Bakumatsu taiyô-den (Dual format)

Director: Yûzô Kawashima

1957 Japan

Drama Comedy


This product has been discontinued.



  • Country: Japan
  • Language: Japanese
  • Year: 1957
  • Runtime: 110
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Colour: Black & White
  • Certificate: 15
  • Subtitles: English (optional)
  • Genre: Drama
  • SKU: EKA70260
  • 2 Discs
  • Release Date: Jun 12, 2017


Voted one of the top five Japanese films ever made in a critic’s poll by Japan’s leading cinema publication Kinema junpô, yet barely known in the West, Yûzô Kawashima’s richly funny multi-levelled portrait of Japanese society Bakumatsu taiyô-den [A Sun-Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era] is a glorious rediscovery.

When man-about-town Saheiji (the beloved comedian Frankie Sakai) finds himself unable to pay for a bill at a brothel, he is forced to remain there to work off his debt. However he finds his wit and resourcefulness enable him to turn this situation to his advantage, as he interacts with a whole range of characters, from rivalling courtesans to political activists.


Co-scripted by Shôhei Imamura (Vengeance Is Mine), it sharply and comically demonstrates the constants of human nature just as it delineates the tumultuous political times (the 1860s, leading up to the Meiji Restoration) in which they lived. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this classic in a new high-definition restoration.


  • From the gorgeous Nikkatsu restoration of the film in its original aspect ratio, presented in 1080p on the Blu-ray
  • Optional English subtitles
  • 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring:
  • - An exclusive essay about the film by critic / scholar Frederick Veith
  • - Shoehei Imamura's tribute to Yûzô Kawashima
  • - Rare archival imagery