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Tamiya Iemon is the Worst

Ghost stories wend their way from Noh, Kabuki and the Bunraku puppet theater all the way through “J Horror” and the vengeful ghost ladies with invasive hair of today. There are many tales of love, bitterness and vengeful ghosts, but like a certain Scottish play, Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan is unique in having a curse associated with it.

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Kuroneko

A crumbling ruin. A mist-shrouded forest. A lone samurai making his way home late at night meets a seemingly defenseless young woman. So begins the horror of Kaneto Shindô’s tale of ghosts, vengeance, and the wrongs visited upon women by entitled men.

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Brutal Story at the End of the Tokugawa Shogunate

Samurai films have a curious knack for expressing compassionate, humanist ideals via soul-crushing bleakness and violence. One would be hard-pressed to find a bleaker, more violent indictment of the romance of the samurai — and the culture of violence in general — than director Tai Kato’s blood-drenched and aptly named Brutal Story at the End…

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Ghost Stories of Wanderer at Honjo

Release Year: 1957 Country: Japan Starring: Juzaburo Akechi, Namiji Matsuura, Shigeru Amachi, Hiroshi Hayashi, Akiko Yamashita Director: Goro Katano Original Title: Kaidan Honjo nanfushigi Alternate Title: Seven Mysteries Researching the history of Japanese yokai in cinema is a difficult task. At least, it’s a difficult task if, like me, you don’t read Japanese and are…

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Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess

This movie was treading into precarious territory before I even saw it. Hidden Fortress is one of my favorite movies and not one I felt was in any need of being remade. Still, I’m nothing if not fair-minded and bored late at night, so I decided to give this remake a chance.

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Ghost of Yotsuya

Tokaido Yatsuya Kaidan is one of the most famous of all horrific Japanese legends. It’s been told and retold countless times via literature, word of mouth, kabuki theater, and of course film. The 1959 version directed by acclaimed master of Japanese horror Nakagawa Nobuo is generally regarded as the best of the movie versions.