The Birth of Japan

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"Birth of Japan" redirects here. For the historical origins of Japan, see History of Japan.
"The Three Treasures" redirects here. For other uses, see Three Treasures.
Nippon tanjō
1959 Japanese movie poster
Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki
Produced by Sanezumi Fujimoto
Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Ryuzo Kikushima
Toshio Yasumi
Starring Toshiro Mifune
Yoko Tsukasa
Akihiko Hirata
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography Kazuo Yamada
Edited by Kazuji Taira
Release date
  • 1959 (1959)
Running time
182 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Eiji Tsuburaya and his crew work with the Orochi prop.

The Birth of Japan (日本誕生, Nippon Tanjō?), also called The Three Treasures, is a 1959 Japanese tokusatsu fantasy epic film. Telling the story of the creation of Japan according to Japanese mythology, specifically the Shinto religion, it is considered Japan's answer to The Ten Commandments.[1] Produced by legendary studio Toho, the film was directed by Hiroshi Inagaki, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya and the musical score by Akira Ifukube. Heading the huge all-star cast is Toshirō Mifune as the god Susanoo and Koji Tsuruta as younger brother of Kumaso Takeru. One of the film's highlights is Mifune's Susanoo fighting the ominous eight-headed dragon, Orochi, one of the most ferocious monsters in Japanese myth. The "Three Treasures" referred to are the Imperial Regalia of Japan.

The film was remade in 1994 as Yamato Takeru, which was released in the English-speaking countries as Orochi the Eight-Headed Dragon.


The Birth of Japan retells the story of the Yamata no Orochi legend, and features the great adventure of Susanoo as he fights the legendary serpent Orochi, in order to save the maidens of a village in the newly-formed Japanese country.



  1. ^ The Other Side of Toho

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