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Yu-koku (Patriotism, or the Rite of Love and Death (1991)

Directed and written by Yukio Mishima. Cast: Yukio Mishima, Yoshiko Tsuruoka. "Patriotism" uses Noh staging to tell the story of Lieutenant Takeyama and his new bride, Reiko. A planned coup d'etat has failed, and Takeyama will be required to participate in the execution of his friends. He therefore resolves to commit seppuku--ritual suicide--accompanied by his wife.

Yumeji (1991)

Director, Seijun Suzuki. Cast: Kenji Sawada, Tomoko Mariya, Masumi Miyazaki, Tamasaburo Bando. A sensual, absurdist ghost story spun around the character and work of real-life painter and poet Yumeji Takehisa (1884-1934), seen as a chronic philanderer and dreamer. 128 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie DatabaseSee also: Suzuki bibliography

Zatoichi (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi)(2003)

Directed by Takeshi Kitano. Cast: 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, Tadanobu Asano, Michiyo Ookusu, Gadarukanaru Taka, Daigoro Tachibana. A blind, master swordsman wanders into a town controlled by sinister gangs and becomes involved with two geishas who seek to avenge their parents' murders. Zatoichi based on the novels of Kan Shimozawa. 116 min Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Zegen (1998)

Director, Imamura Shohei. Cast: Baisho Chieko, Ogata Ken. A dramatization of the life of Muraoka Iheiji who was active as a pimp in Southeast Asia from approximately 1910 through the early 1930's. He got his start by rescuing women from pirates in Hong Kong and gradually branched out to own 4 houses of prostitution at the peak of his career. 128 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Zen and I: A Self-Portrait: Great Turtle Priest, Tachibana Taiki, Chief Abbot of Daitoku Temple, Kyoto.

A day in the life of the most powerful Zen priest in Japan, called "the great turtle priest." Tachibana Taiki, Chief Abbot of Daitoku Temple, Kyoto, discusses the meaning of Zen, his opinion of "bogus Zen" and explores the profound Zen question "after satori (enlightenment) what?" 1975. 27 min.

Zero Focus (Zero no shoten) (1961)

Director, Yoshitaro Nomura. Cast: Yoshiko Kuga, Hizuru Takachiho, Ineko Arima, Nambara Koji, Ko Nishimura. When the husband of a young newlywed disappears on what was supposed to be only a brief business trip, the mournful bride embarks on an ominous search. As she slowly makes her way through the snowy countryside in search of her missing husband, the revelation that he may have been leading a double life sets off a chain of events that finds her fate growing increasingly grim. From a novel by Seicho Matsumoto. 95 min.

[Kawamoto, Kihachiro] The Exquisite Short Films of Kihachiro Kawamoto

Presents seven of the best short films by stop-motion animator Kihachiro Kawamoto. Contents: Hanaori = The breaking of branches is forbidden (14 min., 1968, col.) -- Oni = The demon (8 min., 1972, col.) -- Farce anthropo-cynique = An anthropo-cynical farce (8 min., 1970, b&w) -- Tabi (zenchoban) = The trip (12 min, 1973, col.) -- Shijin no shogai = A poet's life (19 min., 1974, col.) -- Dojoji = Dojoji Temple (19 min., 1976, col.) -- Kataku = House of flames (19 min., 1979, col.).