Hana Fue Den Ki


The Flowerflute Murders

The Flowerflute Murders

is a 6-episode miniseries that aired on TV in 1983.
It is based on a crime story by Saotome Mitsugu 早乙女貢 (*1926 - †2008).
Saotome, whose birth name was Kanegae Hideyoshi, came from a samurai family of the Aizu clan. This background made him write numerous historical novels which formed the basis for many films and television series.
The writer is not related to the Aikido master Mitsugu Saotome (*1937), who was one of Morihei Ueshiba's last direct students.
Kiyoshi Hoshikawa wrote the screenplay for this film adaptation and streamlined the plot. He also seems to have incorporated aspects of the 1980s into the characters.


The story itself takes place in 1810. A number of beautiful young women are murdered. They have in common that each had a flute that beared the name of one of the "seven autumn flowers". These flutes hide a secret.
Genshiro Aoe (played by Hiroki Matsukata) is a "Ronin", meaning he is unemployed or self-employed as he runs a street fight betting shop. He himself is his best fighter. Through his girlfriend, the geisha Koen (Kumiko Okae), he gets involved in the murders and tries to find the murderers.
He is supported by police officer Bannai Shinoda (Yoshio Nakamura). So he gets on the track of an incredible thing that has its origins in a mint where he worked in the accounts years ago.

The seven autumn flowers

stem from a poem by Yamanoue no Okura (*660 - †733). He is known for his poetry about children and ordinary people. He also contributed some works to the important Japanese anthology Manyōshū. His work has a strong Chinese influence. Unlike other Japanese poets of his time, he represented moral concepts based on the teachings of Confucius.

7 Herbstblumen

Movie data

Original title: 花笛伝奇 Hanafue Denki
English title: The flowerflute murders
Published: 1983, TV Production
Length: 91 minutes

Director: Yoshimoto Onada
Original story: Mitsugu Saotome
Script: Kiyoshi Hoshikawa
Music: Tadashi Kinoshita
Voice: Dotaro Hayashi
Sword fight: Eiichi Kusumoto, Shinpachi Miyama
Hairstyle: Emi Inishi
Wig: Yamazaki Wigs

Genshiro Aoe: Hiroki Matsukata
Koen: Kumiko Okae
Bannai Shinoda: Yoshio Nakamura
Hagino: Keiko Takahashi
Ofuji: Maiko Kazama
Jutsu: Kenzo Katsuno
Kyuroku: Tetsuro Orio
Yakuza: Daisuke Awachi
Kazuya Houma: Masaru Taga
Mitakedo: Isichi Horiuchi
Yamashiroya: Oki Tokio
Kawarabanya: Tatsuo Higashida
Magozaemon Kitani: Kappei Matsumoto
Tsurukichi: Ryoko Kuni

Aikido: Mitsugi Saotome

Mitsugi Saotome 五月女貢 (*1937) is one of Ueshiba's last direct students. The first name 貢 can be read Mitsugu or Mitsugi. The surname Saotome 五月女 only phonetically matches the poet's stage name Mitsugu Saotome 早乙女貢.

Renzokuwaza 連続技

Renzokuwaza can be translated as "connected sequence of techniques". By the way, the last two kanji (続技) mean Tsuzukiwaza.
Renzokuwaza is a method of performing an alternative technique when the first intended one doesn't work. These possibilities were originally intended for instructors only and were not taught to the public.