IMDb > Shinjuku kuroshakai: Chaina mafia sensô (1995)

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Release Date:
26 August 1995 (Japan) See more »
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. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
What's With the Missing Organ Cart Scene ?!........ See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order)
Kippei Shîna ... Kiriya
Tomorowo Taguchi ... Wang
Takeshi Caesar ... Karino
Ren Ôsugi ... Yakuza boss
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yukie Itou
Kyosuke Izutsu
Kazuhiro Mashiko
Yôji Tanaka
Airi Yanagi

Directed by
Takashi Miike 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ichirô Fujita 

Produced by
Tetsuya Ikeda .... producer
Toshiki Kimura .... producer
Ken Takeuchi .... planner
Tsutomu Tsuchikawa .... producer
Original Music by
Atorie Shira 
Cinematography by
Naosuke Imaizumi 
Film Editing by
Yasushi Shimamura  (as Taiji Shimamura)
Production Design by
Tatsuo Ozeki 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hideyuki Yamamoto .... assistant director
Sound Department
Kunio Ando .... sound recordist (as Kunio Andô)
Yukiya Sato .... sound (as Yukiya Satô)
Camera and Electrical Department
Masaaki Sakurai .... lighting technician

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Shinjuku Underworld: Chinese Mafia War" - International (English title) (literal title)
"China Mafia War" - Asia (English title)
See more »
100 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in Unikal'noe pozdravlenie (2014)See more »


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What's With the Missing Organ Cart Scene ?!........, 10 June 2011
Author: Diwali-Jumbonads from Sri Lanka

Shinjuku Triad Society: The first piece of the Black Society Trilogy on my critical docket is 1995's Shinjuku Triad Society (which bears the subtitle 'China Mafia War'), which currently holds the honor of being the earliest entry in Miike's oeuvre to have received American DVD exposure. Of course, that doesn't mean in any way that it's less entertaining than Miike's later product, for all the quiddities of a Miike gangster film are here in abundance: surprising/shocking violence, seedy sex, the examination of family and race in modern Japan, etc. This isn't one of those typical 'working out his style and themes' early-career movies. Shinjuku perfectly illustrates that Takashi Miike has always had a strong directoral voice, and I found it in my humble opinion one of the best of Miike's films.

So what's it about? Well, things begin at a rather quick pace, kind of like a predecessor to Dead or Alive's infamously manic prologue. Dead bodies litter the streets of Shinjuku, remnants of a powerful yakuza clan. The Shinjuku police swarm around, investigating the crime. Our hero, the Sino-Japanese tough-guy cop Tatsuhito, is lead to a nearby nightclub. In here he finds three members of the gang thought responsible, which is headed by the gay Taiwanese immigrant Wang (Tomorowo Taguchi, who is fast becoming one of my favorite Japanese actors). The first member of the gang is Ritsuko, a prostitute and girlfriend to one of the gang's higher-ups. The second is a man being fellated in a bathroom by the third, a young Chinese kid who is the boyfriend of Wang. The first two members are apprehended, though Wang's lover manages to escape, disappearing into the dark alleys of Shinjuku, though not before killing a cop who gets in his way (in a shot that looks like it could have come right out of Ichi the Killer).

Back at the station, Tatsuhito, obsessed with destroying Wang's syndicate (in part because Shinjuku's other prominent yakuza gang has been bribing him, rendering itself untouchable), interrogates the victims from the club, using violence if they're unwilling to speak. After enough interrogation, Tatsuhito learns of a hospital Wang has built in Taiwan, which could be a useful lead in the investigation. Unfortunately, just after this, he also learns that his younger brother, Yoshihito, is working as the gang's legal representative. Naturally, as a police officer, even an abusive and corrupt one and concerned older brother, Tatsuhito finds this troubling news, though he doesn't let it sway him in his quest; indeed, it only strengthens his resolve to destroy the gang, since doing so would save Yoshihito.

As Tatsuhito investigates Wang's past during a visit to Taiwan, Wang's clan gains power back in Shinjuku, forming a dubious alliance with the local yakuza (the same one that is bribing Tatsuhito). Soon, it's revealed that Wang has been plotting the yakuza's downfall and violence erupts, meaning Tatsuhito will have to be quite cunning indeed if he wishes to save his brother and stop Wang before his syndicate gains control of the entire Shinjuku district.

What ends up being so striking about Shinjuku Triad Society is how deep of a film it actually is; it operates on a number of different levels, and, as such, warrants a good deal of analysis. On one level Shinjuku examines violence in society and paints a portrait of a world so hardened that truly no one in it is all good. Indeed, there's no one personage in Shinjuku who is a perfectly sympathetic character. Tatsuhito, while having noble aspirations of stopping Wang's crime syndicate, still is not beyond using cruelty to achieve his goals, nor is he beyond being bribed by the local yakuza. Shinjuku shows us a world where even a wide-eyed innocent like Wang's young lover is capable of horrendous sadism, where even the police are so hardened to the violence around them that they pose cheerfully with severed heads in crime scene photos.

Yet, even being set in such a cruel world, Shinjuku still manages to examine morality by giving the audience a choice: do we sympathize with Tatsuhito, a man so hardened to savagery that he will rape a girl in his pursuit of a noble goal, or do we sympathize with Wang, a man who, while acting immorally and illegally, is still capable of love, and, in a twisted way, kind of works like a Robin Hood, taking from the prosperous Japanese and giving to the destitute Taiwanese via the hospital? The question of whose ends most justifies his means is a fascinating one, for, while the characters of Wang and Tatsuhito seem like clear antagonists and protagonists, closer examination reveals that either could be considered a hero or a villain.

Lastly, the film also serves as a typically-Miike look at race and belonging in modern Japan, since the Chinese heritage of Wang's gang members necessitates that the Sino-Japanese Tatsuhito use his ethnic background to aid him in the investigation, and the fact that Tatsuhito's little brother is a member of Wang's syndicate forces Tatsuhito to examine more closely the importance of family in his life.

And, now that I've spent nigh three paragraphs describing the artistic importance of the film, I can safely say that, in addition to all the highbrow intellectual stimulation it provides, Shinjuku Triad Society also serves as simply a kick-ass Japanese gangster flick. Shinjuku is an absolutely excellent film in all aspects, and I urge you to check it out no matter what level you plan to view it on. On that note, a good way of going about this task would be by picking up a copy of Artsmagic's wonderful DVD, which is well worth the time of any Asian cinema fan, but which should prove particularly mouth-watering for the Takashi Miike aficionados among us (count me in!).

On a technical level, the presentation of Shinjuku mostly bites

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