MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 29,989 this week

Ken (1964)

 |  Drama  |  14 March 1964 (Japan)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 155 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 4 critic

Add a Plot

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: June

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in June, brought to you by Swiffer.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 367 titles
created 30 Nov 2011
 
a list of 1482 titles
created 06 Jan 2012
 
a list of 227 titles
created 20 Feb 2013
 
a list of 11 titles
created 19 Nov 2013
 
a list of 841 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Ken" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Ken (1964)

Ken (1964) on IMDb 7.4/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Ken.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Fashion executive Dominique's obsession for Quentin, a young bisexual hustler, fills her desire for physical love but leaves her taxed emotionally. Twists and turns in the relationship, ... See full summary »

Director: Benoît Jacquot
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Vincent Martinez, Vincent Lindon
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When the patriarch of the Toda family suddenly dies, his widow discovers that he has left her with nothing but debt and married children who are unwilling to support her--except for her most thoughtful son, just returned from China.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Mieko Takamine, Shin Saburi, Hideo Fujino
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Against the backdrop of the Edo treasury devaluing currency and driving many into poverty, Hanzo Itami enforces the law without regard to status. He shows inadequate respect to the ... See full summary »

Director: Yasuzô Masumura
Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Keiko Aikawa, Kazuko Inano
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Michiyo Kogure, Yoshiko Kuga, Ken Uehara
Uwasa no onna (1954)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Tomoemon Otani, Yoshiko Kuga
Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The lives of a master sculptor and his young apprentice are changed forever when they meet an evil witch during a snow storm.

Director: Tokuzô Tanaka
Stars: Shiho Fujimura, Akira Ishihama, Machiko Hasegawa
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Kenji Misumi
Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Tôru Abe, Jun Fujimaki
Kurotokage (1962)
Crime | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Umetsugu Inoue
Stars: Machiko Kyô, Minoru Ôki, Junko Kanô
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Sôkichi Tomimoto
Stars: Ayako Wakao, Seizaburô Kawazu, Takao Ito
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Ryô Kinoshita
Stars: Kyôko Kishida, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Yuki Nakagawa
Kuro tokage (1968)
Comedy | Crime | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Japanese sixties comedy featuring a cunning female jewel thief named Black Lizard who tries to kidnap Sanaye, a wealthy jeweler's beautiful daughter as part of a plot to steal the jeweler's... See full summary »

Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Stars: Akihiro Miwa, Isao Kimura, Kikko Matsuoka
Conflagration (1958)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Ganjirô Nakamura, Tatsuya Nakadai
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Raizô Ichikawa ...
Jiro Kokubun
Yûsuke Kawazu ...
Kagawa
Hisaya Morishige ...
Mibu
Akio Hasegawa ...
Mibu
Noriko Sengoku ...
Kiuchi
Keiju Kobayashi ...
Eri Itami
Yuka Konno ...
Shigeko Fujishiro
Junko Kozakura ...
Sanae Mibu
Yoshio Inaba ...
Seiichiro Kokubun
Rieko Sumi ...
Hiroko Kokubun
Kuniichi Takami
Edit

Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 March 1964 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Le sabre  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Mibu: We come to life, we die... It's a perpetual renewal. How boring
Jiro Kokubun: Did you come up with that? Or did you read it in a book
Mibu: No, I just came up with it.
Jiro Kokubun: Don't think about the future, you are still young.
Mibu: But I have hope
Jiro Kokubun: Me too, but I dislike triviality.
Mibu: Triviality? Is thinking about the future trivial?
Jiro Kokubun: Yes.
Mibu: So what is your goal in life then?
Jiro Kokubun: Satisfaction of the present. The sword, and nothing else. I only think about victory at the national championship. Everything else is futile. Do you understand?
[...]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Everytime he beats me, I understand kendo a little better"
18 August 2010 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

First off, I kept my rating somewhat lower because I don't agree with the moral values it offers up as praiseworthy in the finale. The protagonist is the young idealist the Japanese often favoured. He's not the obnoxious do-gooder of The Human Condition, he's the stoic ascetic hero who wants a life of simplicity. He's the captain of a university kendo team, swords slash and flash across the frame and we get all the sweat and furious uproar of the swordfight, but then the movie steps out of the kendo training house and we're not in feudal Japan anymore. The pupils smoke and party and play mahjongg. In this world, Kokubu, the protagonist strong and resolute and lonely, is a bit of an anachronism and everyone around him cocks an eyebrow at his way of life.

Kagawa is the antagonist, the kendo fighter with great technique but whose swordfighting is sometimes moved by arrogance, yet Misumi doesn't set him up as the bad guy. He wants to understand how Kokubu can live the way he does and he can't so it's frustrating for him. The problem with the movie is that it's based on the writings of Yukio Mishima. His ascetic ideas are dishonest. Kokubu speaks of simplicity and 'satisfaction of the present', and the movie wants us to believe he's the only one to know true freedom from societal constraints. He has no fear but he wants to win the championship, so he still has hope to cling to. On the gravestone of Nikos Kazantzakis, a more earthy man and philosopher than militant Mishima could ever hope or want to be, it reads "I fear nothing, I hope for nothing, I am a free man".

In the end everyone laments "why couldn't we understand Kokubu?". Kokubu has lifted himself a little above and beyond mundane life and earthly desires, like a saint or a hermit perched on a rock above a high cliff, but he's alone there at the last, and his cry in the wilderness should have been painful and anguished. The movie doesn't give us the cry or even the faint echo of it. In its way, Ken holds him up as a hero to be wept for and a model for inspiration, it refuses to see the folly in his life. But to be Kokubu one must cut himself from everything that makes us human, all the vice and folly which we know we must escape yet realize at every turn that we cannot and live to regret it, and it's that fallibility that makes us human and makes the human experience what it is. In the Kazantzakis book Zorba the Greek the ascetic cellibate loner protagonist realizes his world of writings amounts to nothing and eventually looks up to his wild companion who is filled with an immediate joy for life with envy and admiration. Maybe that is the difference between Greeks and Japanese, maybe simply the difference between Kazantzakis and Mishima.

In that aspect Ken is a smoke mirror. It distorts the image, it twists personal ideology out of real life. But like all mirrors it still reflects something held up against it and there's value in that. If we can't know something of our life in Ken, at least we can know something about the life and philosophy of Yukio Mishima.

Unheralded titan Kenji Misumi frames and shoots it like he's already a world class director. There's a lot of Japaneseness in it though so, like most of his work, like most of 60's Japanese cinema in general, it will remain the temple of worship of a niche audience. And unlike the more difficult works of people like Toshio Matsumoto or Yoshishige Yoshida it doesn't require blood and human sacrifice from us. Like Kokubu, this is cinema strong and calm and resolute, assured and precise, like something chiseled on black obsidian, the details crisp and vivid.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Ken (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?