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The Ghost of Yotsuya (1959)

Tôkaidô Yotsuya kaidan (original title)
The ghost of a samurai's wife takes revenge on her husband.


Nobuo Nakagawa


Masayoshi Ônuki (screenplay), Yoshihiro Ishikawa (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Atmospheric and full of great performances.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shigeru Amachi ... Iemon Tamiya
Noriko Kitazawa Noriko Kitazawa ... Sode
Katsuko Wakasugi Katsuko Wakasugi ... Iwa (as Kazuko Wakasugi)
Shuntarô Emi Shuntarô Emi ... Naosuke
Ryûzaburô Nakamura Ryûzaburô Nakamura ... Yomoshichi Satô
Junko Ikeuchi Junko Ikeuchi ... Ume Itô
Jun Ôtomo Jun Ôtomo ... Takuetsu
Hiroshi Hayashi Hiroshi Hayashi ... Kiemon Itô
Shinjirô Asano Shinjirô Asano ... Samon Yotsuya
Arata Shibata Arata Shibata ... Hikoemon Satô
Kikuko Hanaoka Kikuko Hanaoka ... Maki
Hiroshi Sugi Hiroshi Sugi ... Jônen
Yôzô Takamura Yôzô Takamura ... Usaburô Ozawa
Nagamasa Yamada Nagamasa Yamada
Hiroshi Izumida Hiroshi Izumida


This classic Japanese horror movie directed by Nobuo Nakagawa is based on an 18th-century masterpiece written by Nanboku Tsuruya. It is about a woman who haunts her husband after she dies a miserable death. The story has terrified the Japanese people for ages. Written by Leo Urbina

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | samurai | ghost | poison | masseur | See All (26) »









Release Date:

11 July 1959 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Ghost Story of Yotsuya in Tokaido See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Dream House (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting and enjoyable but flawed version
29 October 2012 | by kannibalcorpsegrinderSee all my reviews

Tired of living in poverty with his wife, a samurai hatches a scheme to kill her off so he can marry a wealthier woman which he carries out successfully, but her ghost returns to torment him for the wrongful death and must find a way to stop it before he is condemned for eternity.

This is one of the most enjoyable and faithful variations of the story. Even though most of them are going to be pretty much similar to what happens, this one goes for a straight retelling of the story which comes off decently. With the first half retelling their life in poverty together, these reinforcements of the society gap between the two becomes heavily integrated with the original story which isn't that action-packed yet wholly sets up the ghostly vengeance later on. When the murder happens and the ghostly stuff starts to happen, it gets infinitely better through the use of actually having stuff happening as those allow this one to surprisingly become far more watchable. With the last part of the film taken up by this use of classic Gothic horror tropes as the visions of the two ghosts appearing around the huts or appearing out of the swamp, moaning and madness all start to come into play here in a series of long, extended scare scenes that take on a fine form of revenge against him and even does correct some flaws found here. It doesn't have too many flaws about it to hold it back. The first half of this film has absolutely nothing of any real value as a horror film at all, looking absolutely like a lame drama about the social standing rather than anything to do with a ghost story, and it makes for some utterly boring and not at all interesting times. The endless talks of him trying to get a better life, the prodding from his friend who knows too much and the interactions with the wife all compound together to make this a pretty bland part of the story. As well, the film also really looks it's age with the set-based look of the villages and the cramped, confined feel completely destroys the intent of being out in the countryside the way it should be. The positives counteract some of these issues but not all of them, leaving this as a rather interesting take on the story but overall not much else.

Rated Unrated/PG-13: Violence.

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