(courtesy of Asian Cult Cinema)  Issue #21 , 1998

Additional material proved by



The Pistol Opera (2001) - MOVIE POSTER


Marriage (1993)
other directors:  Hideo Onchi and Hiroshi Nagao
Kiichi Nakai - Kiwako Harada
An omnibus featuring the work of three different filmmakers.  Suzuki directed the third story about a woman who gets tired of waiting for her dream-boy to pay attention to her.  She decides to take a chance on a close friend .  Merely a footnote to Suzuki's career of 46 movies.


Yumeji (1991) - MOVIE POSTER
Kenji Sawada - Tamasaburo Bando
Often considered as the third in the director Suzuki's Taisho trilogy.  A liberal adaptation of the real life story of the artist Yumeji Takehisa who specialized in painting female nudes.  He also had, if Suzuki's tale is true, a terrible habit of becoming sexually obsessed with them.

Lupin III: Legend of Babylon (1985) 
  [Lupin Sansei Babylon No Ogon Densetsu]
An animated feature culled from various television episodes.  Suzuki is listed as the director and co-writer but he claims only to have "overseen the production" in an executive position.

Capone Crying Hard - MOVIE POSTERS - 1 2 3
   [Kapone Ooi Ni Naku]
Ken Hagiwara - Yuko Tanaka - Kenji Sawada - Chuck Wilson
A traditional Naniwa-bushi singer takes his wife to the United States where he hopes to become a star.  This cheap-looking comedy was financed by Shochiku Studios.

The Choice of a Family - I'll Kill Your Husband for You (1983) VIDEO

[Kazoku No Sentaku - Anata No Teishi O Koroshite Ageru]

Cherry Blossoms in Spring (1983) TV (aka Haru-Sakura / Seijun's Different Stages of Cherry Blossoms)

[Seijun Sakura Hensou]

Storm of Falling Petals - Banner of a Fireman in the Flames (1983) VIDEO

[Hana Fubuki - Honou Ni Mau Ichiban Matoi]

Mirage Theater (1981)
Yusaku Matsuda - Michiyo Ookusa - Mariko Kaga - Yoshio Harada
After a writer falls in love with a mysterious woman, he looses touch with reality.  Instead he becomes obsessed with her dream-like existence and wants nothing more than a life of carnality and excessive passion.  It features an all-star cast, head by Yusaku Matsuda who reportedly took the role at a fraction of his usual fee because he wanted the opportunity of working with "Japan's greatest living director".  For this film, Suzuki developed a variation his already peculiar cinematic style by adding elements of Taisho Romanesque, a modern adaptation within a turn-of-the-century style.

Zigeunerweisen (1980)  Best Picture / Best Director - MOVIE POSTER
   (Like the Gypsies)
   [Tsuigoineru Waizen]
Yoshio Harada - Michiyo Ookusu
Four people, each suffering from their own paranoia are bound together by a peripheral but very real mystery which could have devastating - even fatal - results.  They must learn to trust one another as they explore the dark underbelly of each other's fantasies.  It won the Japanese Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year.  Suzuki also won for Best Director.

Chen Wuchen's 'The Nail of the Holy Beast' (1980) TV - from: (Ellery Queen Masterpieces series)

[Chin Shunshin No Shinjuu No Tsume]

Lupin the Third - Season 3 (1980) TV

This 50 episode series featured more serious storytelling then the more comical second season and had many memoriable moments such as episode twelve which is an obvious homage to Hayao Miyazaki's feature "Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro". Episode thirteen was written by none other then Seijun Suzuki. His involment with the series led to his later connection with 1985's feature Lupin the 3rd: Legend of Babylon.

The Fang in the Hole (1979) TV - from: (Sunday Horror Series)

[Ana No Kiba]

Story of Grief and Sorrow (1977) MOVIE POSTER
   [Hishu Monogatari]
Yoko Shiraki - Yoshio Harada
Suzuki's comeback movie is his biggest disaster.  An independent project written by sports-oriented manga illustrator Ikki Kajiwara tells the illogical story of a female professional golfer and her brush with success and failure.  Some compassionate critics attempted to draw a correlation between the contrived story and Suzuki's own career tragedy.


  1. A Mummy's Love (1970) (TV)
    [Mira no Koi]

  2. There's A Bird Inside A Man (1969)

  3. [Otoko no Naka ni wa Tori Ga Iru]

    Good Evening Dear Husband. A Duel (1968) - TV

    [Aisaikun Konban Wa - Aru Kettou]

    Branded to Kill (1967) - MOVIE POSTER
       [Koroshi No Rakuin]
    Jo Shishiso - Mariko Ogawa
    After 39 Nikkatsu movies over a ten year period, Suzuki found himself unemployed.  The studio had finally lowered the boom. "We don't need a director who makes movies nobody understands,"  said Nikkatsu president Kyusaku Hori in an angry statement to the press.  Suzuki sued the company for breach of contract and he publicly ridiculed the studio executive.  The whole thing was settled out of court.  However, the other studios generally condemned his lawsuit as "Unacceptable behavior," earning Suzuki a reputation as a dangerous troublemaker.  Alienated, the director dropped from sight.  He became a recluse, denying interviews and refusing all communication with the industry.  Today, this movie about a Yakuza hitman fingered for death by his own syndicate is considered one of the greatest Japanese films.


    Toyko Drifter (1966) - MOVIE POSTER
       [Tokyo Nagaremono]
    Tetsuya Watari - Chieko Matsubara
    A notorious gunman wanders from town to town, searching for peace and tranquility.  But he can't escape a rival toughguy hungry for a confrontation.  Eventual, the two men face each other in a death duel.  More than a casual nod to the Spaghetti Western genre.

    Elegy to Violence (1966) - MOVIE POSTER
       [Kenka Ereji]  aka Born Fighter
    Hideki Takahashi - Junko Asano
    After loosing his girlfriend ot a convent, a young fighter joins some revolutionaries in their march to Tokyo during the preparations for WW2. Nikkatsu once again strapped Suzuki with a black-and-white production.  Some films historians claim it was a financial decision, while others insist it was yet another attempt by boss Hori to control the filmmaker's eccentricities - disallowing his most excessive flair, his use of color.

    Carmen From Kawachi (1966) - MOVIE POSTER
       [Kawachi Karumen]
    Yumiko Nogawa - Ruriko Ito
    The final entry in the Flesh Trilogy.  Carmen runs away from home fater being raped by schoolmates, leaving her sick father to fend for himself and her mom to play hide-the-sasage withthe local priest.  Carmen ends up in Osaka working at a sleazy nightclub where she breaks hearts and drives the men wild.  the entire production is shot in monochrom - sometimes black-and-white, sometimes white and a color choosen to accentuate a certain emotion.


    Story Of A Prostitute (1965) - MOVIE POSTER
       [Shunpu-den]  aka Joy Girls
    Tamio Kawaji - Yumiko Nogawa
    After complaining that Nikkatsu wasn't doing enough promotion for his movie, Suzuki agreed to produce this film at 3/4 the normal budget, if the studio invested the "saved" money in advertising.  Because of the big promotional campaign, theaters were filled with people who had never seen a Suzuki film before.  Most were not amused by his eccentric style.  The movie gained a terrible reputation, even ravaged by friendly critics.  Yet, today it is considered one of his best films.
      A Chinese prostitute convinces her boyfriend/pimp to join the army to improve his reputation.  But he's not a very good soldier and ends up getting killed on the front line; the prostitute is left only with her memories.  The second entry in actress Yumiko Nogawa's Flesh Trilogy

    Tattooed Life (1965) - MOVIE POSTER
      [Irezumi Ichi-dai]
    aka One Generation of Tattoos
    Hideki Takahashi - Akira Yamauchi
    A brilliant movie which transcends its crime-film roots and becomes the archetypal statement about frustration, loyalty and obligation.  Two ex-gangsters try to hide in a small Chinese fishing village and trouble erupts when the Yakuza finds them and retaliates.  Perhaps, the film is best remembered for the police detective's bright red shoes (just one of many quirky Suzuki touches).

    Story of Akutaro: 
    In Spite Of An Unlucky Star (1965) - MOVIE POSTER
       [Akutaro-den: Warui Hoshi No Shita Demo]
    aka Story Of Bastards:  Born Under A Bad Star
    Ken Yamauchi - Jun Tatara
    A poetic but minor endeavor about a boy (Ken Yamauchi) from a dysfunctional family who'se in love with two different girls.


    Gate of Flesh (1964) - MOVIE POSTER
       [Nikutai No Mo]
    Jo Shishido - Yumiko Nogawa
    Turmoil and passion among prostitutes in American-occupied Japan at the close of WW2.  Yumio Nogawa is outstanding as the whore with an incredibly strong will to survive against savage desperation.  This movie became known as the first in the Flesh Trilogy; it remains one of director Suzuki's finest motion pictures.  It's also the first mainstream Japanese film to feature nudity.

    Flowers and the Angry Waves (1964) - MOVIE POSTER
       [Hana To Doto]
    Akira Kobayashi - Chieko Matsubara
    The recreation of the turn-of-the-century Tokyo (art direction by Suzuki's right hand Itsuo Kimura) is absolutly awe-inspiring.  Suzuki's camerawork, editing and costume design are also extraordinary.  Tamio Kawaji as aneccentric sword-weilding villain in Zorro garb steals the show from gero Kobayashi.  Weak story with great amenities.

    Blood Doesn't Forgive (1964) - MOVIE POSTER - 1 2
       [Oretachi No Chi Ga Yurusania]
    Akira Kobayashi - Hideki Takahashi
    A lesser film with ineffective performances and a convoluted script.  Suzuki's special effects, designed with art director Kimura (i.e. the scene of rain ricocheting from a  car like tiny bullets) is the only reason to watch this story of two brothers who attack the yakuza to avenge a girl's death.

    Wild Beast of Youth (1963)  - MOVIE POSTER
       [Yaju No Seishun]  aka  Youth of the Beast
    Jo Shishiso - Ichiro Kijima
    Although Nikkatsu grumbled privately about Suzuki's eccentric film making style, they were no longer interfering with the productions.  Due to a growing critical acclaim, the director was enjoying carte blanche at the studio.  Once again, he took a mystery story written by Haruhiko Ooyabu and shaped it into his own brainchild.  Jo Shishido reprised the role as Detective Tajima, this time on the trail of a killer.  He ends up destroying an entire Yakuza gang in his zeal to capture the bad guy.  Pia Cinema Quarterly reviewed the film with these words; " Japanese movies can now proudly stand shoulder-to-shoulder with American films."

    Detective Office 23: Damn The Villains! (1963) - MOVIE POSTER
      [Tantei Jimusho 23: Kutabare Akuto-domo]
    Jo Shishido - Reiko Sasamori
    Nikkatsu tries to restrain Suzuki through a more conventional story.  But the director turned Haruhiko Ooyabu's novel into a tounge-in-cheek black comedy.  Detective Taijima (Jo Shishido) is transformed into a pompous super sleuth who single-handedly helps the police apprehend two gun trafficking gangs.  Hip critics began calling Suzuki the God of Directors.  His fans were becoming rabidly enthusiastic.  Mainstream Japan didn't yet understand the hoopla.  The studio publicly lamented their loss of control.  The movies were no longer Nikkatsu films, they had become Suzuki films.

    Kanto Wanderer (1963) - MOVIE POSTER
      [Kanto Mushuku]
    Akira Kobayashi - Hiroko Ito
    Now, after 27 movies, Suzuki is finally recognized as a major Japanese talent, praised for his cinematography, creative use of rear projection, and his intricate slow motion techniques.  Essentially, this is a yakuza film, based on a best-selling book by female author Taiko Hirabayahi called Song Of The Underworld (Chitel No Uta). Akira Kobayashi plays a bouncer in a gambling den who erupts into violence at the drop of a hat.  The young tough is also quite a ladies' man, ready to impress a girl through his fighting prowess or a ribald story.  The important thing is the "look" of the film provided by the crackling Suzuki/Kimura partnership, punctuated by the director's amazing use of color.


    Bad Boy (1963)
       [Akutaro] aka  The Bastard
    Ken Yamauchi - Masaku Izumi
    Suzuki finds Takeo Kimura - a like-minded collaborator who will help him refine his style, a partner who will help him refine his style, a partner who will give him the strength to challenge the corporate bosses who treat creativity like a curable disease.  Kimura will become Suzuki's permanent Art Director.  However this film is meaningless fluff about a boy who loves to fight and the problems caused by his violent behavior.

    Teen Yakuza (1962)
      [Hai Tiin Yakuza]
    Tamio Kawaji - Kotoe Hatsui
    A by-the-book youth oriented yakuza pic.  A high school student who gets involved in a scuffle at a neighborhood shopping mall.  When the smoke clears, the police discover he has actually apprehended a notorious mobster.  The community takes a collection and hires the boy as a security guard.

    Those Who Bet On Me (1962)
      [Ore Ni Kaketa Yatsura]
    Koji Wada - Ryoji Hayama
    An unofficial sequel to Million Dollar Match (1961) which also starred Koji Wada as a young energetic boxer boxer.  The story deals more with betting action surrounding a boxing match, concentrating mostly on the high-powered Yakuza gambling dens.  Wada's big fight is truly anticlimactic.
       Once again Suzuki is reprimanded by his Nikkatsu boss, Kyusaku Hori, for refusing to deliver a simple, straightforward story.  The scolding centers on Suzuki's "extensive use of symbolism with a traditional action picture."

    New Wind Over The Mountain (1961)
      [Touge O Wataru Wakai Kaze]
    Koji Wada - Mayumi Shimizu
    A romantic bittersweet comedy detailing the relationship between a young drifter and an actress from a traveling troupe.  Besides color composing scenes for maximum effect.  Suzuki engaged in elaborate postproduction work synthesizing his raw film with superimposed colors.  This kind of artistic film making is usually reserved for directors who had the luxury of taking a year to make a movie - certainly, not for a studio hack cranking out a new film every six weeks.  Critics started taking notice.

    Million Dollar Match ( 1961)
       [Hyaku-man-doru O Tatakidase]
    Koji Wada - Izumi Ashikawa
    A boxing melodrama.  Two friends become boxers and begin training for the championship.  The two boys eventually face each other in the ring.

    Reckless Boss (1961)
    Koji Wada - Izumi Ashikawa
    Yet another Suzuki film starring Koji Wada.  This time he's a roller skating instructor who wins the heart of a girl by beating up a thug bothering her in a bar.

    Man with The Hollow-Tip Bullets (1961) - MOVIE POSTER
       [Sandan-ju No Otoko]
    Hideaki Nitani - Izumi Ashikawa
    Called a mukokuseki (a no nationality Western, it's assembled like an American Western, but features a trucker hero instead of a cowboy.  And, akin to Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, he's a singing hero.  One day, while Hideaki is plucking away at the guitar, his girlfriend is being raped and killed.  Mr. White Hat borrows a garage truck and tracks down the three bad guys for revenge.  Although highly criticized upon its release, today the film has a cult following.


    Go To Hell, Youth Gangs! (1961)
       [Kutabare! Guren-Tai]
    Koji Wada - Mayumi Shimizu
    The first Suzuki color film, again starring Koji Wada.  When a family patriarch dies, the eldest son (an illegitimate offspring living in Tokyo must go to the island community of Awajishima and take over the household.  Upon arrival, he faces a realtor who wants to evict the entire family.

    Bloody Channel (1961)
       [Kaikyo Chi Ni Somete] aka Blood Red Water In The Channel
    Koji Wada - Ryoji Hayama
    Nikkatsu finally responds to Suzuki's growing discontentment by giving him a bigger budget and a better script.  This episodic collection of "real coast guard action stories was the perfect vehicle for Koji Wada.  Whatever negative press he had received for Tokyo Knights was quickly forgotten.  He became the new "teen" star.  And Suzuki was being called "the director to watch."

    Tokyo Knights (1961)
       [Tokyo Naitsa]
    Koji Wada - Mayumi Shimizu
    Suzuki rebels against the studio.  In a defiant move, he took this story of a high school student who inherits his gangster father's business, and turned it into a comedy.  As a result, actor Koji Wada was strongly chastised for the role.  Critics said he didn't have the ability to pull off parody.  Suzuki made it up to him with Bloody Channel.

    Everything Is Crazy (1960)
      [Subete Ga Kurutteru] aka Everything Is Going Wrong
    Taimo Kawaji - Yoshiko Yatsu
    An unflinching look at two teen rebels on a path to self-destruction through petty crime and perverse sexual games.  Yoshiko Yatsu, a former model with a "beatnik" persona, is a Suzuki discovery.  Her quirky character overpowers the film.

    Undercover 0-Line (1960)
      [Mikko 0-Rain]
    Hiroyuki Nagato - Mayumi Shimizi
    Once again Suzuki uses the documentary style.  But here, in this story of two competing newspaper editors who infiltrate a Yakuza hideout, it's less effective.  reportedly written, shot, edited and released within 16 days.  It shows.

    Beastly Sleep (1960)
       [Kemono No Nemuri]
    Hiroyuki Nagato - Kazuko Yoshiyuki
    Shot in documentary fashion, an elderly office worker discovers he was inadvertently used in a drug trafficking scam.  He's embarrassed for being so easily duped.  The man sneaks into the yakuza's headquarters and shoots the boss. He torches the place and commits suicide.

    Target: Prison Truck From Sector #13  (1960)
       [13-Go Taihisen Yori Sono Gosousha O Nerae]  aka Take Aim At The Police Van 
    Michitaro Mizushima - Misako Watanabe
    The projects become more personally stylized as Suzuki begins co-writing his scripts.  This one opens with the hijacking of a prison truck and the murder of the convict inside.  Penitentiary Warden Tamon is accused of negligence and suspended for six months.  He decides to use the time to find the killer, solve the case and clear his reputation.

    Fighting Delinquents (1960)

    [Kutabare Gurenta]

    Naked Age (1959)
      [Suppadaka No Nenrei]
    Keiichiro Akagi - Kyoko Hori
    Keiichiro Akagi was promoted as a Japanese James Dean.  And in sad irony, he also died from an auto accident at a young age before achieving his potential.  The story deals with a juvenile delinquent gang surviving through petty thievery.  However, everything gets screwed up when they accidentally steal big bucks from the Yakuza


    Passport To The Underworld (1959)
       [Ankoku No Ryoken]
    Ryoji Hayama - Hisako Tsukuba
    The story deals with a tombstone player, Ibuki, who's taking a "working" honeymoon with his wife.  While they travel via train to the next gig, his wife disappears.  Thinking she left him, Ibuki drowns his sorrow in beer.  Depressed, he returns home to find her dead body.  The police immediately suspect him, but he escapes and goes into the underground to find the real killer.

    Love Letter (1959)
       [Love Letter]
    Hisako Tsukuba - Kyosuke Mochida
    A nightclub manager is in love with his pianist.  However, she has a ranger boyfriend who's been permanently stationed in the mountain wilderness.  Their only communication is by letter.  As time passes the correspondence slows to a trickle.  Then nothing.  The manager persuades the girl to visit the boy.  She does, but she's totally unprepared for her bizarre discovery.
       One of the first Suzuki films to rely on the characterization rather then his traditional B-stlye action.

    Blue Breasts (1958) - MOVIE POSTERS
       [Aoi chibusa]  aka Young Breasts 
    Akira Kobayashi - Sachiko Hidari

    Blue Breasts 2  (1959)
       [Humihazushita Haru: Aoi Chibusa II]  aka Blue Breasts 2; The spring I Stumbled
                                                                 aka Spring Never Came
    Akira Kobayashi - Mihoko Inagaki
    If it weren't for Suzuki's involvement, the two Blue Breasts movies would be long -forgotten Mukido Seishun Eiga (Youth Out-of Orbit films).  Shot back to back, they tell the story of alienated kids, lost family values, and domestic problems in modern Japan.  The major emphasis is on a young hood, Yoshi (Akira Kobayashi), as he tries to fit into society after falling in love with his social worker.

    Voice In The Shadows (1958)
      [Kagenaki Koe]  aka Voice Without A Shadow
    Hideaki Nitani - Yoko Minamida
    Suzuki fought for and finally received editor privileges.  And so, this movie is cited as the beginning of the "Suzuki" style.  the story is based on a hard-boiled detective mystery written by Seicho Matsumoto dealing with a series of seemingly unrelated murders.

    Beauty Of The Underworld  (1958)
       [Ankokugai No Bijo]
    Mari Shiraki - Yoshi Taranda
    With this movie, Suzuki changed his name from Seitaro to Seijun.  Significantly it's also his first cinemascope project.  This black-and-white pic about diamond smuggling features Mari Shiraki again in the title role.  She is the beauty manipulated by her gangster boyfriend into joining the trafficking racket.

    The Voice Without a Shadow (1958)

    [Kagenaki Koe]

    The Spring That Didn't Come (1958)

    [Fumihazushita Haru]

    Nude Girl With A Gun  (1957)
       [Raji To Kenju]
    Michitaro Mizushima - Mari Shiraki
    A reporter worked for a Tokyo newspaper goes after the Japanese king of cocaine trafficking.  But he's tricked by a woman who works for the gangster and gets framed for a murder he didn't commit.  Despite the title, there's no nudity but Mari Shiraki is very sexy a the seductress.

    Eight Hours of Horror  (1957)
       [Hachi Jikan No Kyofu]
    Hideaki Nitani - Nobuo Kaneko
    A typhoon destroys the tracks and a train is stranded.  Passengers are then transported by a special bus.  But enroute, two ruthless gangsters take over and terrorize the commuters.  the project began as a suspense thriller, but Suzuki got bored with it.  he turned it into a satirical comedy.  The studio didn't appreciate the joke.  They demanded that it be reedited and transformed back into a thriller.  Unfortunately, the result is uneven, not playing well in either genre.

    Floating Hotel  (1957)
      [Ukikusa No Yado]  aka Inn Of The Floating Weeds
    Hideaki Nitani - Hachiro Kasuga
    Another Kayo-eiga (Pop Song Film), inspired by the hit Ukikusa No Yado sung by Hachiro Kasuga.  Although the singer has a co-starring role, the movie was designed as a star vehicle for the new Nikkatsu hunk, Hiseaki Nitani.  He plays a young gangster wanna-be, framed foe the murder and sent to prison.  Upon his release, the boy gets revenge against the yakuza boss who set him up.

    Town Of Devils  (1956)
       [Akuma No Machi]
    Seizaburo Kawazu - Shinsuke Ashida
    A yakuza boss and his right-hand, Hawasaki, escape from prison.  the film concentrates on their relationship, emphasizing loyalty and thier eventual betrayal, enroute they get involved in money trafficking, a cop killing and horse racing scams before the inevitable tragic ending.  A patch-work production.

    Singing Rope:  Innocent Love At Sea  (1956)
       [Horuna Wa Utau Umi No Junjo]  aka Pure Emotions Of The Sea 
    Hachiro Kasuga - Toshie Takada
    A romantic adventure tale about a young guy working on a whale-hunting vessel and his love for a childhood sweetheart.  Another Kayo-eiga (Pop Song Film) designed to capitalize on the popularity of a hit tun, this time Hachiro Kasuga's Umi No Junjo [Innocent Love At Sea].  Singer Kasuga also stars in the movie.

    Cheers At The Harbor: Triumph In My Hands  (1956)
       [Minato No Kanpai: Shori O Wagate Ni]
    Ko Mishima - Shinsuke Maki
    A sailor tries to help his younger brother, a horse-racing jockey, escape from the yakuza after double crossing them in a fixing scam.  The film was conceived as a typical "youth" movie, inspired by a now-forgotten hit record but audiences were surprised by Suzuki's craftsmanship. Nikkatsu signed him to a long-term contract as a studio director.

    Actor filmography

    (Notiable TV Appearences)

    Bishojo Kamen Powatorin' - Suzuki plays the role of God in this children's program

    Suzuki also appears in a TV commercial for men's clothing with Ando Masanobu


    Warau Salesman (1999) (TV series)


    Gatsu (1999)
       Director: Kun Tsuka Takumi

    Embalming (1999)
       Directing:  Shinji Aoyama

    pu pu no Monogatari (1998)
       Director:  Watanbe Ken Saku
  4. Fuyajo (1998)

  5. ... aka Sleepless Town (1998)
       Director:  Chi-Ngai Lee

    Ryoukan (1997)
       Director:  Tei Ei Hou Kyuu

    Hissatsu ! Mondo Shisu (1996)
       Director:  Tei Ei Hou Kyuu

  6. Cold Fever (1994) .... Grandfather

  7. ... aka Á köldum klaka (1994) (Iceland)

    Kuraku narumade Mate nai ! (1975) 
        Director:  Kazuki Ohmori