Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Police Tactics

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Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Police Tactics
North American DVD cover
Directed by Kinji Fukasaku
Written by Kazuo Kasahara
Kōichi Iiboshi (original story)
Starring Bunta Sugawara
Akira Kobayashi
Takeshi Katō
Narrated by Tetsu Sakai
Music by Toshiaki Tsushima
Cinematography Sadaji Yoshida
Distributed by Toei Company
Release dates
January 15, 1974
Running time
101 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Police Tactics (Japanese: 仁義なき戦い 頂上作戦 Hepburn: Jingi Naki Tatakai: Chojo Sakusen?) is a 1974 Japanese yakuza film directed by Kinji Fukasaku. It is the fourth film in a five-part series that Fukasaku made in a span of just two years.


In fall 1963, the police crack down on yakuza activities nationwide due to public outcry and in preparation for the upcoming 1964 Summer Olympics. However, the war between the Yamamori family and Shinwa Group versus the Uchimoto, Hirono, and Akashi families wages on. Noburo Uchimoto, Shozo Hirono and Shinichi Iwai recruit Hidemitsu Kawada and Tomoji Okajima, the usually neutral leader of the Gisei Group, to their side. When Masakichi Makihara's men kill a member of Hirono's family he wants to go after Yamamori himself, however retired yakuza and Hirono's adviser Kenichi Okubo stops him. Akira Takeda threatened Okubo to keep Hirono in Kure, as Yamamori has fled to Hiroshima City while Makihara's men stay to fight Hirono's.

The police, knowing that supporting all the visiting reinforcements is taking a monetary toll, strictly watch the gangs' illegal business collections. When an Uchimoto member accidentally kills a civilian, the public demands further action and the media begin photographing yakuza in brawls. The police put a constant stakeout on Hirono's base, effectively paralyzing him, Uchimoto refuses to take action, and his backers the Akashi get entangled in resistance in Tokyo. When Hirono learns that Yamamori will be in Kobe, he secretly leaves his base and plans to kill him then. However, during the trip, his men leave him stranded and intend to perform the hit themselves. But the Akashi stop them, not wanting the murder to happen on their turf, instead Iwai plans a large memorial service for Hirono's killed man, using it as an excuse to send him numerous reinforcements for an attack.

In the meantime, Uchimoto is kidnapped by Takeda and Yamamori and forced to reveal the plan to them. Yamamori tips the police off to a year-old crime Hirono committed to have him arrested. Without him, the Akashi attack never happens and Yamamori and Makihara are able to return to Kure. Due to Takeda tricking Okajima's girlfriend, Yamamori is able to have Okajima killed much to Takeda's anger, as he believes it hurt their image with the public. Gisei Group member Shoichi Fujita retaliates by bombing Shoichi Eda's office and Uchimoto rats on his own men who planned to attack Yamamori as a favor for Takeda releasing him. When Uchimoto's men learn this they launch a deadly gunfight in public, which leads police to arrest Uchimoto, Eda, and Yamamori. Iwai and his men immediately fly to Kure to rebuild the Gisei Group, while Takeda recruits further allies including his former enemy Otomo. Takeda has Boss Akashi's house in Kobe bombed, and the Akashi assume it was the Shinwa Group and retaliate accordingly before further violence follows in Hiroshima.

Kawada then has one of his men kill his supposed ally Fujita, feeling that the Gisei are taking his turf. Iwai visits Hirono in jail and explains to him what has happened and that he has to return to Kobe because the Akashi have made peace with the Shinwa thanks to police mediation. Hirono is sentenced to over seven years in prison, Makihara gets about three, Eda five, Yamamori a year and a half, and Uchimoto is let go on probation for formally dissolving his family. While both waiting to be booked into prison at the film's end, Takeda tells Hirono that Takeda has to turn his yakuza family into a political committee to survive.



Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Police Tactics has been released on home video and aired on television, the latter with some scenes cut. A Blu-ray box set compiling all five films in the series was released on March 21, 2013 to celebrate its 40th anniversary.[1]

All five films in the series were released on DVD in North America by Home Vision Entertainment in 2004, under the moniker The Yakuza Papers. A 6-disc DVD box set containing them all was also released. It includes a bonus disc containing interviews with director William Friedkin, discussing the influence of the films in America; subtitle translator Linda Hoaglund, discussing her work on the films; David Kaplan, Kenta Fukasaku, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, a Toei producer and a biographer among others.[2]


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