Bushidô muzan (The Tragedy of Bushido). 1960. Japan. Written and directed by Eitarô Morikawa. With Miki Mori, Mutsuko Sakura, Hizuru Takachiho. DCP. In Japanese; English subtitles. 75 min.
In his bewitching attempt to infuse Japanese New Wave aesthetics into the timelessly popular genre of jidaigeki (stylized period dramas usually set in the military and mercantile capital of Edo between 1603 and 1867), Eitarô Morikawa implicitly draws parallels between the absolute fealty that requires a samurai to commit seppuku after the death of his clan lord in 17th-century Japan and the no-less-draconian demands of corporate loyalty and obedience in post–World War II Japan. Morikawa powerfully conveys the ruthless persistence of bushido (samurai moral codes) in family and country even after the ruling class has lost all honor or credibility. DCP courtesy Shochiku