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Hakkodasan (1977)

Two infantry regiments of the Imperial Japanese Army tackled Mount Hakkoda in the winter of 1902 to prepare for war with Russia.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shôgo Shimada ... General Tomoda
... Captain Tokushima
Hideji Ôtaki ... Colonel Nakabayashi
Kin'ya Kitaôji ... Captain Kanda
... Colonel Kojima
Rentarô Mikuni ... Major Yamada
... Hatsuko Kanda (Captain Kanda's wife)
Akira Hamada ... Lieutenant Tanabe
Mariko Kaga ... Taeko Tokushima (Captain Tokushima's wife)
Yûzô Kayama ... Captain Kurata
Kumiko Akiyoshi ... Sawa Takiguchi (Guide)
Ken'ichi Katô ... Second Lieutenant Takahata
Ren Ebata ... Apprentice officer Funayama
Kôhei Takayama ... Apprentice officer Nagao
Keiju Kobayashi
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Two infantry regiments of the Imperial Japanese Army tackled Mount Hakkoda in the winter of 1902 to prepare for war with Russia.

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4 June 1977 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Mount Hakkoda  »

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Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 50th Academy Awards in 1978. See more »

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A Frozen Hell
12 August 2015 | by See all my reviews

In January, 1902 a troop of soldiers of the Japanese Imperial army are sent on a march over Mt. Hakkoda, in the north part of the main island, to gain winter training in preparation for the upcoming war with Russia. It ends in the worst mountain disaster in Japanese history, with 199 of the 210 men perishing in a severe snowstorm. The trek was ill fated from the start, with the officers stuck in their own rigid thinking. They thought they knew best, and if the men weren't tough enough to survive a march through the woods, they didn't deserve to serve the Emperor. And all those warnings from the locals? They were mere peasants, not worth listening to. This film, based on the "documentary" novel by Jiro Nitta, has some powerful images. One that I'll never forget is the scene of several trying to climb up a steep icy slope. One loses his grip and slides down, taking others along with him. A few go crazy and strip to their loincloths. Others just drop dead. There's no fire and very few provisions. Keeping them going are ironic visions of the area in the late spring and the beautiful guide they met.


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