Heaven and Earth / Ten to Chi to (1990)

The battles of Kawanakajima have held an unusually strong hold on Japanese popular culture, especially the fourth battle. We have seen movies about this from the viewpoint of Takeda Shingen, the leader of one side, and from the viewpoint of peasants in the supply train. Heaven and Earth revisits the conflict from the viewpoint of … Continue reading Heaven and Earth / Ten to Chi to (1990)

Battle of Kawanakajima / Kawanakajima kassen (1941)

One difficulty of finding Japanese movies on YouTube is that you have to know they actually exist in order to search for them. Thus, I am extremely grateful to one of my readers who suggested I look for the “Cinema Japan Retrospective” channel, which has offered a wealth of movies I had thought lost or … Continue reading Battle of Kawanakajima / Kawanakajima kassen (1941)

Shinsengumi: Assassins of Honor / Shinsengumi (1969)

Throughout the 1960s, the decade after the Americans arrived became a popular topic in Japanese historical movies, as we have seen in numerous earlier posts on this blog. That interest came to some kind of peak in 1969, with Toshiro Mifune’s production of Shisengumi, in which he portrayed the group’s most significant and charismatic leader, … Continue reading Shinsengumi: Assassins of Honor / Shinsengumi (1969)

Three Women Around Yoshinaka / Shin, Heike monogatari: Yoshinaka o meguru sannin no onna (1956)

The Heike monogatari is one of the great epics of medieval Japan, something like the Homeric epics, the Eddas, or the convoluted histories of England that resulted in Shakespeare’s history plays. As such, it had been retold, re-written, adapted into Noh plays, and thus known in some form by most educated Japanese long before Eiji … Continue reading Three Women Around Yoshinaka / Shin, Heike monogatari: Yoshinaka o meguru sannin no onna (1956)