The Complete (Existing) Films of Sadao Yamanaka (DVD)

Director: Sadao Yamanaka

1935 Japan

World Cinema


This product has been discontinued.



  • Country: Japan
  • Language: Japanese
  • Year: 1935
  • Runtime: 260
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Colour: Black & White
  • Certificate: PG
  • Subtitles: English (optional)
  • Genre: World Cinema
  • SKU: EKA40367
  • 2 Discs
  • Release Date: May 20, 2013


The brief but prodigious career of Japanese director Sadao Yamanaka resulted in a catalogue of work characterised by an elegant and unforced visual style, fluid editing, and a beautiful attention to naturalistic performances. Although he made 22 films over a six-year period (before dying on the frontline of WWII aged 29), only three of them survive, collected here for the first time in the West.

Tange Sazen: The Million Ryô Pot is a gloriously comic adventure yarn as the titular one-eyed, one-armed swordsman becomes embroiled in the hunt for a missing pot that points the way to hidden treasure. In Kôchiyama Sôshun, a subversively humanistic adaptation of a classic kabuki play, a small but invaluable knife stolen from a samurai leads to a chain of an increasingly complex and troublesome set of circumstances. His last film, Humanity and Paper Balloons, is an unsparing ensemble drama set among the lowest rungs of Japanese society in the 18th century.

The Masters of Cinema Series is delighted to present these treasures of world cinema in a long-awaited two-disc DVD set, including rarely-seen fragments of two other lost Yamanaka films.


  • New progressive transfers of all three feature films
  • Newly translated optional English subtitles
  • A special extended scene for Tange Sazen: The Million Ryô Pot
  • Surviving fragments of two other lost Yamanaka films: Genta of the Shore: The Longsword of Dakine and The White-Hooded Thief
  • New and exclusive video piece featuring critic and scholar Tony Rayns discussing Yamanaka’s work
  • A 44-PAGE BOOKLET containing writing by Yamanaka, Shinji Aoyama, and Kimitoshi Satô, alongside a newly revised essay on Yamanaka by Tony Rayns and rare archival imagery.