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!
NEW EDITION OF THE HIDEO GOSHA
WITH A BRAND NEW TRANSLATION & SUBTITLES
DEVOTED TO THE LATEST & BEST IN JAPANESE CINEMA
TENCHU - HITOKIRI
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!
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
Zato Ichi like never before in this stunning work of art!
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
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 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 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!
SATAN'S SWORD TRILOGY ALL 3 INSTALLMENTS
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.
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
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
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
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.
THE BLIND SWORDSMAN'S PILGRIMAGE
CLICK TO SEE
THE THEATRICAL TRAILER
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
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.
widescreen edition, enhanced for 16:9 televisions!
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
NICHIREN & THE GREAT MONGOL INVASION
New widescreen edition, enhanced for 16:9
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!
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