Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate

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Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate
Directed by Yuzo Kawashima
Written by Yuzo Kawashima, Shōhei Imamura, Keiichi Tanaka
Distributed by Nikkatsu
Release date
  • July 14, 1957 (1957-07-14)[1]
Running time
110 minutes[1]
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate (幕末太陽傳 or 幕末太陽伝 Bakumatsu taiyōden?) is a 1957 black-and-white Japanese film comedy directed by Yuzo Kawashima with a screenplay by Kawashima, Shōhei Imamura and Keiichi Tanaka. It was voted the fifth best Japanese film of all time in a poll of 140 Japanese critics and filmmakers conducted by the magazine Kinema Junpo in 1999.[2]


It is set during the last days of the Shogunate. Saheiji (played by comedian Frankie Sakai) seeks to outwit the inhabitants of a brothel in order to survive in straitened times.[3] A group of samurai meanwhile seek to destroy any foreigners that cross their path.


Parallels are drawn between the world of the samurai and the world of Kawashima's Japan. The hypocrisy surrounding prostitution, about to be outlawed in Japan at that time in 1950s Japan, the abuse of power, and financial greed at a time of crisis, are all assayed.[4]



  1. ^ a b accessed 16 January 2009
  2. ^ "Hōga ōrutaimu besuto 100". My Cinema Theater. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Masters of Cinema
  4. ^ Moviemail catalogue, April 2013, p.13

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