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Patriotism (1966)

Yûkoku (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Short | 12 April 1966 (Japan)
A Noh dramatization of the suicides of Lt. Shinji Takeyama and his wife Reiko. After participating in a failed 1936 coup and being ordered to execute his friends, he bids his wife an intimate farewell and commits harakiri.

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Cast

Cast overview:
... Shinji Takeyama
Yoshiko Tsuruoka ... Reiko
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Storyline

Two characters on a Noh stage dramatize the rite of love and death of Lieutenant Shinji Takeyama and his wife Reiko. Takeyama was one of a cadre of young officers who staged a coup d'état in February, 1936. He was not arrested when the coup failed, but as an officer of the palace guard, he knew he would be given the order to execute his friends. The night before the execution, he and his wife prepare for hara-kiri, first with passion without shyness, then in uniform and kimono with sword and dagger. Calligraphy figures in the preparation, as Reiko gathers her keepsakes to give to survivors. They embrace in death. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

death | officer | uniform | sword | passion | See All (53) »

Genres:

Drama | Short

Certificate:

Not Rated

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12 April 1966 (Japan)  »

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Patriotism  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Mishima's death on 25 November 1970, all prints of this film were rumored to have been destroyed by his wife Yoko. However, in August 2005, original film negatives were "discovered" at the late author's residence in Ota Ward, Tokyo. About 40 reels have now been found in what Japanese media refer to as an "airtight tea box". According to Hiroaki Fujii (78), the movie's producer (who at the time apparently urged Yoko to keep the original intact), the recovered elements are in "pristine condition". The film will be released on DVD by Shinchosha early in 2006. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Tristan und Isolde
: Liebestod
by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

 
A Forgotten Masterpiece.
24 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

Yukio Mishima is one of my all time favorite writers, my favorite book of his is The Temple of The Golden Pavilion. And I haven't read Patriotism, but this movie tells the story very well. The title cards tell you more about the background story than the actual film. The actual film is about a general (or some kind of soldier) coming home, having sex with his wife and then they both commit suicide or seppuku. What I find pretty bizarre is that Mishima himself plays the main character, also he produced, wrote and co-directed this. Sadly this was the only film he made, I'm sure he would have been a great director. Also, the "weird" part is that Mishima committed seppuku as well. I think this was almost like Mishima's fantasy, dying for your homeland. Mishima was pretty well know as a heavy patriot and was highly interested in Samurai lifestyle and their coda. In 1970, he and his small army tried to coup d'etat, and tried to bring back the conformist Japan back. But failed and committed seppuku. In a way this is about Mishima's life and kinda his future.

The main theme is patriotism and what does it actually mean. The main character can't go through the orders he was given, so he commits suicide, is he dying for his country or for himself? He seems to think that his dying for his country. His wife kills herself as well, mainly to show how committed she is to him. In that respect it's also about commitment to your country and to your married one.

It's I guess, I silent movie. Nobody says anything, only this beautiful music is in the back-ground. And this movies back-ground is pretty interesting as well. When Mishima died, his wife ordered every copy of this movie to be burned. However, in 2006 a perfect copy was found in a tea-box. I'm also surprised that this movie even got re leashed. This is a pretty gory film, the seppuku scene is pretty vile and disgusting. Mishima: A Life in 4 Chapters is a Paul Schrader movie he made in 1985. It's one of my favorite movies of all time and after seeing this, I think Schrader had seen this. Just how the styles are very similar, they both have chapters and both have parts filmed in a sound-stage in similar ways. Maybe I'm wrong...

Anyways, I love it. I think it's a masterpiece of Japanese cinema and deserves to be seen. It's weird that little over 600 user have rated this here on IMDb, well at least it got a Criterion release. I recommend this to any Mishima fan, and to any one else. Just a note, if you get disturbed easily by violence, I wouldn't recommend this to you...


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