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Kwaidan (1964)

Kaidan (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 22 November 1965 (USA)
A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes.

Director:

Masaki Kobayashi

Writers:

Yôko Mizuki (screenplay), Lafcadio Hearn (novel) (as Yakumo Koizumi)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michiyo Aratama ... First wife (segment "Kurokami")
Misako Watanabe Misako Watanabe ... Second Wife (segment "Kurokami")
Rentarô Mikuni Rentarô Mikuni ... Husband (segment "Kurokami")
Kenjirô Ishiyama ... Father (segment "Kurokami")
Ranko Akagi Ranko Akagi ... Mother (segment "Kurokami")
Fumie Kitahara Fumie Kitahara ... (segment "Kurokami")
Kappei Matsumoto Kappei Matsumoto ... (segment "Kurokami")
Yoshiko Ieda Yoshiko Ieda ... (segment "Kurokami")
Otome Tsukimiya Otome Tsukimiya ... (segment "Kurokami")
Kenzô Tanaka Kenzô Tanaka ... (segment "Kurokami")
Kiyoshi Nakano Kiyoshi Nakano ... (segment "Kurokami")
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Mi nokichi (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Keiko Kishi ... Yuki the Snow Maiden (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Yûko Mochizuki Yûko Mochizuki ... Minokichi's mother (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Kin Sugai Kin Sugai ... Village woman (segment "Yuki-Onna")
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Storyline

This film contains four distinct, separate stories. "Black Hair": A poor samurai who divorces his true love to marry for money, but finds the marriage disastrous and returns to his old wife, only to discover something eerie about her. "The Woman in the Snow": Stranded in a snowstorm, a woodcutter meets an icy spirit in the form of a woman spares his life on the condition that he never tell anyone about her. A decade later he forgets his promise. "Hoichi the Earless": Hoichi is a blind musician, living in a monastery who sings so well that a ghostly imperial court commands him to perform the epic ballad of their death battle for them. But the ghosts are draining away his life, and the monks set out to protect him by writing a holy mantra over his body to make him invisible to the ghosts. But they've forgotten something. "In a Cup of Tea": a writer tells the story of a man who keep seeing a mysterious face reflected in his cup of tea. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Toho's Cannes Film Festival Prize Winner See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

22 November 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ghost Stories See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan

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Box Office

Budget:

JPY350,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #90. See more »

Alternate Versions

A 163 minute version is now available on Region 1 DVD as a part of the Criterion Collection. The (Region 2) Masters of Cinema DVD is the first video release to contain the full 183 minutes of the original Japanese cut of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Conan the Barbarian (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the most amazing Japanese movies I've ever seen!
28 February 2004 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

'Kwaidan' is an astonishing film, once seen never forgotten. It's labeled horror, but while the four stories within deal with ghosts and the supernatural, I doubt that anyone would be actually frightened watching it. Haunted, yes, scared, no. It's a beautiful movie, very stylized with a very imaginative use of colour. I can't think of anything else I've seen that comes close. Mario Bava, maybe. The movie consists of four stories. I think it's best watched as a whole to let each story blend in to the other, but if forced to choose I would say my favourite segment is the second one ('The Woman In The Snow') which I believe was left out of the version of the movie originally shown outside Japan. 'Kwaidan' is one of those rare movies that leaves you stunned the first time you see it. For me it's equal to 'Rashomon', 'Woman In The Dunes' and 'Branded To Kill' as the most amazing Japanese movies I've ever seen. Each one of these movies blew my mind. It's difficult not to gush about all four. They come with my highest recommendation. I sincerely believe that anybody who watches them will be incredibly impressed. They are all masterpieces.


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