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UPDATED:15 Feb 2010




THE LAST SWORDSMAN (Okita Soji)
Taikoki
NOBUNAGA - TV


 



 

DEVIL'S TEMPLE (Oni no Sumu Yakata)



Starring: KATSU Shintaro
TAKAMINE Hideko, ARATAMA Michiyo, SATO Kei

Directed by: MISUMI Kenji


An abandoned temple in the mountains outside of the old capital city of Kyoto is the scene of a fated meeting between a traveling priest, two women, and a vicious killer, known thoughout Japan as "Mumyo no Taro". Katsu Shintaro is brilliant as the young lord, turned thief in this stunning masterpiece from filmmaker Misumi Kenji. Bloody violence erupts whenever strangers approach the temple. Can the traveling priest bring his belief in the Buddha and rid the three temple residents of the devils that hold their souls? A one of a kind motion picture!

DEVIL'S TEMPLE
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HITOKIRI

TENCHU

OUR EXCLUSIVE NEW EDITION OF THE HIDEO GOSHA CLASSIC

Anamorphic (16:9) Widescreen

REMASTERED WITH A BRAND NEW TRANSLATION & SUBTITLES

THE E-ZINE DEVOTED TO THE LATEST & BEST IN JAPANESE CINEMA

 

TENCHU - HITOKIRI

One of the most important and powerful films ever to come out of Japan, this is the story of Okada Izo and the Tosa Clan Loyalists who set out to restore the Emperor to power by assassinating their political opponents during the violent period near the end of the samurai era.  With a performance for the ages, Katsu Shintaro shines in his greatest non-Zato Ichi role as a down on his luck swordsman who joins the Loyalist movement in 1862, rising to fame and fortune and then taking the ultimate fall from grace as those in power use and dispose of him like a rabid dog.  Shouting  “Heaven’s Punishment” with each assassination the Loyalists seek to overthrow the Shogun and turn the world upside down.  With a brand new translation and a stunning anamorphic widescreen print, this is the ultimate edition of one of the great masterpieces of Japanese cinema.  Startling performances from Nakadai Tatsuya, Ishihara Yujiro, and Mishima Yukio help bring history to life, while Katsu Shintaro shines as “Hitokiri” (Killer), the swordsman Okada Izo! 

 Directed by: GOSHA Hideo, Starring: KATSU Shintaro, NAKADAI Tatsuya, MISHIMA Yukio,ISHIHARA Yuujiro, BAISHO Mitsuko

THE ULTIMATE EDITION
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ZATOICHI TV - GRAND FINALE

For the first time ever, the Grand Finale of the Zato Ichi story comes to DVD. These two episodes were written and directed by one of Japan's most distinguished filmmakers Teshigahara Hiroshi and elevate the Blind Swordsman from genre hero to fine art. After 25 feature films from 1962 through 1974, the television series lasted 4 years and helped keep alive the legend of the blind wandering gambler/masseur with the lightning fast sword. There were 100 episodes over the 4 seasons and while all of them are very good to excellent, this 2 part finale brings the series and the character to an exciting conclusion unlike anything that ever went before or after.

Episode 99: "The Rainbow Journey" takes Ichi to the inner chambers of a daimyo lord's concubine. A beautiful woman with a deadly secret holds the key to a treasure chest containing 1,000 gold coins. Can Ichi survive against the political activists who want to bring down the government with their bloody blades?

Episode 100: "The Dream Journey" intersperses Ichi's innermost fears and desires with the harsh realities of being a blind man who dreams only of being able to see the sun once more before he dies. With spectacular cinematography and plenty of dynamic swordplay, can Ichi conquer fear and defeat his most formidable adversary?

See Zato Ichi like never before in this stunning work of art!

Zatoichi TV - Grand Finale
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THE FILMS OF MISUMI KENJI

Possibly the most gifted of Japan’s great directors, Misumi is best known for his work on the Baby Cart and Zato Ichi series. In addition to his extraordinary fight choreography, he has a peerless artistic vision, and has created some of the most memorable films to come out of Japan. For more of Misumi’s work, see the sections on Lone Wolf and Child, The Blind Swordsman, The Son of The Black Mass, and the Silent Samurai television series.

A note about Ichikawa Raizo
Still one of Japan’s most popular actors, Ichikawa Raizo, who passed away in 1969, made many samurai films.
Some of his most highly regarded work was in the SHINOBI NO MONO and NEMURI KYOSHIRO series.
He made many other great films as well, some of which are unknown here in the West.
 

THE SATAN'S SWORD TRILOGY

 

This is the entire story of the vicious swordsman Tsukue Ryunosuke, a man in possession of an evil sword and an evil mind. DAIBOSATSU TOGE (GREAT BUDDHA PASS) is Japan's greatest novel. Much like our own GONE WITH THE WIND, the story is set against a backdrop of civil war and political upheaval. This story has been filmed many times, and the most well known version, SWORD OF DOOM, left viewers hanging as the film ended on a freeze frame in the middle of a huge swordfight. This trilogy does not stop there, but gives you the entire story.


Part 1: SATAN'S SWORD (Daibosatsu Toge)
Covering much the same territory as SWORD OF DOOM, we meet the main characters and follow Ryunosuke's journey to the fateful night in Kyoto, when all Hell breaks out. Starring Ichikawa Raizo with a superb supporting cast including Nakamura Tamao as Hama, and Hongo Kojiro as Hyoma, this film stays very close to the original novel.

Part 1: SATAN'S SWORD
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Part 2: THE DRAGON GOD (Ryujin no Maki)
Picking up where part 1 (and SWORD OF DOOM) left off, the further adventures of Ryunosuke and his mortal enemy, Hyoma take many twists and turns after Ryunosuke joins with the Tenchu Group, and finds himself being chased by his former comrades.

Part 2: THE DRAGON GOD
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Part 3: THE FINAL CHAPTER (Kanketsu Hen)
At long last the entire story of the vicious killer, Tsukue Ryunosuke, comes to an end. Set against a backdrop of civil war, this story is based on fact, and along with the historical characters that populate the story (members of the Shinsengumi, etc.) the main character is said to have been based on a real samurai named Fuda Ryuzaburo Takafumi, a swordsman of the Kogen-Itto-ryu.
The tension mounts to a fever pitch as the hunt for Ryunosuke goes on. Young Utsuki Hyoma has come close to avenging his brother before, but each time fate has stepped in to foil his quest. Now with the words of a learned Monk burning in his ears, can he finally carry out his sworn duty? A tremendous motion picture closes out the story as the turbulent winds of Japan's history come to life!

Part 3: THE FINAL CHAPTER
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SATAN'S SWORD TRILOGY
ALL 3 INSTALLMENTS

Satan's Sword Trilogy
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IN A RING OF MOUNTAINS


Another rare gem of a movie starring the late Ichikawa Raizo as a traveling gambler who takes a job as a lumberjack in the mountains near Edo during the samurai era. When he and his Boss vie for the same woman it’s bound to lead to trouble. After a corrupt official stages a false raid of a gambling parlor, causing the players to leave their money on the table while making good their escapes, Masakichi decides to teach them a lesson which leads to more problems. When he winds up helping a young couple in peril his past comes back to haunt him. Filmed in glorious black and white, this unique story is filled with many surprises and strong swordplay.

Starring: ICHIKAWA Raizo, NAKAMURA Tamao, OSE Koichi
Directed by: IKEHIRO Kazuo


IN A RING OF MOUNTAINS
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Destiny's Son

 

Newly re-mastered anamorphic widescreen edition, with improved translation, subtitled trailer, and photo gallery.

This film has had a major impact on Japanese films of the 1960's, as it utilized the combined talents of some of the most important figures in the samurai genre.
With a screenplay by SHINDO Kaneto (ONIBABA, KURONEKO) from a novel by SHIBATA Renzaburo (creator of the Son Of The Black Mass series), this is a totally unique story. Add to that the brilliant director MISUMI Kenji and the acting talent of Japan's most popular sword star, ICHIKAWA Raizo and you have a true work of art. After a lady-in-waiting kills her lord’s mistress, she escapes and gives birth to a son. Her husband then has to behead her in a ritual suicide, and the boy becomes a master swordsman. Not knowing his past, he develops an unusual sword style, and faces countless challenges.

This is considered the breakthrough film for director Misumi. He is best known in this country for directing the Baby Cart and Blind Swordsman films, but in Japan, nothing matched the popularity of Raizo and Kenji!


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VIEW THE DESTINY'S SON THEATRICAL TRAILER!

 

 

New widescreen edition, enhanced for 16:9 televisions!

This film was based on a story written by SHIMOZAWA Kan (creator of the Zato Ichi character), which he researched by interviewing surviving family members of the Shinsengumi, the Para-military police force made up of ronin under the leadership of Kondo Isami. The central character,
however, was a spy for the organization Yamazaki Susumu, and it gives a realistic view of this infamous group who many credit with saving the Emperor’s life during the incident at Ikedaya in Kyoto.

DVD
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VIEW THE TRAILER

 THE BLIND SWORDSMAN'S PILGRIMAGE (ZATOICHI UMI O WATARU)

 New widescreen edition, enhanced for 16:9 televisions!

The missing link in the Zato Ichi series. This is the one Zato Ichi film never released in this country!

When Zato Ichi goes to Shikoku on a pilgrimage to visit the 88 shrines on that island, he is forced against his will to take up the sword. An expert in the crossbow wants a match with the blind swordsman. How Ichi contends with this most dangerous weapon is one of the highlights of this great film. Injured, and needing help, Ichi must then protect the sister of a man he killed… even though she has attacked him in the past. Shades of High Noon in this exciting film as the village is terrorized by gangsters running wild.

 ONLY 19.95!

THE BLIND SWORDSMAN'S PILGRIMAGE

ZATOICHI UMI O WATARU
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CLICK TO SEE THE THEATRICAL TRAILER

HAKUOKI

Known alternately as “Chronicle of Pale Cherry Blossoms” and “Samurai Vendetta”; this film rocketed Katsu Shintaro to major stardom alongside Ichikawa Raizo who was already a superstar. It tells the tale of two great swordsmen, Tange Tenzen (Ichikawa) and Nakayama Yasubei (Katsu), who after becoming good friends wind up on opposite sides of the vendetta between Lord Asano’s retainers and the family of Lord Kira that led to the famous revenge of the 47 Ronin (Chushingura). The story is told in flashback as Yasubei and the other 46 ronin are marching to Kira’s mansion through the snowstorm on that fateful night. This is one of the greatest motion pictures of all time with a story of love, honor, and betrayal that leads to a conclusion of epic proportions.

Starring: ICHIKAWA Raizo, KATSU Shintaro, MAKI Chitose, Screenplay by: ITO Daisuke, Directed by: MORI Kazuo


Anamorphic (16:9) Widescreen - Color - 110 minutes - 1959
Subtitled Theatrical Trailer

HAKUOKI
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MUSHUKU MONO

This is the story of a ‘Drifting Crow’, which is slang for a homeless wanderer, who seeks the murderer of his father, brutally cut down by an armed robber. The killer has eluded the authorities after pulling the job, leaving 5 guards dead on the side of the road. This collaboration between Raizo as star, and Misumi Kenji as director ranks as one of the most unique films that they did together. Exciting action right up to the thrilling climax.

New widescreen edition, enhanced for 16:9 televisions!

MUSHUKU MONO
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THE BETRAYAL (Daisatsujin Orochi)

New widescreen edition, enhanced for 16:9 televisions!

This tale of betrayal and revenge features one of the greatest swordfights in motion picture history. It rivals SWORD OF DOOM in its intensity and duration. ICHIKAWA Raizo’s fighting in this film is far and away the best of his career. Betrayed by the elders of his clan, and blamed for a murder he did not commit, his unrelenting fury against those who falsely accused him comes to one of the most exciting conclusions ever filmed!

Newly re-mastered from a stunning anamorphic print, this amazing film is now enhanced for widescreen (16:9) TV's with removable subtitles and a fully subtitled theatrical trailer. One of the unknown gems of Japanese Cinema. Remarkable action and a great story from the library of Daiei Films.

SPECIAL PRICE
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NICHIREN & THE GREAT MONGOL INVASION

New widescreen edition, enhanced for 16:9 televisions!

As Japan prepares to face the greatest crisis in that country’s glorious history, a solitary Monk named Nichiren proposes a theory that, while it goes against commonly held beliefs of the time, still offers a possible solution. His firm belief in the teachings of the “Lotus Sutra” lead first to grave problems, including attempts on his life, and exile to a penal colony on Sado Island; a place from which nobody has ever returned.
How Nichiren overcame these obstacles to lead Japan in prayer as the Mongol fleet approached is one of the great stories from Japanese history, and must be seen to be believed. Never before, and never since, has a motion picture told the story of how the Japanese battled on the beaches, while the Gods themselves massed their great Typhoon, called “Kamikaze” to defeat Kublai Khan’s overwhelming hordes!

Starring: HASEGAWA Kazuo
With: ICHIKAWA Raizo, KATSU Shintaro

Directed by: WATANABE Kunio


NICHIREN & THE GREAT MONGOL
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