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The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On

Kazuo Hara
Japan 1987 / 122’
Satan’s Tango The Hound of the Baskervilles

The murder of a real estate broker, an assault on Emperor Hirohito and disseminating leaflets defaming him. Kenzo Okuzaki likes to boast about his transgressions. This 60-year-old man has long been fighting the prevailing order in the Land of the Rising Sun. He is a seething anarchist obsessed with ideas, and he is now starting another mission: his aim is to discover the cause of the mysterious deaths of people from the regiment in which he served in New Guinea during World War II. His private investigation consists of a series of aggressive and at times literally brutal confrontations with people involved in the case. Kazuo Hara’s documentary is as much a shocking story about uncovering crimes from the past as it is a highly ambivalent portrait of Okuzaki, an incorrigible idealist who has absolutely no problem resorting to violence.

Piotr Mirski


Berlin IFF 1987 – Caligari Film Award; Kinema Junpo Awards 1988 – Readers' Choice Award; Rotterdam FF 1988 – KNF Award; Yokohama FF 1988 – Best Film, Best Director

Kazuo Hara

Born in 1945, Kazuo Hara is a Japanese director specializing in documentary films. He studied photography, but he gave up his studies in order to work at a special school. He made his debut with the film Sayonara CP about people with cerebral palsy. He enjoys telling the stories of outsiders. He is known as a provocateur. His followers include two prominent American documentary filmmakers, Errol Morris and Michael Moore—the latter called him his Japanesesoulmate.

Selected filmography

1972 Sayonara CP / Goodbye CP (doc.)

1974 Gokushiteki erosu: Renka 1974 / Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974 (doc.)

1987 Naga Armia Cesarza maszeruje dalej / Yuki yukite, shingun / The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (doc.)

2005 Mata no Hi no Chika / The Many Faces of Chika

2016 Nippon Asbest Village / Sennan Asbestos Disaster (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Kazuo Hara
screenplay Kazuo Hara
cinematography Kazuo Hara
editing Jun Nabeshima
cast Kenzo Okuzaki, Riichi Aikawa, Masaichi Hamaguchi, Toshio Hara, Shichiro Kojima
producer Sachiko Kobayashi
production Imamura Productions, Shisso Production, Zanzou-sha
sales Media Space
language Japanese
colouration colour