Up 4,652 this week

Nihon kuroshakai (1999)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  22 May 1999 (Japan)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 854 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 31 critic

A group of Chinese youths living in Japan struggle to make their way in life and eventually find trouble with the local crime syndicate.



0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 26 Apr 2011
a list of 36 titles
created 24 May 2012
a list of 36 titles
created 18 Aug 2012
a list of 33 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 35 titles
created 4 days ago

Related Items

Search for "Nihon kuroshakai" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Nihon kuroshakai (1999)

Nihon kuroshakai (1999) on IMDb 7.2/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Nihon kuroshakai.
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Rainy Dog (1997)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Japanese assassin stranded in Taiwan must take work from a local crime boss to make ends meet when suddenly a woman from his past delivers a son to him.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Shô Aikawa, Li Wei Chang, Shih Chang
Gozu (2003)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Yûta Sone, Shô Aikawa, Kimika Yoshino
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Amidst a Chinese and Japanese mafia war, a lawyer for the Chinese mob finds a rift forming between him and his corrupt police office brother.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Kippei Shîna, Tomorowo Taguchi, Takeshi Caesar
Comedy | Horror | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A family moves to the country to run a rustic mountain inn when, to their horror, the customers begin befalling sudden and unlikely fates.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Kenji Sawada, Keiko Matsuzaka, Shinji Takeda
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A group of high school students are forced to play a game of death without knowing who, why or how.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Shôta Sometani, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Atsuko Maeda
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Reiji Kikukawa, who has a strong sense of justice, graduated from the police academy with the lowest score ever. He becomes a police constable, but is suddenly fired by the Police Chief due... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Tôma Ikuta, Ken'ichi Endô, Mitsuru Fukikoshi
Kikoku (Video 2003)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two brothers in a very small branch of the Japanese crime syndicate must make a hard choice when their loyalties are stretched in too many directions.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Riki Takeuchi, Yûta Sone, Mickey Curtis
Ley Lines (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Patricia Gruben
Ninja Kids!!! (2011)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

About the adventures of Rantaro and other ninja apprentices at an elite ninjutsu academy.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Shidô Nakamura, Naoto Takenaka, Susumu Terajima
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Naomi Akimoto, Narimi Arimori, Tatsuya Fuji
Yatterman (2009)
Action | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Every week, toy-shop owner Gan and his cute assistant Ai battled the evil Doronbo gang. The gang led by femme fatale Doronjo and her assistants-pig-nosed muscleman Tonzra and rat-faced ... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Shô Sakurai, Sadao Abe, Kyoko Fukada
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

In addition to churning out crowd-pleasers like Crows Zero, Like a Dragon, and Sukiyaki Western Django, maverick director Miike Takashi also found time to return to theater in 2007. ... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Sadao Abe, Shô Aikawa, Saki Asami


Credited cast:
Shô Aikawa
Samuel Pop Aning
Takeshi Caesar
Yukie Itou
Michisuke Kashiwaya
Dan Li ...
Anita / Chinese prostitute
Ryûshi Mizukami
Shun Sugata
Tomorowo Taguchi
Kôji Tsukamoto
Tetsu Watanabe
Hua Rong Weng
Ren Ôsugi


A group of Chinese youths living in Japan struggle to make their way in life and eventually find trouble with the local crime syndicate.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 May 1999 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Ley Lines  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Follows Rainy Dog (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

it's not as fun as some of Miike's other thrillers, but it is bleaker, more serious, a real "film" that works excellently on its own terms
19 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's strange: while I would probably much rather watch one of the more insane and, by virtue of reputation, more popular works repeatedly from Takashi Miike like Ichi the Killer or Visitor Q, a film like Ley Lines or Graveyard of Honor are probably technically better made "films", and is a wonderful but harsh reminder of how dedicated an artist Miike can be with the right material. Ley Lines is dark and depressing and about alienation and filmed often with a detached and unflinching eye on the plight of its young Chinese outsiders. It's also at times, not too unusually for Miike, strange and random and violent and with bits of deranged sex (here, as in other Japanese films, blurred out amusingly with blue lightning). I knew watching it I should've found some of the choices Miike made almost too detached or too pretentious or too stark with its depiction of some kind of reality. But by the end, I didn't care, in a sense.

That sense really has to do with connection with the bulk of the director's stylistic choices and the characters who with only a little development appear fully realized (or at least sympathetic as the lost and tortured souls of this story). It's about three Chinese guys who leave their blasé suburban lives and go to Tokyo, where they're soon robbed blind by a prostitute. Ironically, and in what is at first irony and then becomes a minor tragedy, the prostitute's Chinese currency doesn't fare at all with her nasty pimp and her other call duties are ugly at best and revolting (or just plain twisted underground crap) at worst, and she ends up back with them by an odd twist of fate. The Chinese youths go through some unsuccessful motions, like selling an ether-esquire drug, before one decides that it's time to leave this dreadful Tokyo landscape: Brazil. A heist is plotted, and executed, but with (somewhat) typical fatalistic results.

Miike seems to be experimenting, but at times in subtle gestures with the camera and lighting that suggest perhaps his own questioning of himself and his skills as opposed to just what the script requires. It's an exhilarating mix-and-match; early on we get that rushing bravura of the variety where we get put into the rush and vibrancy of youth with the camera tracking unevenly along as they ride bikes or gliding in a long take across the train station into the train car. Then, in Tokyo, sometimes a shot will just last a while on something and Miike won't cut if something violent or action-like is happening right in the next room (in these instances the cut-away to a close-up, or the emphasis on leaving a spot, becomes paramount). And last by not least Miike tries a red filter in the bulk of the frame, adding some crazy but always interesting effect to scenes like the one kid running through the streets to get back to his friend whom somehow he knows is beat up, or in the scenes towards the end (not to mention that very random but affecting moments with that man in the underground room requesting stories from Shanghai girls- very specifically those girls- and a fish somehow makes its way into the inter-cutting of a story).

On top of this, Miike's actors, most of whom I've never seen much of before with only one (Shoi Aikawa) I can recognize immediately, are all top shelf talents seemingly without doing much most of the time. It's after the heist, of course, that their chops are tested even more, and it's hard not to get caught up emotionally or feel frazzled as the one kid goes on about childhood memories and his mother in the back of the car. Somehow against all of the possible pit-falls of being ironically showy with his attempts at depicting these alienated people and the dregs of society (the real criminals here are go-for-broke evil people, including an oddball African) Miike makes the themes and ideas stand out excellently. In the 'art-film' sensibility, in fact, his compositions are incredible, and his control of fluctuating mood matches that of something out of the French new-wave, comparisons to Bande a part not-withstanding.

So, in short, don't watch it if you're expecting a Dead-or-Alive or a Gozu. This is serious film-making about tragic and lost souls, with only some (chilling) slices of the wild-man Japanese director we all know and love in some circles.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ending k-a-w-a-d-a
Favourite? madmike909
Tolulence? rachel_matt4
Censored Language lukejordan02
Discuss Nihon kuroshakai (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: