Yakuza Films

by karljhickey14 | created - 9 months ago | updated - 3 months ago | Public

Japanese Gangster films . There are basically two sorts of yakuza films - Those set in the late 19th / early 20th centuries , with traditional dress and swords and knives . Modern day , 50s / 60s / 70s , with guns .The modern ones can then be split with the noir influenced , Japanese New Wave style from the 60s - ie the Seijun Suzuki , Nikkatsu films . Then there are the more violent 70s films , and the later Takeshi Kitano style films from the 80s and 90s . ( Films like the Zatoichi series , or Red Peony Gambler , are included as Samurai films - though the characters are yakuza , they fight samurai with swords . ) Not in any order .

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1. Waka oyabun (1965)

86 min | Action, Crime

After the victory of Japan-Russia War, boss of the Nanjo family is stabbed to death. His son abandons his naval position in order to succeed as the new boss of the family.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro | Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Yukiji Asaoka, Shiho Fujimura, Mikio Narita

Votes: 34

2. Aru koroshi ya (1967)

82 min | Action, Crime

A former soldier, reduced to working at a restaurant post-war, becomes a contract killer for the yakuza gangs he's in contact with.

Director: Kazuo Mori | Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Mikio Narita, Yumiko Nogawa, Asao Koike

Votes: 132

4. Bakuto Ichidai Chimatsuri Fudo (1969)

90 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

A debt collector visits a gambling den in search of a gambler - the gambler's wife and daughter are sick; unknown to the debt collector he kills the gambler. He learns more about his wife ... See full summary »

Director: Kimiyoshi Yasuda | Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Jûshirô Konoe, Machiko Hasegawa, Ryûnosuke Kaneda

Votes: 24

7. Ryu ko ichidai (1964)


Koji Tsuruta plays an honourable outlaw who saves an older man from an ambush. It turns out the man is the head of a hard working clan appointed to a railway construction project. A ... See full summary »

Director: Tsuneo Kobayashi | Stars: Shigeru Amachi, Shin'ichi Chiba, Sumiko Fuji, Yoshiko Sakuma

10. Nihon kyôkaku-den (1964)

98 min | Drama, History

A timber merchant and haulage firm in late 19th century Tokyo is in trouble. The widowed lady owner is being threatened by a scheming competitor who is offering much cheaper labour. X has ... See full summary »

Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Kinnosuke Nakamura, Ken Takakura, Minoru Ôki, Hiroki Matsukata

Votes: 34

21. Barâ kêtsu shobû (1965)


A good set-in-per-WW2 ninkyô type film with outstanding performances.

Director: Sadatsugu Matsuda | Stars: Hashizô Ôkawa, Minoru Ôki, Takashi Shimura, Ryôhei Uchida

24. Otoko no shôbu (1966)

91 min

This was one of director Nakajima's first films.

Director: Sadao Nakajima | Stars: Hideo Murota, Shigeru Amachi, Ken Takakura, Saburô Kitajima

25. Brutal Tales of Chivalry (1965)

90 min | Action, Crime

After World War II, their town was a pile of rubble. Gennosuke, the second generation boss of the Kamizu Group was upholding yakuza chivalry by keeping black-market and illegal items out of... See full summary »

Director: Kiyoshi Saeki | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ryô Ikebe, Yoshiko Mita, Shinjirô Ebara

Votes: 137

26. Shôwa zankyô-den: Karajishi botan (1966)

89 min | Action, Crime

A yakuza has to to kill a guy out of obligation. When he gets out of prison, he visits his victim's grave where he meets his victim's son and wife while they do not know who he is. After that, he tries to make amends for his deed.

Director: Kiyoshi Saeki | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ryô Ikebe, Yoshiko Mita, Masahiko Tsugawa

Votes: 32

27. Showa zankyo-den: Ippiki okami (1966)

90 min | Action, Crime

Takei Shigejiro belongs to the Shimazu family. When his boss gets killed, he takes revenge and ends up in prison.

Director: Kiyoshi Saeki | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ryô Ikebe, Sumiko Fuji, Shôgo Shimada

Votes: 25

28. Shôwa zankyô-den: Chizome no karajishi (1967)

90 min | Action, Crime

Fourth film in the "Shôwa Zankyôden" series. This expression means duty, obligations, and rules obeyed by gangsters and outlaws in the pre-Shôwa era.

Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ryô Ikebe, Sumiko Fuji, Yoshi Katô

Votes: 31

29. Shôwa zankyô-den: Karajishi jingi (1969)

90 min | Action, Crime

Hidejuro is sent to prison after killing the boss of a rival family. After being released, he discovers that his family has scattered and he is taking in by a company of quarry workers, whose boss has a strict code of non-violence.

Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ryô Ikebe, Sumiko Fuji, Kyôsuke Machida

Votes: 35

32. The Chivalrous Life (1967)

94 min | Action, Crime

This is yet another ninkyô yakuza film that seems to be (unconsciously?) trying to deal with issues of repressed homosexuality. In any case, long-lost friend.

Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Ken Takakura, Sumiko Fuji, Minoru Ôki, Kenjirô Ishiyama

Votes: 17

37. Big Time Gambling Boss (1968)

95 min | Action

Tokyo, 1934. The boss of the clan that controls gambling agonizes and some of his followers propose to Nakai to take his place, but he refuses the offer and suggests they choose Matsuda, who is in prison.

Director: Kôsaku Yamashita | Stars: Sumiko Fuji, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichirô Mikami, Hiroshi Nawa

Votes: 77

38. Nihon ansatsu hiroku (1969)

142 min | Action, Crime, Drama

This anthology film consists of nine incidents in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when assassins changed the course of Japanese history.

Director: Sadao Nakajima | Stars: Shin'ichi Chiba, Chiezô Kataoka, Kôji Tsuruta, Ken Takakura

Votes: 36

41. Shiruku hatto no ô-oyabun (1970)

89 min | Crime

Having made a fortune in the Russo-Japanese War, the Kumatora Family migrates to Kyushu to take on a military-related job. There they encounter the evil and malicious interference of the ... See full summary »

Director: Norifumi Suzuki | Stars: Tomisaburô Wakayama, Gorô Ibuki, Sumiko Fuji, Asao Koike

Votes: 27

43. Onna toseinin: ota no mushimasu (1971)

103 min | Action, Crime

It is hard to think of another ninkyô yakuza film that leaves the main protagonist - a chivalrous female at that - in so much pain and sorrow, such an emotional abyss of desolation at the ... See full summary »

Director: Kôsaku Yamashita | Stars: Tatsuo Endô, Sumiko Fuji, Shôtarô Hayashi, Nobuo Kaneko

44. Nippon jokyô-den: Gekitô Himeyuri-misaki (1971)

96 min | Action, Crime