Hitokiri (film)

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Directed by Hideo Gosha
Produced by Fuji Telecasting,
Kaisu Productions
Written by Shinobu Hashimoto
Starring Shintaro Katsu
Tatsuya Nakadai
Yukio Mishima
Yujiro Ishihara
Distributed by Daiei Film (Japan),
Japanese Film Exchange (USA),
Daiei International Films (USA)
Release date
9 August 1969
Running time
140 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Hitokiri (人斬り?) is a 1969 Japanese samurai film directed by Hideo Gosha set during the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate and based on the lives of the historical Four Hitokiri of the Bakumatsu. It is notable for starring the famous author Yukio Mishima.[1]


Okada Izo is a ronin born into poverty who joins the Tosa loyalists, a group headed by Hanpeita Takechi. Izo soon becomes a well known and successful killer, and he is stubbornly loyal to Takechi. However, Sakamoto Ryōma warns him that he is merely "Takechi's dog" and that Takechi will end up betraying him. As Takechi becomes more and more determined to succeed, it becomes necessary to sacrifice Izo, which he does by having him arrested and later trying to poison him. Izo, disillusioned, confesses to his murders for the Tosa Loyalists, and he is condemned to crucifixion. Before being killed, he is told that Takechi will be forced to commit seppuku.[2]



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