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The Yakuza Papers

MUBI Special

This 5-film epic series of Japanese gangster movies isn’t just a thrilling, darkly violent genre saga—it also charts the post-war history of Japan from the American Occupation all the way into the 1970s. Cult Japanese auteur Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale) directed all five, offering an unexpected (criminal) portrait of his generation, as well as crystallizing the in-your-face filmmaking of the era he helped pioneer.

The Yakuza Papers 5: Final Episode

Kinji Fukasaku Japan, 1974

expired 358 days ago

Police Tactics was supposed to be the last of “The Yakuza Papers” series…but its popularity required the fearless Kinji Fukasaku to return for the true finale. He brings the bloody saga into the 1970s proper: How far has Japan—and these gangsters—come since the black market days of the Occupation?

The Yakuza Papers 4: Police Tactics

Kinji Fukasaku Japan, 1974

expired 365 days ago

The intricately sprawling criminal warfare—loyalties, betrayals, clan allegiance, and blood debts that make Game of Thrones look simple—of the last entry in “The Yakuza Papers” continues here as the series moves away from its real world inspiration and plunges into deliriously elaborate rivalries.

The Yakuza Papers 3: Proxy War

Kinji Fukasaku Japan, 1973

expired 373 days ago

Of the many pleasures the “Yakuza Papers” is its tracing of Japan’s post-war history through its gang sagas. The timeline is now in the 1960s, with the economy booming and a milestone Olympics coming soon, and a new Japan reveals itself in the dizzying, labyrinthine inter-gang loyalties and warfare.

The Yakuza Papers 2: Deadly Fight in Hiroshima

Kinji Fukasaku Japan, 1973

expired 379 days ago

The hugely popular “Yakuza Papers” series, based on Kōichi Iiboshi’s articles adapting the writings of an imprisoned yakuza, agilely evolved from the original’s sprawling gangland cast to zero in on the turmoil of a single hitman. Kinji Fukasaku returns to direct—and in fact guides the entire saga.

The Yakuza Papers: Battles Without Honor and Humanity

Kinji Fukasaku Japan, 1973

expired 386 days ago

Today we launch the thrilling 5-film series of Japanese gangster movies, “The Yakuza Papers.” Directed by firebrand director Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale), it catches Japan at a moment of profound transition following the WW2, embodied in the drama and violence following a rising gang member.

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