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A Lone Scalpel (2010)

Kokô no mesu (original title)
Surgeon Touma (Shinichi Tsutsumi) became a doctor after losing his mother at a young age due to a faulty diagnosis. Now working at at a local hospital in 1989, Touma faces the realities of ... See full summary »



(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
5 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Tetsuhiko toma
Daisuke Ryû
Kimiko Yo
Hiroki Narimiya
Yui Natsukawa ...
Namiko nakamura
Akira Emoto
Katsuhisa Namase
Yutaka Matsushige
Hisashi Yoshizawa
Yu Tokui
Tamae Andô
Mitsuru Hirata
Daisuke Honda
Mion Tanaka


Surgeon Touma (Shinichi Tsutsumi) became a doctor after losing his mother at a young age due to a faulty diagnosis. Now working at at a local hospital in 1989, Touma faces the realities of a flawed medical system, but continues to help his patients regardless of past customs. One day, the mayor (Akira Emoto) of the local city is admitted into the hospital in critical condition. To save the mayor's life, the mayor must undergo the first liver transplant from a brain-dead donor procedure in Japan. The law currently forbids such operations ... what will Touma do?

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Release Date:

5 June 2010 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Lone Scalpel  »

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User Reviews

Skill of one doctor saves many lives
15 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Based on a comic by Tetta Yamada, and a novel by Roran Takayama, "Kokou no Mesu" is a story about an idealistic doctor who helps patients that are (often) refused treatment by other hospitals.

Tetsuhiko Toma (Shinichi Tsutsumi) is newly arrived doctor at a hospital in a province. His first patient was a hematoma patient that the doctor at another hospital performed a botched operation. He shows amazing skill and removes part of the liver that is affected. Nurse Nakamura (Yui Natsukawa) who had bad impression of him in the beginning is impressed by his aptitude, and feels affinity to him. He performs many other great operations, and his reputation spreads throughout. He has a habit of playing Harumi Miyako's music during operation. One day, the owner of the hospital, Matsuo Ookawa (Akira Kusumoto) collapses due to liver cirrhosis. He needs a transplant, but the only suitable donor is a 17 year old brain dead young man. Toma negotiates with the boy's mother to work on the transplant.

The movie is somewhat of an expose about the current (sad) state of medical profession in Japan. In this regard, it's somewhat like the "Team Medical Dragon", but this one is more subdued, and serious. Toma is just doing his job, but that is taken to be highly unusual in this movie.

The movie won awards for Shinichi Tsutsumi, and Yui Natsukawa, and the movie itself have won the 84th Japanese Academy Award. I'm not sure if this was that good of a movie as it focused too much on the patient operation, and there wasn't enough story to be told. It would have been better if nurse Nakamura got closer to Toma, and more human interaction occurred during the movie. It's also not clear why Toma had to leave. He's been vindicated by all parties.

Not so stellar, but Shinichi Tsutsumi, and Yui Natsukawa delivers good performance. The movie is worth the watch because of their performances.

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