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Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1971)

Tomato Kecchappu Kôtei (original title)
| Drama | 1971 (Japan)
A subversive short film from director Shuuji Terayama.


Shûji Terayama (as Shuuji Terayama)


Shûji Terayama (screenplay) (as Shuuji Terayama)


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Credited cast:
Goro Abashiri Goro Abashiri
Tarô Apollo Tarô Apollo
Shiro Demaemochi Shiro Demaemochi
Mitsufumi Hashimoto Mitsufumi Hashimoto
Maya Kaba Maya Kaba
Keiko Niitaka Keiko Niitaka
Masako Ono Masako Ono
Salvador Tari Salvador Tari


A subversive short film from director Shuuji Terayama.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

1971 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Emperor Tomato Ketchup See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(1971) | (1996)


Black and White (tinted) (1996 72-minute version)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


British alternative-rock band Stereolab, named their 1996 album Emperor Tomato Ketchup after this film See more »

Alternate Versions

Color tinted version - 72 minutes long See more »


Edited from The War of Jan-Ken-Pon (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Two versions, not at all pornographic
19 December 2004 | by jmcdermo-1See all my reviews

First there are two versions of this film, one which was shown in 1970 and is 76 minutes long in sepia, and another which was produced in Germany for European audiences in 1971 and was 28 minutes long in black and white. If possible it is better to see the 76 minute version, the 28 minute is a chopped up "just the highlights" version that is not very true to terayama's original intentions. Unfortunately the 28 minute version is much more widely available outside Japan, and is what most people have seen.

Second: The film is not pornographic in the least bit. Terayama was not interested in pornography, which he saw as a tool of state oppression, but in creating a vision of erotic utopia. So it has naked children raping adults, BIG deal. The film was made in answer to Nazi Holocaust camps, the atomic bomb, the rape of Nanking, the Vietnam war etc. Terayama had lived through the firebombs that destroyed his town, leaving charred bodies of women and children littered about him when he was but 9 years old. A few naked children, especially in 1970, is no big deal, so grow up. If you can't handle it, then I guess yes, keep your eyes closed to the worlds horror and don't watch the film.

Third: It is not a feel good film, and is primarily about revolution and failed utopian dreams. It is a rejection of any meta-narrative progression, by which I mean there is no promise implied or given. No promise of good, or god or justice, as terayama sought to express a "vanished thought" Not that the film couldn't be better, but it got my back up to see the other review where they dismiss it so easily and without thought.


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