Graveyard of Honor

Overview

Vengeance Is Mine meets La Strada in Japanese gangland auteur Kinji Fukasaku's real-life yakuza drama about a sociopathic loser who always seems to make the wrong decision. Opening in the blackmarkets of Shinjuku just after the war, Ishikawa (played by matinee icon Tetsuya Watari) works as muscleman for the Kawada crime family. After a raid on a Chinese gang's gambling parlor turns into street warfare, Ishikawa finds himself taking refuge in the boarding room of frightened waif and war orphan Chieko (Yumi ...
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Overview

Vengeance Is Mine meets La Strada in Japanese gangland auteur Kinji Fukasaku's real-life yakuza drama about a sociopathic loser who always seems to make the wrong decision. Opening in the blackmarkets of Shinjuku just after the war, Ishikawa (played by matinee icon Tetsuya Watari) works as muscleman for the Kawada crime family. After a raid on a Chinese gang's gambling parlor turns into street warfare, Ishikawa finds himself taking refuge in the boarding room of frightened waif and war orphan Chieko (Yumi Takigawa). After a brief departure, he returns, stinking drunk, to collect his belongings and eventually he rapes her. Meanwhile, Ishikawa almost sparks a gang war after beating up a prostitute of a rival gang. Though the Kawada clan's connection with the American occupation forces eventually forestalls any bloodshed, Ishikawa's godfather (Hana Hajime) balls him out and humiliates him. In retaliation, Ishikawa jumps his boss and stabs him an inch short of his life -- a cardinal sin in the crime world. Ishikawa again takes refuge with Chieko, who in spite of his previous brutishness takes pity on the battered and bleeding gangster and nurses him to health. After a brief stint in jail, Ishikawa learns that he is spared execution only through the efforts of his old friend and crime boss Kozaburo Imai (Tatsuo Umemiya); he is instead banished from the Tokyo yakuza world for ten years. Imai arranges for him to lay low in Osaka, where he lives in a flophouse, spending his time whoring, developing tuberculosis, and shooting up dope. He soon gets bored of Osaka, and ventures back to Tokyo with his witless junky sidekick Ozaki (Kunie Tanaka). After another stint in jail, he marries Chieko, who has by this point developed full-fledged tuberculosis. This film was ranked one of the best Japanese films of 1975 by the prestigious film journal Kinema Jumpo.
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Special Features

New Digital transfer, enhanced for 16x9 televisions; Newly translated Digital subtitles; A Portrait of Rage, a 20-minute video essay; On the Set With Fukasaku, an interview with assistant director Kenichi Oguri; Liner notes by Tom Mes of Midnight Eye website; Original theatrical trailers; Director filmography
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
With his 1973 masterwork Jinginaki Tatakai (aka Battles Without Honor and Humanity), Kinji Fukasaku injected an intensity and gritty realism into the yakuza genre through his use of the long lens and handheld camera work. For Jingi No Hakaba, a masterpiece in its own right, Fukasaku uses a similar visual style and many of the same generic conventions but the tone is far bleaker. Instead of centering on intrigues of gangland politics, Hakaba focuses on the actions of one inscrutably destructive real-life loser who transgresses not only the laws of polite society but also codes of the underworld. In a country where etiquette is placed at a premium and where almost every community is rigidly hierarchical, Ishikawa's inability to follow the most minimal of social conventions, his flaunting of authority, and his nihilistic individualism set him beyond the pale of almost everyone -- save for his downtrodden girlfriend Chieko. In many respects, this film bares a strong similarity to Shohei Imamura's brilliant Vengeance Is Mine. In both works, the protagonist is a sociopathic outsider who transgresses all conventions. Yet whereas Imamura's Enokizu bares a certain dark charisma and takes a certain glee in his misdeeds, Ishikawa has none of these characteristics. Instead, he seems to be genetically wired to fail, never understanding where his downward spiral began or how to stop its terrible momentum. What gives this film its unexpected emotional weight is Ishikawa's troubled relationship with Chieko. Though he brutalizes her in the beginning of the film, he is so pained by her suicide that he eats her ashes -- a freakish spectacle to a Western eye, perhaps, but a gesture of the utmost grief in Japan. From where the depth of such emotion springs is never explored. Unlike Vengeance -- which delves deep into the psychology of the protagonist -- Ishikawa's twisted inner works remain opaque. Instead, you are left with a character who is an existential conundrum. Just as his later Battle Royale, this film evokes the terror of the abyss to a degree that strains genre convention. Jingi no Hakaba may have the trappings of a gangster epic, but at its heart it is a dark, troubled tale straight out of Dostoyevsky.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/7/2004
  • UPC: 037429197523
  • Original Release: 1975
  • Rating:

  • Source: Homevision
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:33:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tetsuya Watari
Tatsuo Umemiya
Technical Credits
Kinji Fukasaku Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Rikio Ishikawa/Credits [:01]
2. Life in the Kawada Family [4:53]
3. Raid [2:51]
4. Chieko's Tatami Mat [4:56]
5. Jailhouse Diplomacy [2:32]
6. Persimmon [3:51]
7. One for the Gang [4:39]
8. Shinjuku Stand-Off [6:55]
9. Another Infraction [6:21]
10. Killing Boss Kawada [4:17]
11. Banished [4:14]
12. Osaka [5:42]
13. An Unexpected Return [5:05]
14. Killing Imai [6:37]
15. Caught and Tried [6:15]
16. Killing Chieko [5:04]
17. Settling Down [6:39]
18. Graveside Attack [5:35]
19. Killing Ishikawa [4:30]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Chapters
   Extras
      A Portrait of Rage
         Play Video
      On the Set With Fukasaku
         Play Interview
      Trailers
         Graveyard of Honor
         Street Mobster
         The Yakuza Papers
            Vol. 1: Battles Without Honor & Humanity
            Vol. 2: Deadly Fight in Hiroshima
            Vol. 3: Proxy War
            Vol. 4: Police Tactics
            Vol. 5: Final Episode
            Play All
         HVE Zatoichi Trailer
      Filmography
   Subtitles
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
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