Sakuya (さくや 妖怪伝 is a Sakuya: Yōkai-den, lit. "Sakuya: A Yokai Tale")2000 Japanese tokusatsu fantasy horror film directed by Tomoo Haraguchi and written by Kimiaki Mitsumasu from a story by Haraguchi, with special effects by Shinji Higuchi. Haraguchi's theatrical debut,[a] the film was funded by the Towani Corporation—a short-lived partnership between Toshiba, Warner Bros. Pictures, and the Nippon Television Network—and produced by Cine Bazar and Shochiku Kyoto Pictures, with special effects produced by the Tokusatsu Laboratory. Warner Bros. Pictures distributed it to Japanese theaters on August 12, 2000. Sakuya's international premiere was held at the Fantasia 2001 film festival in Montreal, Canada on July 22, 2001. It has never been officially released in the United States in any capacity.
In 1707 AD, Mount Fuji erupts. Creeping out from the heart of the volcano are legions of demons and monsters, many of them with less than good intentions. At the same time, Sakaki, the great warrior and defender for the people against the armies of darkness, is slain by the "Great Goblin of Tone River". Six months later, Sakaki's daughter, the very young and brave Lady Sakuya, has no choice but to take over (and take up arms), to follow in the footsteps of her father, and defend the land from the hordes of evil demons rummaging about. Accompanied by young Taro, a "water spirit", and two ninja warriors of dubious talent, Sakuya hits the road. Her adventures take the form of a series of heroic battles with a multitude of surreal (and rubbery) creatures that only get wilder and more twisted. These conflicts are only a multitude of obstacles Sakuya and friends will face as she tries to reach her goal, the feared Mount Fuji, which is the epicentre of the Kusanagi clan. Heads of the Kingdom of Darkness, they conspire with their master, the dreaded Queen, a massive spider-woman who has nothing but the most evil and sinister intentions for the land.
— Julien Fonfrède, Fantasia 2001 program
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Tomoo Haraguchi
- Written by Kimiaki Mitsumasu
- Based on a story by Tomoo Haraguchi
- Executive producers Shinpei Fukushima, Osami Suzuki
- Produced by Masahiko Oto, Hiroshi Otsuka, Tsutomu Sakurai
- Associate producer Tomohiko Shigenaga
- Music by Kenji Kawai
- Cinematography by Shoji Ehara
- Edited by Hiroshi Okuda
- Production design by Tetsuo Harada
- 1st assistant director Daiji Hattori
- Director of special effects Shinji Higuchi
- Special effects supervisor Katsuro Onoue
- Fissure effects advised by Hiroshi Butsuda
- Visual effects by Tetsuo Ohya, Atsuki Sato
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Nozomi Ando as Sakuya Sakaki, demon slayer
- Shuichi Yamauchi as Taro Sakaki, Sakuya's adoptive brother
- Kyusaku Shimada as Shuzo Nigarasu, imperial spy and head of the Koga ninja
- Keiichiro Sakagi as Hyoe Mashiragi, imperial spy and head of the Iga ninja
- Yuki Kuroda as Shigeyuki Yamato no Kami Kuze, junior elder of the Tokugawa Shogunate
- Moeko Ezawa as elderly temple proprietor, in actuality a bakeneko
- Shinya Tsukamoto as The Puppetmaster, collector of human dolls
- Hidehiko Ishikura as Zennosuke Tachibana, immortal swordsmith
- Keiko Yoshida as Princess Hana, freed victim of the bakeneko
- Tetsuro Tamba as Naooki Kamon no Kami Ii, great elder of the Tokugawa Shogunate
- Hiroshi Fujioka as Yoshiaki Bizen no Kami Sakaki, Sakuya's late father
- Keiko Matsuzaka as Tsuchigumo Queen, ancient spider demon
- Naoto Takenaka as prologue narrator (voice)
Weapons and devices
- Main article: Sakuya (film)/Gallery.
- Main article: Sakuya (film)/Soundtrack.
- Sakuya: A Yokai Tale (literal title)
- SAKuYA: The Sword of the Darkness (Japanese English title)
- Sakuya: Slayer of Demons (alternate English title)
- Sakuya - The Slayer of Demons (Hong Kong home video title)
- Sakuya - The Demon Slayer (German home video title)
Warner Home Video DVD (2000)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special features: Theatrical trailer
- Notes: Released on November 10, 2000. Reissued in 2006, 2007, and 2011.
Warner Home Video DVD (2001) [Special Edition]
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
- Special features: 11 making-of featurettes; four secret features; special announcement trailer, theatrical trailer, Hong Kong theatrical trailer, and three TV spots; audio commentary with Tomoo Haraguchi, Shinji Higuchi, and Katsuro Onoue
- Notes: Released on January 26, 2001.
Universe Laser & Video DVD (2001)
- Region: 3
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Cantonese, Mandarin
- Subtitles: Traditional Chinese, English, Simplified Chinese
Warner Home Video Germany DVD (2006)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: German (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Subtitles: German
- Special features: Behind-the-scenes and making-of featurettes, theatrical trailer, TV spots
Though Sakuya is not available on Blu-ray, an HD version with German audio can be rented or purchased from the German version of Amazon Prime Video.
A novelization of Sakuya written by Kimiaki Mitsumasu and Osamu Kishiwaka with illustrations by Kei Tome was published by Kodansha on August 4, 2000.
Mitsumasu penned a sequel story entitled New Sakuya: The Legend of the Flying Dutchman, which was published by Bungeishunju on March 15, 2003. It features Sakuya facing Western folklore creatures as she escorts an imperial princess.
- Tomoo Haraguchi reused some of the yokai suits from Sakuya for his 2004 film Kibakichi, which acts as a sort of disconnected sequel. It was itself followed up by Kibakichi 2, directed by Daiji Hattori.
This is a list of references for Sakuya (film). 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: 
- England, Norman (22 November 2021). Behind the Kaiju Curtain. Awai Books. ISBN 978-1937220105.
- Davis, Mitch; Fonfrède, Julien; Hussain, Karim; Lee, Mi-Jeong; Bottenburg, Rupert; Gollner, Adam; Dubois, André; Pelletier, Claude; Simian, George (2001). Fantasia 2001 program (PDF). Fantasia.
- Fonfrède, Julien. "SAKUYA". In Davis et al. (2001), p. 88.
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