Samurai Spy / Ibun Sarutobi Sasuke (1965)

If you are looking for a samurai or a ninja movie, this is not a good place to start, though there are samurai and ninja aplenty. The hint is in the title -- this is a spy movie, made during the peak of the spy movie era. But it is directed by Masahiro Shinoda, which … Continue reading Samurai Spy / Ibun Sarutobi Sasuke (1965)

Good for Nothing / Rokudenashi (1960)

Kiju Yoshida's first feature, Good for Nothing is the thinking man's Sun Tribe movie. By this I mean not that it is unusually intellectual or profound, but rather that it goes out of its way to avoid sensationalism or the sexploitation that often hung around the Sun Tribe movies. Though there is a woman involved, … Continue reading Good for Nothing / Rokudenashi (1960)

Woman of the Ghostly Lantern / Umon torimonocho maboroshi toro no onna (1961)

Apparently part of a series, Woman of the Ghostly Lantern allows us to look at Japanese popular entertainment movies of its time. It is a basic murder mystery told in a light-hearted manner.  The ronin Bizen has been murdered and two competing detectives try to solve the case. One is the pompous and ambitious Murakami, … Continue reading Woman of the Ghostly Lantern / Umon torimonocho maboroshi toro no onna (1961)