15 user 12 critic

Kuro-obi (2007)

A Karate masters three students compete for to be the new master against events of historical events.


Shunichi Nagasaki


Jôji Iida

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2 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Akihito Yagi Akihito Yagi ... Giryu
Tatsuya Naka Tatsuya Naka ... Taikan
Yûji Suzuki Yûji Suzuki ... Choei
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kenji Anan Kenji Anan
Takeshi Bito Takeshi Bito ... Punk
Arashi Fukasawa Arashi Fukasawa ... Kenta
Hakuryû Hakuryû ... Police Captain Kiichi Tanihara
Rei Hanaoka Rei Hanaoka
Atsushi Hida Atsushi Hida
Yû Kamio Yû Kamio
Takayasu Komiya ... Ohmoji
Tatsuya Mori Tatsuya Mori
Atsuko Nakamura Atsuko Nakamura
Yôsuke Natsuki Yôsuke Natsuki ... Eiken Shibahara
Shin'ya Ohwada Shin'ya Ohwada ... Gouda Hidehisa (as Shin'ya Ôwada)


The events take place in 1932 in Japanese-occupied Manchuria, in which the corrupt leaders of the Japanese army are trying to take over all the Karate dojos for their own personal benefit. Amidst these circumstances the master of one of these dojos dies before passing on the Kuroobi to his successor, leaving three of his pupils the task of deciding amongst themselves who deserves it most. After they bury their master, they are forced to leave the dojo and join the Japanese army. At this point, their journey leads them on rather different paths both in life and in the understanding of their master's teachings of martial arts, only to reunite them at the end. Written by johanvos

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Real Fight, Real Karate, Real Japan.


Action | Drama | Sport


Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

13 October 2007 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Belt See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The styles of karate used by the characters are all different: Taikan trains Shotokan style. Giryu trains Goju-Ryu style. Choei trains Kyokushinkai style See more »

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User Reviews

Kuro obi
26 March 2014 | by zizoliloSee all my reviews

Black Belt, or in Japanese kuro-obi is a Japanese martial-arts movie directed by Sunichi Nagasaki. Although the director was nominated for the Action Asia Award in Deauville Asian film festival in 2008 as well as for the Grand Prix des Ameriques in Montréal World Film Festival in 2007, he didn't win any of those prices. However the film was a great success in Japan. For me too. Before watching this movie, I wasn't a great fan of martial-arts movies because of the exaggerations and the special effects in this type of movies. But after watching this movie of which you can say everything except that it contains special effects. That gives the movie a natural touch. For example there is no one in the movie who is jumping meters in the air while fighting or making incredible stunts and tricks. I have never seen such a movie. In other words you can't feel any distance between yourself and the acting. This makes it easier to watch the movie. The three principal actors in the movie are Akihito yagi playing the role of Giryu, Tatsuya Noka playing the role of Taika and Juji Suzuki playing the role of Choei. None of the three actors is known in the West. The story is about three Karate students. The three rules are played by the just mentioned actors. They live with their Karate master in a secluded forest where their dojo is (a dojo can refer to a temple or to a simple training place where karate students can ameliorate their skills). The events take place in the year of 1932 when Japan was planning for a great invasion of the islands on the Pacific, so they needed a great army. The three pupils were forced by the army forces to join the army. At that time their master dies before he was able to give his black belt to one of his three students. The receiver of the belt will be the successor of the great master. After burying their master they leave forced by the army their dojo. Everyone of them go on a different path based on what he has learned from the teaching of his master. The coincidence will gather them on a battle. The philosophy of martial-arts has an important role in this movie. You must have some background information concerning martial-arts philosophy to understand this movie. I recommend those who do not understand karate-philosophy and think that karate is no more than fighting to watch the movie

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