Akira Kurosawa

The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail

The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail

The fourth film from Akira Kurosawa is based on a legendary twelfth-century incident in which the lord Yoshitsune and a group of samurai retainers dressed as monks in order to pass through a dangerous enemy checkpoint. The story was dramatized for centuries in Noh and kabuki theater, and here it becomes one of the director’s most riveting early films.

Film Info

  • Japan
  • 1945
  • 59 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Japanese

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 23: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa

The First Films of Akira Kurosawa

DVD Box Set

4 Discs


Collector's Set

AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa

AK 100: 25 Films by Kurosawa

DVD Box Set

25 Discs


Out Of Print
The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail
Denjiro Ookouchi
Tadayoshi Nishina
Susumu Fujita
Masayuki Mori
Takashi Shimura
Kenichi Enomoto
Atikake Kono
Yoshio Kosugi
Dekao Yokoo
Akira Kurosawa
Motohiko Ito
Akira Kurosawa
the Kabuki <i>Kanjincho</i>
Takeo Ito
Production design
Kazuo Kubo
Tadashi Hattori
Toshio Goto


Eclipse Series 23: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa
Eclipse Series 23: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa
Sanshiro Sugata: A Career Blooms Moviegoers the world over know Akira Kurosawa for Rashomon (1950) and the international classics that followed—Ikiru, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo, High and Low. The filmmaker’s dazzling technique made …

By Stephen Prince


Akira Kurosawa

Writer, Director

Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa

Arguably the most celebrated Japanese filmmaker of all time, Akira Kurosawa had a career that spanned from the Second World War to the early nineties and that stands as a monument of artistic, entertainment, and personal achievement. His best-known films remain his samurai epics Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, but his intimate dramas, such as Ikiru and High and Low, are just as searing. The first serious phase of Kurosawa’s career came during the postwar era, with Drunken Angel and Stray Dog, gritty dramas about people on the margins of society that featured the first notable appearances by Toshiro Mifune, the director’s longtime leading man. Kurosawa would subsequently gain international fame with Rashomon, a breakthrough in nonlinear narrative and sumptuous visuals. Following a personal breakdown in the late sixties, Kurosawa rebounded by expanding his dark brand of humanism into new stylistic territory, with films such as Kagemusha and Ran, visionary, color, epic ruminations on modern man and nature.