Onmyoji (film)

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Onmyouji
Onmyoji-2001-film-poster.jpg
Directed by Yōjirō Takita
Produced by Kazuya Hamana
Tetsuji Hayashi
Nobuyuki Tohya
Written by Baku Yumemakura
Starring Mansai Nomura
Hideaki Ito
Hiroyuki Sanada
Music by Shigeru Umebayashi
Cinematography Naoki Kayano
Running time 112 min.
Language Japanese

Onmyouji (陰陽師?) is a Japanese movie that was released in 2001 and sent to the US in 2004. Directed by Yōjirō Takita, it tells of the exploits of Abe no Seimei, in Middle Ages, the Onmyouji (also known as: The Yin Yang Master) from the court of the Emperor. He befriended bungling court noble, Minamoto no Hiromasa, who enlists his aid to defend the Heian emperor. Meanwhile, an opposing onmyoji Doson is plotting the downfall of the emperor, while attempting to frame Seimei by unleashing a horde of yōkai to do his bidding.

There are some modern depictions of Onmyouji magic involving divination, transforming paper cutouts into beautiful maidens, and the like. Mansai Nomura is a famous kyogen actor, a type of traditional theater related to noh but of a more comic nature, and this role is considered something of a big transition for him. His portrayal of Abe no Seimei has been described as including a number of 'foxy' looks, perhaps in acknowledging the folklore describing Abe no Seimei's mother as a kitsune. The lead actress, Eriko Imai, a pop singer, has very few lines and little involvement with the plot. The film was a commercial success grossing ¥3,010,000,000 ($36,567,313) becoming the 4th highest earning Japanese production of 2001.[1] The film was also giving a limited theater release in North America where it grossed $16,234 in 3 theaters.[2]

A sequel, Onmyouji 2, appeared in 2003. Both movies are based on the Onmyouji novels by Baku Yumemakura, which also inspired a manga series by Reiko Okano.

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