5 user 9 critic

Illusion of Blood (1965)

Yotsuya kaidan (original title)
A samurai warrior is haunted by the spirit of his first wife.


Shirô Toyoda


Toshio Yasumi (screenplay), Nanboku Tsuruya (play)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Iyemon Tamiya
Mariko Okada Mariko Okada ... Oiwa
Junko Ikeuchi Junko Ikeuchi ... Osode
Mayumi Ohzora Mayumi Ohzora ... Oume
Keiko Awaji Keiko Awaji ... Omaki
Eitarô Ozawa Eitarô Ozawa ... Oume's Father
Masao Mishima Masao Mishima ... Takuetsu
Mikijirô Hira ... Yomoshichi Satô
Eijirô Tôno ... Priest
Yasushi Nagata Yasushi Nagata ... Oiwa's Father
Yûsuke Takita Yûsuke Takita ... Sword Broker
Shinichi Nakano Shinichi Nakano ... Rice Shop Man
Sen Yano Sen Yano ... Kohei
Toru Uchida Toru Uchida ... Old Clothes Dealer (as Tôru Uchida)
Kinji Omino Kinji Omino ... Shôzaburô Okuda


A samurai warrior is haunted by the spirit of his first wife.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Fantasy | Horror







Release Date:

27 November 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Illusion of Blood See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

Western version lacks much of the violence and almost all of the nudity in Japanese version. See more »


Version of The Yotsuda Phantom (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

Yotsuya kaidan: Another disappointment
5 February 2019 | by PlatypuschowSee all my reviews

While the US were pounding out wall to wall Westerns, Japan (Most notably Toho) were making Samurai movies from epics to action films to horrors like Illusion of Blood.

Based on a tale that had been adapted many times before it tells the story of a samurai tormented by the death of his ex-wife which he had part in. Gradually he begins to lose his mind as he is besieged by haunting visions.

I can only hope that the other adaptations of the tale are better because in no way did I appreciate this one. It failed to engage, the story is a mess and engulfed in side plots that ultimately contribute little.

Tatsuya Nakadai leads, a man I found obnoxious as the antagonist of Sanjuro (1962) but that's what they were going for. Here he's just annoying, it's hard to dislike a character when you simply can't find it in yourself to care.

The visuals are strong, the performances are passable but the story was shoddily told.

Even a studio like Toho can drop the ball sometimes, but based on the rating I can appreciate I'm in the minority thinking this.

The Good:

Looks the part

The Bad:

Tatsuya Nakadai is not on form

Story is dreadfully crafted

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