Kwaidan (1965)

From Wikizilla, the kaiju encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
Image gallery for Kwaidan
Credits for Kwaidan

The Japanese poster for Kwaidan
Alternate titles
Flagicon Japan.png Ghost Stories (1965)
See alternate titles
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi
Producer(s) Shigeru Wakatsuki
Written by Yoko Mizuki; Lafcadio Hearn (stories)
Music by Toru Takemitsu
Distributor TohoJP
Continental DistributingUS
Rating Unrated
Budget ¥320-380,000,000[1][2]
Running time 182 minutesJP
(3 hours, 2 minutes)
125 minutesUS
(2 hours, 5 minutes)
162 minutesCFF
(2 hours, 42 minutes)
Rate this film!
(4 votes)

Kwaidan (怪談,   Kaidan, lit. Ghost Stories) is a 1965 horror anthology film produced by Ninjin Club and distributed by Toho. The film is based on stories from author Lafcadio Hearn's collections of Japanese folklore stories, namely Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. It was released to Japanese theaters on January 6, 1965 and to American theaters on July 15 of the same year.


X no sunglasses.PNG This plot section is useless.
Please help out by editing this page and adding the plot.

"The Black Hair"

To be added.

"The Woman of the Snow"

To be added.

"Hoichi the Earless"

To be added.

"In a Cup of Tea"

To be added.


Main article: Kwaidan/Credits.

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Masaki Kobayashi
  • Written by   Yoko Mizuki
  • Based on stories from Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things by   Lafcadio Hearn
  • Produced by   Shigeru Wakatsuki
  • Music by   Toru Takemitsu
  • Cinematography by   Yoshio Miyajima
  • Edited by   Hisashi Sagara
  • Production Design by   Shigemasa Toda
  • Assistant Directing by   Takeshi Yoshida


"The Black Hair"

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Michiyo Aratama   as   First wife
  • Misako Watanabe   as   Second wife
  • Rentaro Mikuni   as   Warrior
  • Kenjiro Ishiyama   as   Father
  • Ranko Akagi   as   Mother
  • Fumie Kitahara   as   Wet nurse
  • Kappei Matsumoto   as   Manager
  • Keiko Ieda   as   Handmaiden
  • Otome Tsukimiya   as   Manager
  • Kenzo Tanaka   as   Servant
  • Kiyoshi Nakano   as   Daimyo

"The Woman of the Snow"

  • Tatsuya Nakadai   as   Minokichi
  • Keiko Kishi   as   Woman of the Snow / Oyuki
  • Yuko Mochizuki   as   Mother
  • Kin Sugai   as   Village woman 1
  • Noriko Sengoku   as   Village woman 2
  • Akiko Nomura   as   Village woman 3
  • Torahiko Hamada   as   Ferryman
  • Jun Hamamura   as   Mosaku

"In a Cup of Tea"

  • Osamu Takizawa   as   Author
  • Haruko Sugimura   as   Madam
  • Ganjiro Nakamura   as   Publisher
  • Noboru Nakaya
  • Seiji Miyaguchi   as   Old man
  • Kei Sato
  • Tomoko Naraoka   as   Suzue
  • Shigeru Koyama   as   Warrior 1
  • Jun Tazaki   as   Coworker
  • Junkichi Orimoto   as   Warrior 2
  • Akiji Kobayashi   as   Warrior 3
  • Yoshiro Aoki   as   Warrior 4
  • Isao Tamagawa
  • Hideyo Amamoto

"Hoichi the Earless"

  • Katsuo Nakamura   as   Hoichi the Earless
  • Tetsuro Tanba   as   Armored warrior
  • Takashi Shimura   as   Chief priest
  • Yoichi Hayashi   as   Minamoto no Yoshitsune
  • Eiko Muramatsu   as   Kenreimon-in
  • Kunie Tanaka   as   Fletcher
  • Kazuo Kitamura   as   Taira no Tomomori
  • Ichiro Nakatani   as   Nobleman
  • Masanori Tomotake   as   Donkai
  • Tokue Hanazawa   as   Matsuzo
  • Shoichi Kuwayama   as   Fisherman 1
  • Mutsuhiko Tsurumaru   as   Taira no Tsunemori
  • Akira Tani   as   Fisherman 2
  • Shizue Natsukawa
  • Shin Tatsuoka   as   Taira no Norimori
  • Makiko Kitashiro   as   Noblewoman
  • Ginzo Sekiguchi   as   Minamoto warrior 2
  • Akio Miyabe
  • Genya Nagai   as   Fisherman 3
  • Toru Uchida
  • Yosuke Kondo   as   Benkei
  • Kiyoshi Yamamoto   as   Taira no Munemori
  • Kinji Omino   as   Hideto Yamaga
  • Atsuo Nakamura   as   Taira no Noritsune
  • Yuriko Abe
  • Yuri Sato   as   Emperor Antoku
  • Kyoichi Sato
  • Nobuo Aikawa   as   Yoshimori Ise
  • Hikari Kamino
  • Hayao Fukuhara   as   Minamoto warrior 1
  • Mareo Abe   as   Tadanobu Sato
  • Toshiro Yagi   as   Taira no Arimori
  • Seiji Tabe
  • Mitsuko Narita   as   Court lady 1
  • Noriko Mikura   as   Court lady 2
  • Aiko Nagayama   as   Court lady 3
  • Michiko Nakahata   as   Noblewoman
  • Taiji Kodama   as   Taira no Yukimori
  • Nobuaki Maeda   as   Taira no Sukemori
  • Teruhiko Shibata   as   Taira no Kiyomune
  • Haruo Kaji   as   Military commander
  • Michio Gina




Main article: Kwaidan/Gallery.

Alternate titles

  • Ghost Stories (literal Japanese title; Bulgarian title, Призрачни Истории; Greek DVD title, Istories Fantasmaton; Serbian title, Priče o Duhovima)
    • Ghost Tales (alternate translation)
  • Kwaidan: Supernatural Tales (Argentinian and Uruguayan title, Kwaidan: Historias Sobrenaturales)
  • Kwaidan - The Four Faces of Fear (Brazilian title, Kwaidan - As Quatro Faces do Medo)
  • Kwaidan - Ghost Stories (Italian title, Kwaidan - Storie di Fantasmi)
  • The Beyond (Mexican and Spanish title, El Más Allá)
  • Kwaidan, or Amazing Stories (Polish title, Kwaidan, czyli Niesamowite Historie)
  • Kwaidan: Stories of the Mysterious and Terrible (Soviet title, Квайдан: Повествование о Загадочном и Ужасном)\
  • Hoichi the Earless
  • Weird Tales

Theatrical releases

View all posters for the film here.

  • Japan - January 6, 1965 (roadshow); February 27, 1965  [view poster]Japanese poster; November 29, 1982 (re-release)
  • United States - July 15, 1965
  • France - July 28, 1965
  • Mexico - June 3, 1966
  • Portugal - November 29, 1967 (Lisbon); February 28, 1968
  • Spain - February 21, 1968 (Barcelona); May 13, 1968 (Madrid)
  • Argentina - October 21, 1971
  • Uruguay - September 6, 1974
  • Finland - October 14, 1977


Award Category Recipient(s) Result
38th Kinema Junpo Awards Best 10 N/A Won; 2nd place
18th Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize N/A Won
38th Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film N/A Nominated

Video releases

Criterion DVD (2000)[3]

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special features: Japanese theatrical trailer
  • Notes: Re-released on June 1, 2010.

Toho DVD (2003)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese
  • Special features: Special report and theatrical trailers, "The Images of Kwaidan ~ The World Seen by Yakumo Koizumi" feature, "Color Design Drawings" image gallery, "Album of Director Masaki Kobayashi" image gallery, "The World of Kwaidan" image gallery
  • Notes: Re-released on July 13, 2016 as part of the Toho DVD Masterpiece Selection.

Raro Video DVD (2009)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: Italian

Madman Entertainment DVD (2014)[4]

  • Region: 4
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Notes: Released on August 6, 2014

Criterion DVD/Blu-ray (2015)

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special features: Audio commentary by Stephen Prince, interviews with Masaki Kobayashi and Kiyoshi Ogasawara, piece on Lafcadio Hearn, trailers, essay by Geoffrey O'Brien

Though Kwaidan is not available on Blu-ray in Japan, an HD version can be rented or purchased on the Japanese version of Amazon.



Japanese Kwaidan trailer


This is a list of references for Kwaidan. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. Village Books. 28 September 2012. ISBN: 9784864910132.
  2. Japanese Special Effects and Illusion Movies Complete Collection. Villagebooks. 1997. ISBN: 978-4257037200.
  3. DVD: Kwaidan (Criterion)


Showing 1 comments. When commenting, please remain respectful of other users, stay on topic, and avoid role-playing and excessive punctuation. Comments which violate these guidelines may be removed by administrators.

Loading comments..
Era Icon - Toho.png
Era Icon - Showa.png