Down 5,309 this week

The Man Without a Map (1968)
"Moetsukita chizu" (original title)

 -  Mystery  -  1 June 1968 (Japan)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 207 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 3 critic

A private detective is hired to find a missing man by his wife. While his search is unsuccessful, the detective's own life begins to resemble the man for whom he is searching.


(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 8241 titles
created 10 Aug 2011
a list of 37 titles
created 20 Dec 2011
list image
a list of 116 titles
created 11 Jul 2013
a list of 32 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 26 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Man Without a Map (1968)

The Man Without a Map (1968) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Man Without a Map.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crazed Fruit (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Spending their summer on an exotic beach, two brothers fall for the same beautiful girl, whose charm and looks may hide more than they they bargained for.

Director: Kô Nakahira
Stars: Masahiko Tsugawa, Yûjirô Ishihara, Mie Kitahara
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Amorality in Japan. Tome is born into poverty in rural Japan, in the late 1910s. Chuji, her father, dotes on her; her mother is less faithful. Tome becomes a neighbor's mistress, works at ... See full summary »

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Emiko Aizawa, Setsuko Amamiya, Tomio Aoki
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Stars: Shima Iwashita, Tomoko Naraoka, Kirin Kiki
Pale Flower (1964)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Muraki, a hardboiled Yakuza gangster, has just been released from prison after serving a sentence for murder. Revisiting his old gambling haunts, he meets Saeko, a striking young ... See full summary »

Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Stars: Ryô Ikebe, Mariko Kaga, Takashi Fujiki
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A middle-aged bar hostess, constantly in debt, is faced with numerous social constraints and challenges posed to her by her family, customers and friends.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Tatsuya Nakadai, Masayuki Mori
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

After being raped in an unknown rooftop, nineteen year-old girl Poppo meets a mysterious boy, and both share their sexual traumas and fears, with fatal consequences.

Director: Kôji Wakamatsu
Stars: Michio Akiyama, Hiroshi Imaizumi, Mimi Kozakura
Odd Obsession (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man getting on in years sets out to find a way to resurrect his flagging virility.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Machiko Kyô, Ganjirô Nakamura, Junko Kanô
Tokyo 1958 (1958)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Eight filmmakers collaborate with Teshigahara to bring a newsreel-style snapshot of Tokyo in 1957-58, when it had eight and a half million people and was the largest city in the world. The ... See full summary »

Directors: Susumu Hani, Yoshiro Kawazu, and 7 more credits »
Stars: Donald Richie
Ikebana (1956)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The history and art of ikebana, a centuries old Japanese art of flower arrangement and a look inside the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, where the director's father Sofu Teshigahara worked as the grand master of the school.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Tomoko Naraoka, Sofu Teshigahara
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Kô Mishima, Torahiko Hamada, Keiko Kishi
The Box Man (2002)
Animation | Short | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man reacts with violence when a pair of eyes spy on him from inside a cardboard box. Inspired by the 1974 novel by Kobo Abe.

Director: Nirvan Mullick
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

On his deathbed, a wealthy businessman announces that his fortune is to be split equally among his three illegitimate children, whose whereabouts are unknown to his family and colleagues. A... See full summary »

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Keiko Kishi, Tatsuya Nakadai, Sô Yamamura


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. While his search is unsuccessful, the detective's own life begins to resemble the man for whom he is searching.

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?


Spoofed in Ruined (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Flawed as it may appear, it is still ravishingly beautiful and refreshing
13 May 2013 | by (Poland) – See all my reviews

A detective (Shintarô Katsu) is assigned to find a missing man by a beautiful female (Etsuko Ichihara) who is a wife of the lost person. The more the detective attempts to unravel the mystery, the deeper he is dragged into the world of delinquency and pornography where he begins to question his own identity. Numerous facts, frequently contradictory with one another render the whole riddle more impenetrable and the investigation becomes overflowed with pointlessness…

The last collaboration of Kobo Abe and Hiroshi Teshigahara is an exquisitely scripted piece of profound cinema which inquires about one's personality in the hostile modern civilisation. This dreary existential film noir was based on the novel by Abe, published under the same title, which dealt with a problem of perishing people in Japan in the sixties, not unlike a far more experimental cinematic work by Shôhei Imamura i.e. A Man Vanishes from 1967. In the case of Teshigahara's flick, Abe, who was the scripter, is perfectly aware how to adjust the plot to this medium. Thus, the story, upon being modified in some details, cooperates with the aesthetic talent of Teshigahara perfectly. Nevertheless, Teshigahara's movie isn't always as penetrating as the prose and it turns out to be underdeveloped in some moments. Instead of delving into protagonist's psyche and compounding the climax of urban soullessness by including more psychedelic sequences accompanied by portentous soundtrack of the great Toru Takemitsu, Abe and Teshigahara are more concerned about clarifying the whole tale and eventually the outcome isn't entirely satisfying. Sadly, this isn't the sole problematic aspect of The Man Without the Map. The ensemble invariably seems sparse and distant owing to a gently awkward editing. The action skips from one location to another in an inelegant , somehow harsh manner and hence provides a viewer with a sense as though it was heavily cut.

Notwithstanding, the director succeeds in creating a very well-crafted effort despite being slightly superficial in comparison to the more rewarding book by Abe. It's all marked by a touch of genius which is pleasant to glimpse at and take delight in. Teshigaharesque aesthetics are omnipresent and although The Man Without the Map isn't as illusory as its predecessors, Teshigahara stunningly captures the atmosphere of the austere world, devoid of compassion and filled with forlorn spirits, which is filmed through a prism of an inscrutable maze of Tokyo streets. The framing reminiscent of a blend of an American crime flick, a psychological drama as well as a samurai story, in which bamboos and horses are replaced by streetlamps, neons and cars. The stylisation is remarkably opulent and though it does not retain the profoundness of the prose, for more patient cinephiles it will still remain a riveting and fascinating experience.

Shintarô Katsu, known for starring in multiple Zatoichi samurai movies, gives a very good performance and seems the best choice to play the role of a bit gruff, thick-skinned private detective who is troubled by existential angst which more and more is taking him aback. Etsuko Ichihara, who also appeared in The Face of Another from 1966 by Teshigahara, is charming and nice-looking, but she hasn't got enough time to utterly display her acting talent. There are plenty of other gifted, little-known performers such as Osamu Ôkawa and Kiyoshi Atsumi, who push the story further in a graceful way.

Cinematography by Akira Uehara is miraculous and it is obvious that Teshigahara endeavoured to take full advantage of colourful photography in his first coloured motion picture, alike Kurosawa with his Dodes'ka-den from 1970. The outbursts of yellow and red hues are truly bewildering and it is difficult not to appreciate this elaborate visualisation. There is likewise a brilliant utilisation of mirror as well as glass reflexions which might indicate the airiness of human existence in the modern world where an unit is overwhelmed by indifference encircling him. The soundtrack by Toru Takemitsu is genuinely gorgeous. Apart from some non-musical, uneasy, dissonant sounds, the score is adorned by other, more straight-forward and conventional tunes which are soothing and relaxing.

Possibly transforming such a psychologically-tinged book into the movie wasn't a masterstroke, nonetheless the upshot is truly admirable. The subject is scrutinised from a slightly different perspective owing to which the film exists as a separate work of art. Though disparate elements are uneven in terms of quality and the flick never achieves what it aspires to, the advantages of The Man Without The Map are too delightful to be ignored. Its style, murky atmosphere and highly enjoyable execution render the drawbacks virtually invisible to the naked eye and thus a viewer is going to find the material absorbing and refreshing.

4 of 4 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: