Director Sadao Yamanaka (1909-1938)

The Million Ryo Pot Kochiyama Soshun Humanity and Paper Balloons

The Million Ryo Pot (1935)
Kochiyama Soshun (1936)
Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937)

Sadao Yamanaka The story of Sadao Yamanaka is one of the great tragedies of world cinema. He directed some 22 films in his brief career spanning a mere five years, and those were enough to win him recognition as one of the most promising voices in Japanese film prior to World War II. Yamanaka joined the army and was killed on the battlefield in Manchuria. To compound the inequity of his death at the age of 29, most of his films were permanently lost in wartime firebombings or through neglect -- only three of them remain intact today. The two best known of these stand as sterling forebears of opposite ends of the jidai-geki spectrum: the comic chambara romp and the politically relevant "cruel jidai-geki" drama.

The Filmmakers

Cinema