Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Kikujiro Details


After the success of (1997), Takeshi Kitano, or 'Beat' Takeshi, as he is often called, made another film in which once again he is the director, screenwriter, editor, the leading player and the talent behind the art work. Unlike many of his films about the violent lives of the yakuza, Kikujiro is a bittersweet road movie about two characters who have very little in common. Masao (Yusuke Sekiguchi) is a sensitive nine-year-old boy who has to spend his summer vacation alone with his grandmother. Soccer practice is suspended and all his friends are away at the beach. In his boredom, he decides to look for the mother he has never met; with only a photo, an address, and very little money, this does not seem like a good idea. A friend of his grandmother's volunteers to send her husband along. The problem is that the irresponsible, loudmouthed, and greedy Kikujiro (Kitano), a low-level yakuza, is hardly the ideal companion for a child. He does not even like children. Starting with the excursion to the cycle races, this mismatched couple goes through a fanciful journey full of oddball characters and pleasant surprises. The best surprise of all is to discover how much they have in common. By the end of the journey, sullen Masao gains the sense of magic that had been missing from his life. As for Kikujiro, he now has a better understanding of who he is and what has been wrong with his life, although it takes a child to make him realize this. Kitano has declared that his own father, who passed away when he was a little boy, was the inspiration for the character of Kikujiro. The man was a house painter, carpenter, and master of traditional Japanese dance, but also a gambler who let his family down on many occasions. Another Japanese director, Makoto Shinozaki of Makoto Shinozaki fame, has made Makoto Shinozaki, a feature-length documentary on the making of Kikujiro. In competition at the 52nd Cannes Film Festival, 1999. ~ Gönül Dönmez-Colin, Rovi

  • Release date:May 20, 1999


Takeshi Kitano
as Kikujiro
Yusuke Sekiguchi
as Masao
Kayoko Kishimoto
as Kikujiro's wife
Yûko Daike
as Masao's mother
Kazuko Yoshiyuki
as Masao's grandmother
Great Gidayu
as Fat Biker
Rakkyo Ide
as Biker's friend
Nezumi Imamura
Fumie Hosokawa
Akaji Maro
as the pervert
Daigaku Sekine


Takeshi Kitano
Takio Yoshida
Masayuki Mori
Takeshi Kitano
Katsumi Yanagishima
Joe Hisaishi
Composer (Music Score)
Takeshi Kitano
Yoshinori Ota
Norihiro Isoda
Art Director
Kazuhiro Furukawa
Associate Producer
Fumio Iwasaka
Costume Designer
Senji Horiuchi
Sound/Sound Designer
Takefumi Yoshikawa