8.6/10
44,873
267 user 77 critic

Hara-Kiri (1962)

Seppuku (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Mystery | 4 August 1964 (USA)
When a ronin requesting seppuku at a feudal lord's palace is told of the brutal suicide of another ronin who previously visited, he reveals how their pasts are intertwined - and in doing so challenges the clan's integrity.

Director:

Masaki Kobayashi

Writers:

Yasuhiko Takiguchi (novel), Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,807 ( 89)
Top Rated Movies #32 | 8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Hanshiro Tsugumo
Akira Ishihama Akira Ishihama ... Motome Chijiiwa
Shima Iwashita ... Miho Tsugumo
Tetsurô Tanba ... Hikokuro Omodaka
Masao Mishima ... Tango Inaba
Ichirô Nakatani ... Hayato Yazaki
Kei Satô ... Masakazu
Yoshio Inaba ... Jinai Chijiiwa
Hisashi Igawa ... Retainer
Tôru Takeuchi Tôru Takeuchi ... Retainer
Yoshirô Aoki Yoshirô Aoki ... Umenosuke Kawabe
Tatsuo Matsumura ... Seibei
Akiji Kobayashi ... Ii Clan Retainer
Kôichi Hayashi Kôichi Hayashi
Ryûtarô Gomi ... General
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Storyline

Peace in 17th-century Japan causes the Shogunate's breakup of warrior clans, throwing thousands of samurai out of work and into poverty. An honorable end to such fate under the samurai code is ritual suicide, or hara-kiri (self-inflicted disembowelment). An elder warrior, Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai) seeks admittance to the house of a feudal lord to commit the act. There, he learns of the fate of his son-in-law, a young samurai who sought work at the house but was instead barbarically forced to commit traditional hara-kiri in an excruciating manner with a dull bamboo blade. In flashbacks the samurai tells the tragic story of his son-in-law, and how he was forced to sell his real sword to support his sick wife and child. Tsugumo thus sets in motion a tense showdown of revenge against the house. Written by Kevin Rayburn <kprayb01@homer.louisville.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are two sides to every blade... One for the enemy... One for suicide by... [HARAKIRI] See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is in the Official Top 250 Narrative Feature Films on Letterboxd. See more »

Goofs

After Motome's seppuku, when Omodaka steps forward and chops Motome's head off (supposedly), he visibly stops his swing before striking Motome's neck (naturally, since real swords were used). See more »

Quotes

Hanshiro Tsugumo: After all, this thing we call samurai honor is ultimately nothing but a facade.
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Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2011 (2011) See more »

User Reviews

 
This is the best character study & Samurai movie ever made.
12 May 1999 | by FRANK13See all my reviews

I have seen this movie numerous times (at least 10, probably many more), and enjoy it each time. The first couple of times I saw it was right after it came out. It did not have sub-titles, and as my Japanese is not very good, I made some assumptions about the characters, relationships, the plot,etc. When I saw it with sub-titles, I was surprised at how few incorrect assumptions I had made. That I made so few errors is no credit to me, but rather to how well the plot, character development, character relationships, and the overall movie were done.

The movie is not limited to feudal Japan, for it transcends this era. It has lessons, for those who look for this in art. For instance, just one example occurs to me now: It underscores the need for a person to stand on principle, and to maintain their honor, ethics, and dignity, even when those who are the political leaders have long since lost theirs. However for purely entertainment value, the realism, suspense, art, and action could not be better. Words fail to express how this film captivates and entertains. Few films can equal this one. It is a "must see."


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

4 August 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hara-Kiri See more »

Filming Locations:

Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,222
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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