Harakiri

Synopsis: Peace in 17th-century Japan causes the Shogunate's breakup of warrior clans, throwing thousands of samurai out of work and into poverty. An honorable end to such fate under the samurai code is ritual suicide, or hara-kiri (self-inflicted disembowelment). An elder warrior, Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai) seeks admittance to the house of a feudal lord to commit the act. There, he learns of the fate of his son-in-law, a young samurai who sought work at the house but was instead barbarically forced to commit traditional hara-kiri in an excruciating manner with a dull bamboo blade. In flashbacks the samurai tells the tragic story of his son-in-law, and how he was forced to sell his real sword to support his sick wife and child. Tsugumo thus sets in motion a tense showdown of revenge against the house.
Genre: Action, Drama, History
Director(s): Masaki Kobayashi
Production: Criterion Collection
  8 wins & 2 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.7
Rotten Tomatoes:
100%
NOT RATED
Year:
1962
133 min
70 Views

A SHOCHIKU PRODUCTION

A 1962 JAPAN ART FESTIVAL ENTRY

1630.

13th day of May. Fair skies.

Extremely hot from early in the day.

IYI CLAN JOURNAL

10:
00 a.m. - Master Bennosuke...

pays a visit to the Kandabashi mansion

of the Honorable Lord Doi

to present fresh river trout

from the Shirakawa River,

which arrived from our domain.

No other official business to record.

However,

at about 4:
00 in the afternoon,

a samurai claiming to be a former retainer

of the Fukushima Clan in Hiroshima

appeared at our gate.

HARAKIRI:

Produced by

TATSUO HOSOYA:

Original Story by

YASUHIKO TAKIGUCHI

Screenplay by

SHINOBU HASHIMOTO

Cinematography by

YOSHIO MIYAJIMA:

Music by

TORU TAKEMITSU:

Starring

TATSUYA NAKADAI:

AKIRA ISHIHAMA:

SHIMA IWASHITA:

TETSURO TAMBA:

MASAO MISHIMA, ICHIRO NAKAYA

KEI SATO:

YOSHIO INABA, YOSHIRO AOKI

RENTARO MIKUNI:

Directed by

MASAKI KOBAYASHI

SOTO SAKURADA-MACHI, EDO

OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OF THE IYI CLAN

You were a retainer of the former

Fukushima Clan in Hiroshima?

That is correct.

My name is Hanshiro Tsugumo.

Written with the character

tsu as in "harbor"

and gumo as in "cloud."

What is the nature of your visit?

My master's house fell in 1619.

I subsequently left the domain

and moved here to Edo,

where I found shelter

in a back-alley tenement.

While eking out a meager living,

I sought connections

for employment with a new master.

But try as I might,

we live in times of peace,

and my every efforit has been in vain.

Failing to find employment

and with little to do,

he finds himself in dire straits

and believes

he can endure it no furither.

Rather than live on

in such poverity and disgrace,

he wishes to die

honorably by harakiri

and asks for permission

to use our forecourit.

Such is his request.

Not again.

Will they never stop?

How shall I respond?

Fine. Show him in.

This is the room, sir.

Please go in.

Thank you.

I am a former retainer

of Lord Masanori Fukushima

of Hiroshima,

Hanshiro Tsugumo by name.

I respectfully beg your favor.

I am senior counselor

of the House of lyi, Kageyu Saito.

I am much obliged

for this immediate interview.

The purpose of my visit -

I've already been told

of your request.

Rather than live on

in endless poverity,

idly waiting for death,

you wish to end your life in a manner

befitting a samurai, by harakiri.

I believe that was the gist of it?

That is correct.

In these times,

it is a truly admirable resolve.

I can only express the highest esteem.

You mentioned

that you served

the former Lord Fukushima.

Did you happen to know

a man named Motome Chijiiwa?

Chijiiwa?

Yes.

Hmm...

You don't recognize the name?

I'm quite ceritain he said

he'd served the former Lord Fukushima.

In its prosperous days,

the clan's retainers

numbered some 12,000 men.

One could hardly know them all.

I see.

But never mind that.

Earlier this year,

perhaps around the end of January,

this ronin named Motome Chijiiwa

came calling,

and the purpose of his visit

was the same as yours.

He requested the use of our forecourit

to dispatch himself with honor.

Is that right?

Would you like me to tell you

what happened in that case?

I would indeed.

You say you were a retainer

of the former Fukushima Clan in Hiroshima?

That is correct.

I served the former

Lord Masanori Fukushima of Hiroshima.

My name is Motome Chijiiwa.

What is the nature of your visit?

After the fall of my master's house,

I moved here to Edo

and found shelter in a back-alley tenement.

While eking out a meager living,

I sought connections

for employment with a new master.

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Shinobu Hashimoto

Shinobu Hashimoto (Japanese: 橋本 忍, Hashimoto Shinobu; 18 April 1918 – 19 July 2018) was a Japanese screenwriter, film director and producer. A frequent collaborator of Akira Kurosawa, he wrote the scripts for such internationally acclaimed films as Rashomon and Seven Samurai. more…

All Shinobu Hashimoto scripts | Shinobu Hashimoto Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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