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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.


Yukio Mishima




Cast overview:
Yukio Mishima ... Shinji Takeyama
Yoshiko Tsuruoka Yoshiko Tsuruoka ... Reiko


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) »


Drama | Short


Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #433. See more »


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


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User Reviews

Not for all tastes and almost impossible to review...
2 November 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a very hard movie to rate or even review, as it is so foreign. Now I don't mean 'foreign' because it's made abroad, but 'foreign' because the entire story, style and spirit of this short film is alien to many out there who are not from an older generation in Japan. The film is a Noh play that is entirely without dialog--just music, LOTS of intertitle cards explaining the situation and a couple going through a long and drawn out ritual suicide!! See what I mean?! This ain't a Spielberg or John Ford film!! Instead, it's horribly violent and disgusting to watch because it is so real. Yet, at the time of its release, the film was admired because it was a lesson in honor and fidelity! It all stems from a real incident in 1936 when an officer was ordered to execute his friends who had participated in an attempted coup. So, if your idea of fun is watching a couple slowly and silently disembowel themselves, then by all means watch it. After all, the cinematography is amazingly good and is one of the prettier black & white films I have seen and the music is lovely as they eviscerate themselves. Sadly, I had hoped that the short was instead an explanation of WHY the coup was attempted in the first place--now THAT would have been interesting.

Kids: Don't try this at home!

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Release Date:

12 April 1966 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Patriotism See more »

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