Rules for a Wandering Man (Ruten no okite)
“Takizawa, a master of the pre-war period film, directed this first in a series on the adventures of Oshima Ryuji, heir of both the Oshima and Murata (from his mother) gangs. The squirming tattoos in the titles (presaging those of Shrader's Yakuza), the songs, and comedy relief do little to distort the recreation of life in the early part of the century: the film, like most Yakuza films, plays down Yakuza life and the social structure of labor in Japan. The plight of the travelling troupe's ‘Kunisada Chuji' (a famous gambler of the Tokugawa period) is paralleled by that of Oshima himself: a good man in a cruel life cannot escape cruelty, and Oshima, on the run for killing a man, will kill more.”
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