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Harakiri [2 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1963]

Release Date:08/23/2005

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2 out of 2)

    Special Features

    • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
    • Exclusive video introduction by Japanese-film historian Donald Richie
    • Original theatrical trailer
    • New and improved English subtitle translation
    • Rare excerpt of a Directors Guild of Japan video interview with director Masaki Kobayashi conducted by filmmaker Masahiro Shinoda (Double Suicide)
    • New video interviews with star Tatsuya Nakadai and screenwriter Shinobu Hashimoto
    • Poster gallery
    • A 32-page booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Joan Mellen and a reprint of her 1972 interview with Kobayashi


    This well-regarded Japanese drama follows an aging samurai as he attempts to regain his family's honor. In 17th century Japan, a shift in the country's political structure has thrown the feudal Shogun system into disuse. Impoverished samurai wander the countryside, asking wealthy estate owners if they can commit hara-kiri, a grisly form of suicide, on their property. The usual and honorable response is an offer of some work for food or shelter. Into the house of a lord comes Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai), an elderly warrior who asks chief retainer Kageyu Saito (Rentaro Mikuni) that the manor's three hired swordsmen serve as his seconds in the ritual. When the appointed hour arrives, however, the swordsmen do not appear, dishonoring the man. Hanshiro reveals himself to be the father-in-law of Motome Chijiiwa (Yoshio Inaba), a young samurai who had earlier approached Saito and been cruelly forced to go through with the fatal act, disemboweling himself with a dull bamboo blade, as his own had been sold to feed his family. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Tatsuya Nakadai
      Tatsuya Nakadai - Hanshiro Tsugumo
    • Image coming soon
      Akira Ishihama - Motome Chijiiwa
    • Image coming soon
      Shima Iwashita - Miho Tsugumo
    • Tetsuro Tamba
      Tetsuro Tamba - Hikokuro Omodaka
    • Rentaro Mikuni
      Rentaro Mikuni - Kageyu Saito

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.