Surviving only in a fragment, this film about the magically talented Jiraiya comes from “father of Japanese cinema” Shozo Makino. Live piano accompaniment!

Screening with:
Made to Order Cloth aka The Chivalrous Robber Jirokichi (Oatsurae Jirokichi Goshi)
Daisuke Ito, 1931, Japan, 79m

Ito’s other paean to Edo-period populist malfeasance, Made to Order Cloth spins a fictional story of real-life thief and folk hero Jirokichi “rat boy” Nakamura. While attempting to elude the shogun’s goons, Jirokichi takes a riverboat to Osaka and meets a beautiful geisha and her dishonorable brother. Spectacularly dramatic swordfights––which still impress after 80 years––abound. Its elegant stylization is punctuated by its revolutionary combination of benshi narration and intertitles, written in a Kansai dialect.

Total running time: 100m.

  • Directed By Shozo Makino
  • 1921
  • Japan
  • 35mm
  • 21 minutes