Skip to main content


Japan (MIFF 2005, Uchida Tomu)

Director: Uchida Tomu

A key work of post-war Japanese cinema, A Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji broke with conventions of the samurai film through its strong critique of warrior 'ethics'. Witty and generally light-hearted (although with a surprisingly dark finale), A Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji could also be characterised as a road movie. Young samurai Kojuro makes the long journey to Edo, accompanied by his spear-carrier, Gonpachi, and his servant - both loyal to a fault. A little boy convinces the gruff Gonpachi to let him tag along and learn the way of the spear. He is the first of many colourful characters they meet along the way. With its intricately interwoven plots and subplots, its constant movement and broad spectrum of characters, A Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji is now regarded as an undisputed masterpiece. "This simple tale, about a samurai delivering a tea cup to Edo, becomes a sprawling, digressive epic whose culmination shocked the Japanese audiences of its time with its sheer vehemence." - Rotterdam Film Festival

D Uchida Tomu P Tamaki Jun'ichiro S Yahiro Fuji, Tamikdo Toshio WS Toei Company Ltd L Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/ B&W/1955/94mins

See also...

Yoshiwara The Pleasure Quarter

A glorious, dynamic melodrama written by Mizoguchi collaborator Yoda Yoshikata, [Yoshiwara: The Pleasure Quarter] ranks among Uchida's finest films. ... A successful textile industrialist from the ... More »

Mad Fox, The

A colourful, wildly stylised fable, [The Mad Fox] is Uchida's most inventive film, and perhaps his most captivating. ... In Japan's capital city of Nara, more than 1000 years ago, Yasunori, the court ... More »

Twilight Saloon

Altman and Truffaut spring to mind at various times in this lovely, exuberant film. Taking place in the eponymous saloon, [Twilight Saloon] offers a fondly observed group-portrait of 1950s' Japan ... More »

Chikamatsu's ``Love In Osaka``

Based on a kabuki classic by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725), Uchida's [Chikamatsu's 'Love in Osaka'] is adapted with a narrative inventiveness decades ahead of its time. ... A young man adopted ... More »


Musashi Miyamoto, a young swords-ran, visits Baiken Shishido, a warrior renowned for his fighting skill with chain and sickle. While the two are chatting over a drink, Baiken discovers rat Musashi ... More »


“The Ballad of Narayama is Imamura's masterpiece.” - Senses of Cinema No holds barred in its depiction of a harsh village existence 100 years ago, The Ballad of Narayama is a remake of the 1958 ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director