Lost Public Funds


What happens along Tokaido Highway ...

Movie Data

Original title: Shura hakko
International Title: Lost Public Funds
Original language: Japanese
Published: 1958
Length: 93 minutes

Director: Yasushi Sasaki
Script: Yoshitake Hisa after a novel of Rifu Yukitomo
Music: Eiichi Yamada

Utaemon Ichikawa: Asaka Keinosuke
Hashizo Okawa: Miwa Takitaro
Denjirō Ōkōchi: Jinba Yajuro
Kogiku Hanayagi: Lady Kyogetsuin
Satomi Oka: Yukie
Keiko Yukishiro: Okoma
Hiromi Hanazono: Oran
Sumiko Hidaka: Okon
Kogiku Hanayagi: Lady Kyogetsuin
Isao Yamagata: Lord Matsudaira Akinokami
Kunio Kaga
Kensaku Hara
Koinosuke Onoe
Eijirō Yanagi

The Film

In a spectacular operation, 4,000 gold coins are stolen from the safe of Nijo Castle in Kyoto. These were collected as taxes for the Shogun. Asaka Keinosuke, a member of the Nijo Castle guards, is commissioned by the castle lord to find the culprits. Disguised as a Komuso monk, he begins investigating the theft. Traces of thieves lead to Edo, where Asaka goes on the Tokaido Road, which leads from Kyoto to Tokyo. He is followed by a brother of the samurai Miwa, who was killed during the robbery. Asaka is suspected of being his murderer because he had previously had an argument with him.
The film is based on the novel "Shura Hakkō" by Rifu Yokitomo. Accordingly, the story is well constructed and multi-faceted. Akasa is a "liberal" samurai who lives unmarried with a former geisha. This does not correspond to the samurai code. For this and for other reasons, conversations about the duties of a samurai and general honorable behavior happen in the film.
But it is not clear why a valuable item was lost in the castle during the robbery, which ultimately leads to the perpetrators' trail. This fundamental event seems somewhat contrived.
The persons on the good side in the film act very honorably and are aware of it. The sword fights are sometimes very well designed, sometimes spectacular in the crowd scenes - one against all.