British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Kumonosu-Jo

Alternative title
Throne of Blood
Synopsis
The story of MACBETH transposed to medieval Japan, with Macbeth as a samurai and drawing on traditions from Noh drama. Toshiro Mifune is Macbeth. In Kurosawa’s masterly interpretation of MACBETH ‘the poetry is all visual: brooding castle gates, misty battlefields, empty rooms where only the worst will happen’ (The Guardian, 2019).
With English subtitles.
Language
Japanese
Country
Japan
Medium
Film; Video
Technical information
Black-and-white / Sound
Year of release
1957
Duration
109 mins; 9,844 feet

Credits

Director
Akira Kurosawa
Producer
Akira Kurosawa
Cinematographer
Asaichi Nakai
Screenplay
Akira Kurosawa; Hideo Oguni
Music
Masaru Sato
Art Direction
Yoshiro Murai
Cast
Toshiro MifuneTaketoki Washizu (Macbeth)
Isuzu YamadaAsaji (Lady Macbeth)
Takashi ShimuraNoriyasu Odagura (Macduff)
Minoru ChikiMiki (Banquo)
Takamaru SasakiTsuzuki (King Duncan)

Additional Details

Production type
Fiction Films
Historical period
Medieval
Plays
Macbeth
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
film adaptations; Japan; Noh drama; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)
Related items
Throne of Blood

Notes

Notes
Available on BoB: https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/0013C8B4?bcast=116227177

The Folger Shakespeare Library holds a photocopy (copy made February 1962) of the English dialogue script obtained from Motion Picture Division, State Education Department, New York.
A 10-minute study extract is available for hire from the BFI Film & Video Library. The scene begins where Washizu’s wife, Asaji, tries to persuade him to take over Cobweb Castle but Washizu is reluctant, wanting to remain loyal to his lord.
General
"...in the thirty years since THRONE OF BLOOD was released, the film has become for those who have seen it, a part of our thinking about Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It has extended the frontiers of discussion on the play and made Western scholarship more aware of the universal appeal of Shakespeare’s dramatic material". Anthony Davies Filming Shakespeare’s Plays: the adaptations of Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Peter Brook and Akira Kurosawa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
Reviews
Dawson, Anthony ‘Cross-Cultural Interpretation: Reading Kurosawa, Reading Shakespeare’ in Diana E. Henderson, ed., A Concise Companion to Shakespeare on Screen. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006.

Buchanan, Judith, ‘Cross-Cultural NarratIve Rhymes: the Shakespeare Films of Akira Kurosawa’ in Shakespeare on Film (Harlow, Pearson Education, 2005). pp. 71-89.

Online Availability

Online URL
https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/0013C8B4?bcast=116227177

Production Company

Name

Brandon Films

Distributor

Name

Learning on Screen Off-Air Recording Back-up Service

Email
services@bufvc.ac.uk
Web
http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/offair External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7393 1514
Fax
020 7393 1555
Address
For Learning on Screen Members only
77 Wells Street
London
W1T 3QJ

Distributor (Hire)

Name

BFI Film Bookings Unit

Email
bookings.films@bfi.org.uk
Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk/about-bfi/help-faq/film-bookings External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7957 8938 / 8935
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN

Distributor (Sale)

Name

BFI Video

Email
video.films@bfi.org.uk
Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7957 8957
Fax
020 7957 8968
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN
Name

Retail outlets

Record Stats

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