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Kwaidan (1964)

Kaidan (original title)
Not Rated | | Fantasy, Horror | 22 November 1965 (USA)
A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) (as Yakumo Koizumi)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
First wife (segment "Kurokami")
Misako Watanabe ...
Second Wife (segment "Kurokami")
Rentarô Mikuni ...
Husband (segment "Kurokami")
Kenjirô Ishiyama ...
Father (segment "Kurokami")
Ranko Akagi ...
Mother (segment "Kurokami")
Fumie Kitahara ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Kappei Matsumoto ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Yoshiko Ieda ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Otome Tsukimiya ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Kenzô Tanaka ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Kiyoshi Nakano ...
(segment "Kurokami")
...
Mi nokichi (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Keiko Kishi ...
Yuki the Snow Maiden (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Yûko Mochizuki ...
Minokichi's mother (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Kin Sugai ...
Village woman (segment "Yuki-Onna")
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Storyline

This film contains four distinct, separate stories. "Black Hair": A poor samurai who divorces his true love to marry for money, but finds the marriage disastrous and returns to his old wife, only to discover something eerie about her. "The Woman in the Snow": Stranded in a snowstorm, a woodcutter meets an icy spirit in the form of a woman spares his life on the condition that he never tell anyone about her. A decade later he forgets his promise. "Hoichi the Earless": Hoichi is a blind musician, living in a monastery who sings so well that a ghostly imperial court commands him to perform the epic ballad of their death battle for them. But the ghosts are draining away his life, and the monks set out to protect him by writing a holy mantra over his body to make him invisible to the ghosts. But they've forgotten something. "In a Cup of Tea": a writer tells the story of a man who keep seeing a mysterious face reflected in his cup of tea. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

snow | samurai | promise | spirit | ghost | See All (281) »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ghost Stories  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

JPY 350,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the film adaptation of four stories from the book "Kwaidan: Stories and studies of strange things" by Lafcadio Hearn and is actually a collection of Japanese ghost stories, taken from various sources, some even stemming from China. Originally published in 1904, there are actually seventeen ghost stories in total, as well as insect studies including butterflies, mosquitoes and ants. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lake of Dracula (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a marvelous horror film
30 August 2005 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

This is one of my favorite horror films, and I daresay one of my favorite films in general as well. Anyone who doubts that a horror film can be great art as well ought to give this one a try.

I will have to revisit this comment after viewing the film again, as it has been a while, but there were a few comments I thought people might find useful regarding the stories the film adapted.

Two of the stories can be found in Lafcadio Hearn's book Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. These are "Hoichi the Earless" ("The Story of Mimi-nashi-Hôïchi") and "The Woman in the Snow" ("Yuki-Onna"). The other two can be found in other books of Hearn's; I'm grateful to Kenji Inadomi for pointing out that "Black Hair" can be found as "The Reconciliation" in Shadowings, and "In a Cup of Tea" is to be found in Kotto: Being Japanese Curios, with Sundry Cobwebs.

Many of Hearn's stories can be found online, including all of the above except "In a Cup of Tea." Attractive early hardcovers of Hearn's books are pretty plentiful, though, and not terribly expensive either.

As some others have noticed, there's an uncredited adaptation of "The Woman in the Snow" as the "Lover's Vow" segment of Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990). It's not bad, but Kaidan (1964) is the one that got it right.


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