Vengeance for Sale

Directed with the magic known as the "the Kihachi Touch," the fast-paced and bold story-development, the original music score by jazz musician Yosuke Yamashita, and authentic locations ensure there’s never a dull moment in this period drama. Okamoto’s audacious filmmaking, using hand-helod camara shots and stop-motion scenes, will make you forget the director’s age. The film also affords an opportunity to see brilliant performances by two veteran actors Tasuya Nakadai, whose dignified samurai brings to mind of Akira Kurosawa, and Keiji Kobayashi as a coffin maker. These actors are living national treasures for Japanese movies.


In the Edo period, sometime in the 19th century, when Japanese society was divided into classes by the strict feudal system, the orphan Sukeroku becomes involved in a bizarre plot to help someone seek revenge. It leads him to start a new "business". The business is very successful and a lot of fun, because all sorts of high-ranking people including Samurai and a princess come to see him, desperate for his help. They also pay good money. After saving a large amount, Sukeroku decided to return to his hometown of Joshu in Gunma prefecture to erect a tombstone for his mother. There, he hears of another revenge plot that involves one of Sukeroku’s childhood friends and his beautiful younger sister, Osen. Sukeroku also learns that the target is a mysterious old samurai he once met at a coffin shop on the outskirt of town. Somehow, he senses a personal connection with the old man...


Born in Totori prefecture, Japan, in 1924. After graduating from Meiji University, her went to Toho to become an assistant director, and made his directorial debut with Kekkon No Subete (1958) after working for such directors; Senkichi Taniguchi, Mikio Naruse and Masahiro Makino. He has continued to make a variety of films ever since, from war movies and historical dramas to comedies. His light touch and speedy tempo keep audiences happy. His filmography includes Desperate Outpost (1959), The Last Gunfight (1960), Eburi Man Shi No Yugana Seikatsu (1963), Samurai Assassin (1965), The Longest Day In Japan (1967), The Human Bullet (1968), Zatoichi Meets Yojinbo (1970) and Dynamite Dondon (1978). Rainbow Kids (1991) was a big box office hit. Okamoto wrote this film under his pen name Osaku Ikuta. Okamoto previously write and directed a TV version of Vengeance for Sale in 1969 under the title Adauchi – Sukedachiya Sukeroku. This is the director’s 39th feature film and he turned 77 during the production.


Hiroyiki Sanada
Kyoka Suzuki
Tatsuya Nakadai
Takehiro Murata
Ittoku Kishibe


Written and Directed by Kihachi Okamoto
Executive producer: Masaya Nakamura
Supervisors: Yoshinobu Nishioka / Mineko Okamoto / Naoto Sarukawa / Takahide Morichi
Director of Photography: Yudai Kato
Film Editor: Akimasa Kawashima
Original Music by Yosuke Yamashita
Art Director: Yoshinobu Noshioka