; she gets ready for work and travels to a large bakery. We see her ... See full summary »

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Miki Irie, Teruko Hasegawa, Yoko Matsushita


Complete credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ...
Etsuko Ichihara ...
Osamu Ôkawa ...
Wife's Brother
Kiyoshi Atsumi ...
Tamao Nakamura ...
Detective's Wife
Kinzô Shin ...
Coffee Shop Owner
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Reiko Kasahara
Hôsei Komatsu
Akiko Kudô
Aiko Nagayama
Shôjirô Ogasawara
Kyôichi Satô
Haruo Tanaka
Sakae Umezu
Hideko Yoshida


A private detective is hired to find a missing man by his wife. Contradictory evidence and the lack of clues soon render the case as virtually unsolvable, as the detective grows more and more frustrated.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

1 June 1968 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Without a Map  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is the final of four film collaborations involving director Hiroshi Teshigahara, author Kôbô Abe, and scorer Tôru Takemitsu. Their other film collaborations were Pitfall (1962), Woman in the Dunes (1964), and The Face of Another (1966). See more »


Spoofed in Ruined (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Man Without a Map (1968)
16 May 2015 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

This is the last out of four collaborations between director Hiroshi Teshigahara, writer Kobo Abe and composer Toru Takemitsu, but it's never discussed as much as the previous three movies are. This one is in CinemaScope and in color (with a different DP, too), and more confusing than any of them, so I guess fewer people remember it because it isn't quite like the preceding trilogy, even though it tackles the same topics of identity and individualism in the modern world.

The Man Without a Map is based on Kobo Abe's novel The Ruined Map, although the movie likes to call itself The Man Without a Map, in English. Yes, this is the first Japanese '60s film I've ever seen where the opening titles are in English. Moving on, we have Shintaro Katsu, one of the best Japanese actors of the '60s, as a hard-boiled detective dealing with a frustratingly unsolvable case of a man gone missing. The clues he's given contradict each other and soon it gets hard to distinguish what's actually happening. The film explores the loss of an individual's identity in a huge world full of people with their own lives to live, and sometimes certain people get crushed together with their own selves, as made clear in the final scene with the dead dog on the street.

The intro is memorable enough; a burning piece of paper reveals an artsy background showered in sounds of a broken radio transmission. The entire film has an interesting visual side to it, it's like a mixture of op-art pieces, neo-noir coolness and traditional Japanese aesthetics. The majority of the film is blue and grey, taking place in the streets, but several locations are bathed in striking shades of yellow or red. The characters are shot through various reflective surfaces and geometrical shapes, making some shots look more complex than you'd expect, like the bar scene shot where three characters are facing away from us, with the waiter in the middle. Two of the three characters in the front have their faces seen through a mirror in the background, between bottles.

Unfortunately, the movie loses itself after the engrossing first hour and the mass confusion of the case doesn't come across as perplexing or thought-provoking, but instead lazy and under-scripted. Shintaro Katsu and the others do their very best, but the material isn't really fertile and the ending is way too abrupt and unsatisfying. The surrealistic sequences and some dialogues are completely baffling (not in an interesting way), and the scenes when the image goes into negative filters are just ugly.

The movie has a fantastic atmosphere, fascinating visual design and a seriously great storyline, but it never really amounts to anything. The direction isn't passionate, the script is weak. Perhaps Teshigahara was faced with a heavy identity crisis of his own while filming this? Either way, it's an alright film, but with lots and lots of failed potential.

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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
with english subtitles ?? axi0m
My essay on Teshigahara's 1960s films head_radio
Discuss The Man Without a Map (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: