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Tattooed Life (1965)

Irezumi ichidai (original title)
After his own gang sets him up to kill a rival mobster, a hit man is forced to flee with his younger brother.


Seijun Suzuki


Kei Hattori, Ai Kennedy (translation) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Hideki Takahashi Hideki Takahashi ... Murakami Tetsutaro
Masako Izumi Masako Izumi ... Kinoshita Midori
Hiroko Itô Hiroko Itô ... Kinoshita Masayo
Kayo Matsuo ... Oyuki
Hôsei Komatsu ... Yamano Senkichi
Seizaburô Kawazu ... Akamatsu Jugoro
Kaku Takashina Kaku Takashina ... Tsuneyoshi
Kotobuki Hananomoto Kotobuki Hananomoto ... Murakami Kenji
Akira Yamauchi Akira Yamauchi ... Kinoshita Yuzo
Yuji Kodaka Yuji Kodaka ... Ezaki Osamu
Hiroshi Chiyoda Hiroshi Chiyoda ... Zensuke
Yôko Yokota Yôko Yokota ... Otose
Tessen Nakahira Tessen Nakahira ... Gonji
Zenpei Saga Zenpei Saga ... Totsuka Iwamatsu
Michio Hino Michio Hino ... Tokuhira


After his own gang sets him up to kill a rival mobster, a hit man is forced to flee with his younger brother.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

yakuza | ninkyo | gangster | See All (3) »


Action | Crime


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Referenced in Century of Cinema: 100 Years of Japanese Cinema (1995) See more »

User Reviews

A neglected yakuza classic from Seijun Suzuki
19 July 2003 | by amerhSee all my reviews

Part of the cycle of genre and Yakuza movies that Suzuki directed for Nikkatsu in the early to mid sixties, this film is one of his most memorable. It may not be as well known here as other films in this cycle, probably due to the period setting (1925), and the fact that the middle section has no fighting or action, as it focuses on the fugitive yakuza hiding in the crew of a tunnel construction project.

Suzuki's design sense shines here, with bridges, trains, boats serving as a modern architectural counterpoint to the beautiful Japanese open vistas. It is interesting how similar the themes of this movie are to recent genre films such as Bangkok Dangerous, and how different the execution. The action scenes are short bursts of stylized fighting mixing gunplay with samurai action. The story is more engaging than Suzuki's other Yakusa films. I got the feeling that the director was trying his best to explode the strict confines of the genre, while delivering a commercial product. The buildup to the extraordinary final confrontation, a choreographed samurai style fight inside and outside a traditional Japanese house, is very satisfying. Also interesting are the weird touches like the red boots two of the movie's characters wear.

In my humble opinion, another classic from Mr Suzuki.

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Release Date:

7 October 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tattooed Life See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nikkatsu See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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