Harakiri 1962 Criterion Collection
It is 17th century Japan, and the country's political structure has shifted so that the period of constant war has ended and many warlords have been removed from power. The Shogunate is in disarray, leaving many of the former Lord’s retainers without work and impoverished. Unemployed samurai, called ronin, wander the land. Their hearts, minds and swords have been pledged to their masters, and now they are cast adrift, unable to feed and shelter their families.

Disillusioned ronin Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai, Yojimbo, Kagemusha) enters the manor of Lord Lyi and asks for permission to commit harakiri (self-inflicted disembowelment). The clan's leader, Kageyu Saito (Rentaro Mikuni, The Burmese Harp, Vengeance Is Mine), is reluctant to grant his wish because he suspects that Hanshiro is simply looking for charity -- like Motome Chijiiwa (Akira Ishihama, Namida, Day-Dream), another masterless ronin, who not long before Hanshiro attempted to cheat the wealthy clan.

But Hanshiro insists that he has made up his mind and is indeed ready to die -- with a proper ceremony. Intrigued and sensing that Hanshiro is sincere, the clan's leader decides to hear his story to determine whether to grant his wish or ask him to leave.

Hanshiro begins his story...

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Cast: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita
Country: Japan
Genre: Action, Drama, History


Introduction - a video introduction to Harakiri by Japanese-film historian Donald Richie. The introduction was recorded exclusively for Criterion in New York in 2004. Please note that the introduction contains spoilers. In English and Japanese, with optional Japanese subtitles where necessary (during the film clips). (12 min).

Masaki Kobayashi - a short but very good interview with Masaki Kobayashi conducted by fellow director Masahiro Shinoda. The two directors discuss the success of Harakiri, the graphic scenes in the film, Toru Takemitsu's terrific score, etc. The interview was filmed for the Directors Guild of Japan, on October 14, 1993, at the Haiyuza Theatre, Tokyo. The same interview appears on the Eureka Entertainment Blu-ray release. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (10 min).

A Golden Age - in this video interview, Japanese icon Tatsuya Nakadai discusses his performance in Harakiri, career, and the Japanese film industry. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in Tokyo in 2005. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (15 min).

Masterless Samurai - in this video interview, Harakiri screenwriter Shinobu Hashimoto discusses his creative process, collaboration with Masaki Kobayashi, and the reactions the film generated after its premiere. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (13 min).

Trailer - the original Japanese theatrical trailer for Harakiri. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (4 min).

DVD9 + DVD5 | NTSC 16:9 | 02:12:47 | 6.56 Gb + 1.80 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English

Download Seppuku / Harakiri (1962) 2 x DVD Criterion Collection:



BD50 | 1080p AVC | 02:13:01 | 44 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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