This is another fragment that survives beyond the three complete films directed by Yamanaka Sadao. Released in two parts in 1935 and 1936, "Kato Shirozukin", known in English as "The White Hood" is a story of a mysterious thief, and only 23 seconds of this film survive. Yet they exhibit, just as the surviving fragment of "Iso no Genta: Dakine no nagawakizashi" (1932), expertly intense swordplay as a group of swordsmen burst onto an indoors scene.
The fragment survives because the distributors, Shinkô Kinema, provided theater-goers with the possibility to purchase scenes. This is, obviously, is the scene in question, before which one can see the studio logo (the short credits at the beginning of the aforementioned "Iso no Genta" even mention it as the first film of Yamanaka Sadao, an apparent selling point) that reminds of modern trailers.
Life in Filmland is seldom fair. Films that should be seen aren't, and art that should be preserved is lost forever. There's nothing we can do about it other than be grateful that of the wonderful films of Yamanaka Sadao we have three, and thanks to the Masters of Cinema, we have them readily available on DVD with English subtitles. This fragment is an extra on disk one with an introduction by Tony Rayns.
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