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The Great White Tower (1966)

Shiroi Kyotô (original title)
Zaizen Goro may only be an assistant professor but he has already made a name for himself. His superior, however, does not approve of his attitude towards their profession, and is at odds ... See full summary »


Satsuo Yamamoto
9 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jirô Tamiya Jirô Tamiya ... Gorô Zaizen (Assistant Professor of the First Surgery Dept)
Eijirô Tôno ... Professor Azuma (the first surgery dept)
Takahiro Tamura ... Shûji Satomi - Assistant professor
Eitarô Ozawa Eitarô Ozawa ... Professor Ugai (internal medicine)
Eiji Funakoshi ... Professor Kikukawa (Kanazawa University)
Osamu Takizawa Osamu Takizawa ... Professor Funao (Tôto University)
Shiho Fujimura Shiho Fujimura ... Saeko, Azuma's daughter
Mayumi Ogawa Mayumi Ogawa ... Keiko, Gorô's lover
Teruko Kishi Teruko Kishi ... Masako, Azuma's wife
Yoshi Katô Yoshi Katô ... Professor Ôkôchi (Basic Medicine)
Masao Shimizu Masao Shimizu
Kenjirô Ishiyama Kenjirô Ishiyama ... Zaizen, Gorô's father-in-law
Bontarô Miake Bontarô Miake
Tatsuo Matsushita Tatsuo Matsushita
Takeshi Katô Takeshi Katô ... Professor Nozaka (plastic surgery)


Zaizen Goro may only be an assistant professor but he has already made a name for himself. His superior, however, does not approve of his attitude towards their profession, and is at odds over who to nominate as his successor. The selection of the new professor reveals a rich and complex political world inside Naniwa University.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »









Release Date:

15 October 1966 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Der große weiße Turm See more »

Filming Locations:

Kanazawa, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Followed by Shiroi kyotô (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

A savage and surgically precise critique of Japanese political practice
24 November 2007 | by santaspreesSee all my reviews

It shouldn't take the viewer long to work out that the fictional Osakan University hospital at the centre of Satsuo Yamamoto's outstanding film is Japan in microcosm: with its corrupt and self-serving elite and its distrust of democracy, meritocracy and change. The nation and its people are the cancer ridden bodies, still trusting the God like authority of their doctors.

The film opens with real footage of a 30cm scalpel incision on an old man's stomach. The flesh is peeled back to reveal a soup of guts and innards. It is clear that the director is not going to hide anything from us in the next 150 minutes.

The fine ensemble cast ensures that the drama is real and the script keeps the compelling narrative to the fore. The film never feels didactic or preachy and only in the character of Dr Satomi (Takahiro Tamura) do we have any cypher of idealism.

Crisply shot and edited, the same source material was later used for an anodyne, apolitical and predictable TV drama.

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