7.7/10
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Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937)

Ninjô kami fûsen (original title)
The lives of two slum neighbors, one of a happy-go-lucky gambler and the other of a poor ronin, converge when the two get involved with the affairs of a powerful samurai official and his gangsters.

Director:

Sadao Yamanaka
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Cast

Credited cast:
Chôjûrô Kawarasaki Chôjûrô Kawarasaki ... Matajuro Unno, a samurai
Kan'emon Nakamura Kan'emon Nakamura ... Shinza, the barber
Tsuruzô Nakamura Tsuruzô Nakamura
Chôemon Bandô Chôemon Bandô
Sukezô Sukedakaya Sukezô Sukedakaya ... Landlord (as Sukezo Sukedakaya)
Emitaro Ichikawa Emitaro Ichikawa
Noboru Kiritachi Noboru Kiritachi
Shizue Yamagishi Shizue Yamagishi ... Otaki, Matajuro's wife
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Toshio Arashi Toshio Arashi
Kikunosuke Ichikawa Kikunosuke Ichikawa ... Kanekichi
Rakusaburô Ichikawa Rakusaburô Ichikawa ... Yakichi
Daisuke Katô Daisuke Katô ... Isuke - Yatagoro henchman
Takako Misaki Takako Misaki ... Okoma
Kôzaburô Nakamura Kôzaburô Nakamura
Kikunojo Segawa Kikunojo Segawa ... Chushichi
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Storyline

The lives of two slum neighbors, one of a happy-go-lucky gambler and the other of a poor ronin, converge when the two get involved with the affairs of a powerful samurai official and his gangsters.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

August 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Humanity and Paper Balloons See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's pessimistic tone offended the censors to the extent that the director lost his military exemption permit. Drafted as a common private the very day "Humanity and Paper Balloons" was released, Yamanaka died from dysentery in Manchuria a year later, aged 28. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ezer Kenegdo (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Poor's Pride
19 September 2009 | by crossbow0106See all my reviews

This is a brilliant film. A story about a poverty stricken part of Edo (Tokyo) in the feudal era of Japan, the film concerns itself with its inhabitants, all of which are superbly written and realized. The best role went to Nakamura Kanemon as Shinzu The Barber. His character is contrary, proud and kind of fearless. The depiction of poor but somewhat brutish samurai is also greatly written. The story begins with a suicide and while is generally an unhappy film there is a bit of dark comedy in it. One of the saddest things was this was director Yamanaka Sadeo's swan song, as he died in the war shortly thereafter. Sadder still is that most of his films have been lost, but you still have this film, an utterly mesmerizing tale of the poor who somehow accept their fate and do not make it a millstone around their neck. See this, its a deserved classic.


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