14 user 17 critic

Saimin (1999)

Three apparently unrelated suicides occur on the same day in Tokyo. One involves a young athlete, one a groom at his wedding reception, and the third an elderly man celebrating his wife's ... See full summary »


Masayuki Ochiai
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Credited cast:
Gorô Inagaki ... Toshiya Saga
Miho Kanno Miho Kanno ... Yuka Irie
Takeshi Masu Takeshi Masu ... Jissoji
Ken Utsui Ken Utsui ... Sakurai
Yuki Watanabe Yuki Watanabe ... Mitsui
Shigemitsu Ogi Shigemitsu Ogi ... Kuraishi
Kenta Satoi Kenta Satoi
Noborou Shirai Noborou Shirai
Tadao Nakamura Tadao Nakamura
Katsumi Takahashi Katsumi Takahashi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yûko Andô Yûko Andô
Yôzaburô Itô Yôzaburô Itô ... Man in bank
Masahiro Kômoto
Tadao Nakamaru Tadao Nakamaru
Albert Smith Albert Smith ... Bartender
Learn more

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Three apparently unrelated suicides occur on the same day in Tokyo. One involves a young athlete, one a groom at his wedding reception, and the third an elderly man celebrating his wife's birthday. A middle aged detective investigating one of the cases begins to suspect a connection between the three when he discovers that each person mentioned a "green monkey" before they died. With the help of a young psychiatrist he formulates the theory that hypnosis is somehow involved. In the mean time other bizarre "suicides" are reported and the mystery intensifies. Who will be next? What is the truth? Can more deaths be prevented? Written by Infofreak

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User Reviews

A highly accurate portrayal of the criminal abuses possible with hypnosis
19 December 2013 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

Only if you get hold of a copy of the book OPEN TO SUGGESTION (published in Britain in 1989 but suppressed in the USA by the CIA, who told numerous American publishers who were interested in it that it would be against the national interest to publish it) can you appreciate just how accurate this film is. This tensely directed Japanese film, directed by Masayuki Ochiai (who was also one of the three writers), is a rather garish and eerie thriller which becomes somewhat paranormal towards the end. Various people are suddenly committing suicide without explanation, and a police investigation tries to find out why. They all appear to go into a trance just before killing themselves and say that they can 'see the green monkey', so there is clearly a link of some kind, but none of the people appear ever to have met one another, and it is a deep mystery which seems impossible to solve. And who or what the green monkey is no one can figure out either. Eventually it becomes clear that they have all previously been hypnotised and a high-pitched sound has been triggering post-hypnotic revived trance states without warning, resulting in their deaths. As OPEN TO SUGGESTION (which includes a 150 year survey of documented cases of the criminal abuses of hypnosis) makes clear, approximately 5% of the population are what are known among hypnotists as 'highly-suggestibles', or 'virtuosos'. They are the ones who can easily be criminally abused by an unscrupulous expert hypnotist. A small minority of these are multiple personality cases. One of the leading characters in this film is a very pretty waif-like girl named Yuka Irie, played by Miho Kanno. As the film evolves, we discover that she is a multiple personality case and that one of her personalities even lives in a different Tokyo flat which is unknown to her main personality. This sort of thing is not at all unusual for a true 'multiple', and such cases have frequently been fully documented. Yuka Irie has been hypnotically abused, and heightening terror arises from this volatile situation, since multiples need to be handled very carefully under hypnosis or disaster can result, as it does here. It is often wrongly believed by the gullible public that 'no one can be made to do anything under hypnosis which is against his or her moral principles'. That is complete nonsense. It was a false story circulated by the stage hypnotists (one of which features in this story), and perpetuated by the television hypnotists, to encourage members of the public to come forward for the hypnotic entertainment shows without being apprehensive. Of course, hypnosis in the right hands of responsible people can accomplish near miracles in many ways, such as total suppression of pain, control of haemorrhaging, cure of psoriasis and most skin conditions, cure of phobias such as spider and flying phobias, cure of smoking addictions, and so on. There is also a psychiatric version known as 'hypno-therapy', which has also had excellent results much more quickly than standard psychiatric techniques, but can obviously only be practised by a small specialist minority of trained psychiatrists and not by the normal hypnotist. However, documented cases prove that in criminal hands, highly-suggestibles can be made to rob banks, commit murder, and even commit suicide. The world's security services use hypnosis to train assassins, and everything in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE is pretty accurate, as also in the film TELEFON. It was Hitler's regime which first made hypnosis a major tool of state. Ferenc Volgyesi, the SS's master hypnotist, hypnotised more than 60,000 individuals during the Hitler era, and after the War (having originally been contacted and visited in person by the American hypnotist Clark Hull in the late 1930s), he was brought to America, called Frank, given a new life, and helped the American security services to set up their programs using hypnosis, most of which have never been publicly admitted or revealed. However, I do not wish to alarm the security agencies by embarrassing them too much, I merely mention this as historical background. What has happened since 1945 is secret and will unquestionably stay that way. But one fact is certain, namely that more than 50% of all hypnosis experimentation which took place in America after 1945 was done by the FBI, CIA, and other such organisations, was never published, and is still classified as 'top secret'. This will never change. I was told this personally by Professor Ernest Hilgard, former President of the American Psychological Association, and founder of the Stanford Hypnosis Lab. (See his classic book DIVIDED CONSCIOUSNESS if you really want to understand this film.) The title of this film, SAIMIN, is the Japanese word for 'hypnosis', and the video tape with English subtitles which I have of this film is entitled HYPNOSIS. 'Saimin' must be a loan word from Chinese, for the Chinese name for hypnosis is 'cui mian', which is pronounced 'tswaymien', which sounds almost like 'saimin', thus indicating that one is derived from the other. Since I never heard of the Chinese borrowing anything from the Japanese, but the Japanese have borrowed countless things from China over the millennia, including many of their written characters, in my opinion this word must be Chinese in origin. Until I saw this film, I was unaware that there were people in Japan who were so knowledgeable about hypnosis, and especially who would or could advise filmmakers to make a film like this. That in itself is something of an enigma, for those who like enigmas. But meanwhile, anyone who has a serious interest in hypnosis can profit by seeing this remarkably gripping and harrowing tale, though it is pretty scary and over-dramatic. Also, not all girls who run amok under hypnosis are as cute as this one, which all goes to show that movies are movies. No movie wants an ugly crazed, hypnotised girl.

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Release Date:

5 June 1999 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hypnotist See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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