by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Secret of the Urn (1966)

Director: Hideo Gosha

Jack   B

IMDB    6.8



   Directed by Hideo Gosha, following his Sword of the Beast, this movie has loyal clan samurai Tange Samanosuke, who is attacked and mutilated as a result of betrayal, losing his right eye and right arm. Now, he starts to live as a nihilistic ronin, using the pseudonym Tange Sazen (a character famous in Japanese pop literature and film). He comes to possess the 'Earless Monkey Urn', worth a million ryo, which everyone seems to be after, including the Shogun, for the secret that it holds. Someone pretending to be Tange is killing off members of his clan.

   When Tange loses the urn, he then tries to get it back. When he does get back, he has saved his clan. The story is a little confusing, but the Sazen character is interesting. Bitter, cynical and not much of a hero, but down deep he is still a samurai. At the end Sazen wanders off, banished from Edo.