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Japan, 1959
Directed by Nobuo Nakagawa
With Shigeru Amachi, Katsuko Wakasugi, Noriko Kitazawa  
Based on the play by Tsuruya Nanboku IV
Cinematography Tadashi Nishimoto
Approx. 76 min. 35mm print courtesy Japan Foundation.

“How could you… give me poison?” Katsuko Wakasugi’s Oiwa rises from the dead to haunt husband Shigeru Amachi, in Nakagawa's modernization of Japan’s most famous ghost story (also filmed the same year by Kenji Misumi). The updated Japanese title (Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan) refers to Tōkaidō, the eastern sea route that historically connected Kyoto and Osaka with Edo (modern day Tokyo). “Nakagawa [enjoys] playing with [his] prey before putting them out of their misery, running them through a gauntlet of hallucinatory shocks.” – Nick Pinkerton, Artforum.


“Concisely plotted and fast-paced, the film somehow reconciles classical elegance with Nakagawa's patented shock effects. Both the remarkable use of sound and the color expressionism influenced many other directors. Nakagawa's finest hour.”
Time Out

Film Forum