17 user 12 critic

Black Belt (2007)

Kuro-obi (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Sport | 13 October 2007 (Japan)
A Karate masters three students compete for to be the new master against events of historical events.


Shunichi Nagasaki


Jôji Iida
2 nominations. See more awards »




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 ... 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 »

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 »

User Reviews

Kuro-Obi (Black Belt) Review
11 January 2014 | by herbprof-739-348592See all my reviews

I do not have the language of a movie critic, just that of someone who appreciates the art. I have seen a lot of martial arts movies and I rate this one highly, not that it was real slick, but because of its simplicity and a nice feeling of time and place. I enjoyed the fight scenes because I have not seen many hard style films. So this was a treat to see actors who are Masters keep the fight scenes (with few exceptions), dynamic and strong. This movie captured my mind many times and gave me the immediacy of, "how would I react in similar situations?" And if I was up against a well trained fighter of this style, how would I do?

Like many of the reviewers, I was also at first confused by the final words of the master. As the movie progressed my interpretation was to fight with no mind, "mushin no shin," fully aware, not fixed, no plan, no target, no thought, no emotion. With just the body and deep consciousness in-charge, ready to express the art spontaneously as the fight presented itself. If you are truly in the no mind state you are not striking, "it" is doing the striking (I have had that experience but not as much as I would like). I did not see this in the final fight. But I would think that even the best martial artists would have a difficult time with that expression of the art as an actor, far too dangerous.

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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

13 October 2007 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Belt See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital
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