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Minbo poster.JPG
Directed by Juzo Itami
Produced by Yasushi Tamaoki
Written by Juzo Itami
Starring Nobuko Miyamoto
Yasuo Daichi
Takehiro Murata
Music by Toshiyuki Honda
Cinematography Yonezo Maeda
Edited by Akira Suzuki
Distributed by Toho
Release date
May 16, 1992
Running time
123 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Minbo (ミンボーの女, Minbō no Onna) is a 1992 Japanese film by filmmaker Juzo Itami. It is also known by the titles Minbo: the Gentle Art of Japanese Extortion, The Gangster's Moll and The Anti-Extortion Woman. The film was widely popular in Japan and a critical success internationally. It satirizes the yakuza, who retaliated for their portrayal in the film by assaulting the director.

Plot summary[edit]

The owner of a high-class Japanese hotel, the Europa, hopes to win a prestigious and lucrative contract for the hotel as the site of a summit meeting between important international officials. Unfortunately, the yakuza have taken a liking to this hotel as both a hangout and a target for extortion. In order to win the contract, the owner realizes, he must rid the hotel of the yakuza. Fearing to confront them himself, he deputizes a hotel accountant, Suzuki (Yasuo Daichi) and a bellboy and former college sumo-club member, Wakasugi (Takehiro Murata). The hapless pair are no more daring than their employer, however, and their tentative attempts to address the problem fail until they meet Mahiru Inoue (Nobuko Miyamoto), a lawyer who specializes in dealing with the yakuza. With Inoue's direction, the hotel staff comes together to face down the yakuza ruffians, who are portrayed as craven, outwardly-threatening-but-inwardly-weak, fools.

Attack against Juzo Itami[edit]

The yakuza, who prefer to think of themselves as something akin to modern-day samurai,[1] were angered by their portrayal in Minbo as common thugs and bullies. Three knife-wielding members of the Goto-gumi yakuza gang attacked director Juzo Itami near his home on May 22, 1992, six days after the movie opened. Itami was beaten and had his face slashed.[2] The brutality of the attack, combined with Itami's popularity and the success of Minbo, led to a public outcry and a government crackdown against yakuza activity.[citation needed] Itami's 1997 death is alleged to have been murder disguised as suicide, carried out to prevent him from making a further film about the Yakuza.[3]



External links[edit]