3 user 2 critic

The Man Without a Map (1968)

Moetsukita chizu (original title)
A private detective is hired to find a missing man by his wife. Contradictory evidence and the lack of clues soon render the case as virtually unsolvable, as the detective grows more and more frustrated.


Kôbô Abe (screenplay), Kôbô Abe (novel)


Learn more

More Like This 

Pitfall (1962)
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man wanders into a seemingly deserted town with his young son in search of work. But after a bit of bad luck, he joins the town's population of lost souls.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Hisashi Igawa, Sumie Sasaki, Sen Yano
Rikyu (1989)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Legendary tea master Sen no Rikyu is faced with his warmongering lord's unrealistic pretensions.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Yoshiko Mita, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A businessman with a disfigured face obtains a lifelike mask from his doctor, but the mask starts altering his personality.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Mikijirô Hira, Kyôko Kishida
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A Vietnam veteran deserts from the US Army while on leave in Japan.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Keith Sykes, Reisen Ri, Kazuo Kitamura
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô
Gô-hime (1992)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Chronicles the trials and tribulations of Oribe, the successor to tea-master Rikyu, Usu, his gardener, and Princess Goh, who attempt to balance artistic expression and duty amid political intrigue in feudal Japan.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Rie Miyazawa, Tatsuya Nakadai, Toshiya Nagasawa
Zatôichi monogatari (1974–1979)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Blind masseur Zatôichi travels from town to town gambling, drinking, and fighting off the local gangs.

Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Shintarô Akatsuki, Renji Ishibashi
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young hoodlum decides to work for a criminal organization that is tearing itself apart.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Hiroyuki Nagato, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Masao Mishima
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The work of Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí, as seen by Japanese New Wave director Hiroshi Teshigahara.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Isidro Puig Boada, Antoni Gaudí, Seiji Miyaguchi
Kuroneko (1968)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two women are raped and killed by samurai soldiers. Soon they reappear as vengeful ghosts who seduce and brutally murder the passing samurai.

Director: Kaneto Shindô
Stars: Kichiemon Nakamura, Nobuko Otowa, Kei Satô
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A middle-aged bar hostess, constantly in debt, is faced with numerous social constraints and challenges posed to her by her family, customers and friends.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Tatsuya Nakadai, Masayuki Mori
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Chronological exploits of Iwao Enokizu, a murderous thief on the run.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Ken Ogata, Rentarô Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako


Complete credited cast:
Shintarô Katsu ... Detective
Etsuko Ichihara Etsuko Ichihara ... Wife
Osamu Ôkawa Osamu Ôkawa ... Wife's Brother
Kiyoshi Atsumi Kiyoshi Atsumi ... Tashiro
Tamao Nakamura Tamao Nakamura ... Detective's Wife
Kinzô Shin ... Coffee Shop Owner
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Reiko Kasahara Reiko Kasahara
Hôsei Komatsu Hôsei Komatsu
Akiko Kudô Akiko Kudô
Aiko Nagayama Aiko Nagayama
Shôjirô Ogasawara Shôjirô Ogasawara
Kyôichi Satô Kyôichi Satô
Haruo Tanaka Haruo Tanaka
Sakae Umezu
Hideko Yoshida Hideko Yoshida


A private detective is hired to find a missing man by his wife. Contradictory evidence and the lack of clues soon render the case as virtually unsolvable, as the detective grows more and more frustrated.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

1 June 1968 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Without a Map See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Katsu Production See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is the final of four film collaborations involving director Hiroshi Teshigahara, author Kôbô Abe, and scorer Tôru Takemitsu. Their other film collaborations were Pitfall (1962), Woman in the Dunes (1964), and The Face of Another (1966). See more »


Spoofed in Ruined (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Man Without a Map (1968)
16 May 2015 | by mevmijaumauSee all my reviews

This is the last out of four collaborations between director Hiroshi Teshigahara, writer Kobo Abe and composer Toru Takemitsu, but it's never discussed as much as the previous three movies are. This one is in CinemaScope and in color (with a different DP, too), and more confusing than any of them, so I guess fewer people remember it because it isn't quite like the preceding trilogy, even though it tackles the same topics of identity and individualism in the modern world.

The Man Without a Map is based on Kobo Abe's novel The Ruined Map, although the movie likes to call itself The Man Without a Map, in English. Yes, this is the first Japanese '60s film I've ever seen where the opening titles are in English. Moving on, we have Shintaro Katsu, one of the best Japanese actors of the '60s, as a hard-boiled detective dealing with a frustratingly unsolvable case of a man gone missing. The clues he's given contradict each other and soon it gets hard to distinguish what's actually happening. The film explores the loss of an individual's identity in a huge world full of people with their own lives to live, and sometimes certain people get crushed together with their own selves, as made clear in the final scene with the dead dog on the street.

The intro is memorable enough; a burning piece of paper reveals an artsy background showered in sounds of a broken radio transmission. The entire film has an interesting visual side to it, it's like a mixture of op-art pieces, neo-noir coolness and traditional Japanese aesthetics. The majority of the film is blue and grey, taking place in the streets, but several locations are bathed in striking shades of yellow or red. The characters are shot through various reflective surfaces and geometrical shapes, making some shots look more complex than you'd expect, like the bar scene shot where three characters are facing away from us, with the waiter in the middle. Two of the three characters in the front have their faces seen through a mirror in the background, between bottles.

Unfortunately, the movie loses itself after the engrossing first hour and the mass confusion of the case doesn't come across as perplexing or thought-provoking, but instead lazy and under-scripted. Shintaro Katsu and the others do their very best, but the material isn't really fertile and the ending is way too abrupt and unsatisfying. The surrealistic sequences and some dialogues are completely baffling (not in an interesting way), and the scenes when the image goes into negative filters are just ugly.

The movie has a fantastic atmosphere, fascinating visual design and a seriously great storyline, but it never really amounts to anything. The direction isn't passionate, the script is weak. Perhaps Teshigahara was faced with a heavy identity crisis of his own while filming this? Either way, it's an alright film, but with lots and lots of failed potential.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed