Down 15,501 this week

Totsunyûseyo! Asama sansô jiken (2002)

 |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  11 May 2002 (Japan)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 117 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 3 critic

When radicals from Japan's Red Army took a woman hostage in the resort town of Karuizawa, Nagano in 1972, Officer Atsuyuki Sassa was put in charge of diffusing the situation. But the task ... See full summary »



, (book)
0Check in

10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 170 titles
created 10 Jan 2012
a list of 357 titles
created 03 Feb 2013
a list of 655 titles
created 15 Nov 2013
list image
a list of 1973 titles
created 14 Feb 2014
a list of 245 titles
created 27 Aug 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Totsunyûseyo! Asama sansô jiken (2002)

Totsunyûseyo! Asama sansô jiken (2002) on IMDb 6.6/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Totsunyûseyo! Asama sansô jiken.
9 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Inugami (2001)
Drama | Thriller | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Akira, the young new schoolteacher in town falls for secretive Miki, an older woman who takes care of her family's urn that supposedly holds a forest wolf-spirit, inugami. People soon start disappearing and the town blames Akira.

Director: Masato Harada
Stars: Yûki Amami, Atsuro Watabe, Eugene Harada
Spellbound (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Masato Harada
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kippei Shîna
Suite Dreams (2006)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Kôki Mitani
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Takako Matsu, Kôichi Satô
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A Japanese-American woman and her paralyzed friend and pow in WW2, Barbara, run a desert diner. A mob boss has a ranch nearby and things heat up, when a hitman and a thief arrive at the café.

Director: Masato Harada
Stars: James Gammon, Nobu McCarthy, Kazuya Kimura


Credited cast:
Atsuyuki Sassa
Ryûdô Uzaki ...
Shinichi Udagawa
Yûki Amami ...
Sachiko Sassa
Masatô Ibu ...
Chief Constable Noma
Makoto Fujita ...
Commissioner-General Gotoda
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Meiken Itô
Takashi Kikuchi
Masahiro Kômoto
Shion Machida ...
Hiroshi Sakuma ...
Itô - Assistant Police Inspector (as Kanehiro Ri)
Eisuke Sasai ...
Osamu Shigematu
Kippei Shîna
Yôji Tanaka
Kosuke Toyohara


When radicals from Japan's Red Army took a woman hostage in the resort town of Karuizawa, Nagano in 1972, Officer Atsuyuki Sassa was put in charge of diffusing the situation. But the task had its challenges. Upon arriving in mountainous Nagano, Sassa had to compete with freezing winter temperatures, conflicting opinions between the Tokyo Metropolitan Police and the Nagano Prefectural Police, as well as public opinion to gain entrance to the lodge that held the single woman captive. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on book | See All (1) »


Action | Crime | Drama



Official Sites:



Release Date:

11 May 2002 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Choice of Hercules  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A case study in legalistic miscommunication
28 May 2003 | by (Hastings & Main, Vancouver BC) – See all my reviews

In "Totsunyuseyo! 'Asama Sanso' Jiken"(2002), Harada Masato offers up a picturesque account of the 1972 Karuizawa hostage incident, which took place under frigid conditions in Nagano, Japan. Based on an account penned by the main character Sassa Atsuyuki, it chronicles the ineffectiveness of coordinated law enforcement protocol when conducted in an atmosphere of petty politics, impossible restrictions, poor planning, miscommunication and over-inflated egos. Alternately titled `The Choice of Hercules', Sassa (Yakusho Koji) is a mid-level career man in the Tokyo Metro Police who is forced to bide his time until he reaches an `acceptable' age before being promoted (in itself a critique of the much-maligned system). To this end, he is assigned menial tasks in addition to being sent overseas to study law enforcement techniques in the West. As such, he is the most qualified to respond when a situation erupts for which local law enforcement is totally unprepared - the violent takeover of a mountain resort lodge in Nagano by armed Japan Red Army operatives.

His arrival on scene is the beginning of a huge red-tape battle between the local Nagano Prefectural Police and the hotshots from Tokyo, but even before he leaves, his boss in Tokyo gives him strict written orders which practically doom the rescue operation from the start. Among them are explicit orders not to kill (and thereby martyr) any of the Red Army operatives, along with orders forbidding the use of firearms without permission from Tokyo Metro Police HQ. Sufficiently handicapped as he brings his proverbial knife to a gunfight, Sassa faces the Herculean task of placating the bickering law enforcement factions, as well as enacting the non-lethal rescue capture of six very hostile perpetrators holding a single hostage.

Overall, the story is comical at times, but also sternly critical of the inefficiency that results from too much red tape and not enough common sense. In carrying out his task, Sassa is no John McLane (e.g., Bruce Willis' `Die Hard' character), and not even a Jack Ryan-variant unwilling hero. He is more of a Japanese corporate hero, because he manages to execute his orders no matter how stupid they are, while maintaining his dignity and winning the respect of others. Amidst the utter anarchy of two non-coordinated entry teams using poorly orchestrated cover fire (via an APC-mounted water cannon, a semi-functional wrecking ball, and 40mm CS rounds mistakenly fired onto the entry teams), Sassa strives to achieve the impossible.

The cinematography is most impressive, as it reminds the viewer that while the winter landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful to behold, they also bugger up the police activity outside the lodge, making it a snowy, slushy mess. Even the press conferences are shot through a thick haze of second-hand smoke - scenes you can almost smell as you watch (yuck).

I credit Harada for not oversimplifying the use of firearms in the movie, although it is conceivable that six rifle-wielding snipers could inflict much higher kill rates than portrayed in the film, particularly since the police refused to return fire. Even though Harada's characters concede that their double-walled riot shields won't stop a rifle projectile, we don't see many shields breached, and the only direct hits are on those not utilizing them. Other than that, my only real critique of the film is the fact that despite the 70's look of the police vehicles, there is little in the area of Yakusho Koji's suits, hairstyle or mannerisms that would seem out of place in 2002 (other than perhaps a blatant lack of keitai).

11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Availability of this film kosmikino
Discuss Totsunyûseyo! Asama sansô jiken (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: