Ambitious yakuza Kenji befriends harmonica-playing bartender Chuji, who moonlights as a part-time drug-dealer for the opposing gang. Their friendship is threatened by Kenji's plans for ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Rainy Dog (1997)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In order to settle a business dispute, a mob leader murders one of his own teenage sons. The surviving son vows to avenge his brother's death, and organizes his own gang of teenage killers to destroy his father's organization.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Shôsuke Tanihara, Miho Nomoto, Tamaki Kenmochi
Andromedia (1998)
Crime | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

After her sudden death a teenage girl finds her father has uploaded her mind to computer form. With a rival corporation wishing to capture her the girl is uploaded to her boyfriend's laptop.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Hiroko Shimabukuro, Eriko Imai, Takako Uehara
Ley Lines (1999)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Kazuki Kitamura, Tomorowo Taguchi, Dan Li
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A salaryman and yakuza are each sent by their bosses to a remote Chinese village but discover more then they expected.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Renji Ishibashi, Mako
Dead or Alive (1999)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A yakuza of Chinese descent and a Japanese cop each wage their own war against the Japanese mafia. But they are destined to meet. Their encounter will change the world.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Shô Aikawa, Riki Takeuchi, Renji Ishibashi
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
Agitator (2001)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A fearless Yakuza captain's loyalty is tested as two ambitious underbosses attempt a takeover of both his clan and a rival Yakuza gang.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Taisaku Akino, Mickey Curtis, Yoshiyuki Daichi
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Violent gangster movie with a Brazilian protagonist.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Teah, Michelle Reis, Kôji Kikkawa
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two contract killers cross paths in the middle of the same job and realize they are childhood friends.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Shô Aikawa, Riki Takeuchi, Noriko Aota
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When his beloved boss is killed, a dangerous young gangster cuts a path of vengeance through the Japanese mafia.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Riki Takeuchi, Ryôsuke Miki, Ken'ichi Endô
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A barkeeper saves a Yakuza boss' life and thus makes his way up in the organization. However his fear of nothing soon causes problems.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Narimi Arimori, Yoshiyuki Daichi, Hirotarô Honda
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Chûji Yonashiro
Seiichi Tanabe ...
Kenji Shindô
Saori Sekino ...
Tokiko
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mickey Curtis
Daisuke Iijima ...
Yûkichi Hanamura
Akira Ishige
Yôzaburô Itô ...
Talent Scout Sugiyama
Huntley Nicholas ...
Chûji's Black Father
Atsushi Okuno
Bob Suzuki
Tatsuo Yamada
Edit

Storyline

Ambitious yakuza Kenji befriends harmonica-playing bartender Chuji, who moonlights as a part-time drug-dealer for the opposing gang. Their friendship is threatened by Kenji's plans for advancement, as well as by his bodyguard's growing jealousy of Chuji. Written by sienel

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music | Romance

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 July 1998 (Japan)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Hiroyuki Ikeuchi gets drawn into the yakuza orbit of Seiichi Tanabe
24 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Blues Harp" (1998) features an excellent neo-noir story. Hiroyuki Ikeuchi is a bartender, son of a prostitute by a black American in Okinawa. He has musical talent and becomes a feature attraction at the club, but before this he has been a small-time drug dealer on the side. He also shacks up with pretty, enthusiastic, and loving Saori Sekino who supports him 100%; but this sub-plot is largely disconnected from the main story. An accident of fate leads him to save the life of a lower-level yakuza, Seiichi Tanabe, who has elaborate plans to become boss of his outfit, merge with another gang, and go from there. Tanabe has unrequited gay love for the straight Ikeuchi who doesn't realize this. One thing and another draw Ikeuchi into Tanabe's plan with suspenseful and fateful results.

The plot relating the two men, the drug past of Ikeuchi and the yakuza ambitions of Tanabe eventually grabs you and doesn't let go but it's delayed by music that's not especially good but may appeal to its target audience. The movie features several songs full length at the musical bar or disco where the band plays a variety of blues, rock and rap and young people greet it enthusiastically. It's a cultural import and derivative of far better American music of its kind. This part of the movie was exploiting an audience, I believe. For me, it held up the neo-noir show which is quite good.

Tanabe handles his part very well indeed as does Sekino. Ikeuchi projects a wide-eyed innocence that doesn't especially click in his part, or maybe that's what the part and director wanted. He doesn't bring enough emotional depth and variation to his part, in my judgment.

This is a strong story directed by the prolific and stylish Takashi Miike. I think the film could have had much greater impact and emotional content had it been worked on more and done with greater care as to content and delivery.

Throughout, it does convey the idea of youth that's got energy but which can't find a comfortable identity in the world. Music and dance release their energy. It reminds me of the 50s and 60s youth movies in America.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Chuuji die? getupkid531
Fan question sambo5180
Where can I get this? misterbungle800
Tom Waits song kid_eyeball
Discuss Blues Harp (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?