Isshin Tasuke

一心太助 天下の一大事

Isshin Tasuke - A World in Danger

Tasuke and Okubo

The always helpful Tasuke picks up Kokichi, a desperate man, and tries to clear the situation at his idol Okubo Hikozaemon.

Tasuke and Setsubo

Tasuke teaches Setsubo Kokichi how to carry fish to customers.

Movie Data

English title: Isshin Tasuke - A World in Danger
Original title: 一心太助 天下の一大事 Isshin Tasuke - Tenka no Ichidaiji
Published: 1958
Length: 90 minutes

Director: Tadashi Sawashima
Script: Torao Tanabe
Music: Nakaba Tadahashi

Kinnosuke Nakamura: Isshin Tasuke and Shogun Iemitsu
Ryunosuke Tsukigata: Okubo Hikozaemon
Eitaro Shindo: Kawakatsu
Haruo Tanaka: Kokichi
Hiroko Sakuramachi: Otoyo
Hitomi Nakahara: Onaka
Kensaku Hara: Sagamiya-Mohei
Isao Yamagata. Matsudaira Izu


The always helpful Isshin Tasuke (一心 isshin = wholeheartedly, 太助 tasuke = helper) faces two serious problems (天下の一大事 tenka no ichidaiji = mondial serious matter). He wants to help Setsubo Kokichi, whose employer, the high-ranking samurai Kawakatsu, has him stolen his fiancée Otoyo. He wants also to help his idol Okubo Hikozaemon, a Shogun's senior advisor, with a tricky property matter.


The film is the second in a series about the fictional character Isshin Tasuke, about whom there are many novels, stories and films in Japan. The first film in this series with the same leading actor was also released in 1958. The persons in this episode are not presented in detail, but their relationships are assumed to be known.
Tasuke is a naive, helpful fishmonger. His idol is the high samurai Okubo Hikozaemon, a stubborn old man who loves to talk about his youthful past. The opponent is Kawakatsu, another samurai who lives next door to Hikozaemon.
It's about an unused piece of land that Kawakatsu is contesting his neighbor. Kawakatsu also wants Otoyo, Setsubo Kokichi's sweetheart, to be his concubine. Onaka, Tasuke's sweetheart, also has a say.
The comedy thrives on the warm relationships between the persons. Although the film can be counted among the samurai films (Jidai-geki) there are no bloody fights with swords. Everything is very civil, in the worst case there are mass brawls.
While the previous film was shot in black and white, we can now enjoy very nice colored pictures in an acceptable video quality. It's a charming, lovely film. You can relax and watch a little Japan of that time. Despite the minimal plot, it is not too long with 90 minutes.
The main actor is a famous Kabuki actor. Playing multiple roles (up to seven) in a single film wasn't uncommon for him. His presentation is very lively.