Japan Foundation: The Million Ryo Pot

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BBFC RatingJapan Foundation: The Million Ryo Pot

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CertificateNot Rated
GenreComedy, Drama
Director(s)Yamanaka Sadao
Writer(s)Mimura ShintarĂ´
Running Time1HR 32MINS
Extra InfoEnglish subtitles, Recommended PG
SeasonThe Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2024

Digitally remastered, this 1935 comedy drama about the search for a pot containing a secret treasure map, is one of the only surviving masterpieces of Yamanaka Sadao.

The lord of the Yagyu Clan in Iga (Bando Katsutaro) discovers the kokezaru pot he used to own contains a treasure map that reveals the whereabouts of a huge amount of money. However, the pot has already been given to his younger brother, Genzaburo (Sawamura Kunitaro), who has recently married into a family in Edo (Tokyo). The lord sends a messenger to Genzaburo to get back the pot, only to find out that his wife has sold it off to a random junk dealer believing it to be just some sort of rubbish. The pot ends up in the hands of Chobiyasu (Mune Harutaro), a young orphan boy, who is using it as a goldfish bowl. Meanwhile, working bodyguard Tange Sazen (Okochi Denjiro), decides to take in Chobiyasu and look after him, all the while not knowing anything about the hidden secret. And the chase after the pot begins…

This monumental work of early Japanese cinema is a spin-off of a popular film series about the character Tange Sazen. While the other films are more focused on murderous intent, this film is a comedy drama, recreating the image of the character of the bodyguard Sazen with humour and humanity. A highly reputable work and often named by many critics as one of the best Japanese films.

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2023 is organised by the Japan Foundation, with Major Support from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, with Sponsorship in Kind from SUQQU, Athletia, and Clearspring and in Cultural Partnership with The Japan Society and JAL.


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