The Demon of Mount Oe (1960)
The Demon of Mount Oe (大
In a prologue sequence recreating the story upon which the film is primarily based, Genji clan general Minamoto no Yorimitsu (or Raiko), his loyal Four Heavenly Kings Sakata no Kintoki, Urabe no Suetake, Usui no Sadamitsu and Watanabe no Tsuna, and the lone warrior Hirai no Yasumasa prepare to ambush and slay the legendary demon Shuten Doji. The princess Nagisa no Mae appears to notify the warriors that Shuten Doji has fallen asleep, and that they should strike. As they approach a nearby room, they spot the sleeping Doji and draw their swords to attack, but are met with retaliation from the creature. Sakata no Kintoki swings his massive blade, slicing off the head of Doji which flies through the air and bites down on Raiko's helmet. Thus sets into motion the legendary tale of the demon of Mount Oe.
In feudal Japan, chief advisor to the Emperor, or Kanpaku, Michinaga attends a gifting ceremony from the governors, or Kami, of the country's provinces. Michinaga commends the men for their ruling of their respective provinces and tells them that he will keep their promotions in mind. As he looks over the governors' offerings, he stops at Yamato no Kami of Yamato province whose gift consisted of a single, sheathed sword. The Kanpaku quipped that he'd expect such a seemingly simple offering to be a treasure of legend, but the Kami explained that Yamato was a poor province whose crop yields were lacking in recent years and that taxes were not able to be collected as frequently. Michinaga suddenly barked at the man to be quiet and argued with him on the ethics of working the farmers harder, before commenting that the man clearly had no intentions of receiving a promotion. Later, princess Nagisa no Mae appeared before the Kanpaku, who asked her if she was ready to leave the capital. Michinaga arranged for the princess, who was also his wife, to travel to the kingdom of the Genji clan to be placed under the supervision of its general, Raiko. In the spirit of their parting, he requests that Nagisa perform a dance for him and his men. Upon finishing, the princess looks to the sky, which began to swirl, and fell to the ground unconscious. A violent storm suddenly rolls in, blowing the nearby men over. As they look up, Nagisa is no longer beside them, but instead laid across the back of a demonic ox which stood hovering among the clouds. Luckily, a representative of Raiko named Sakata no Kintoki, who had come to escort the princess, arrives on the scene. He hurls his great ax at the monster's head, splitting open its forehead and causing it to return Nagisa to the ground before disappearing.
Back at the Genji kingdom, Nagisa and Kintoki appear before Yorimitsu, the latter explaining that a strange occurrence had taken place at the Kanpaku's residence. Hirai no Yasumasa, also in attendance, comments that several strange events have taken place there, all of which involved the princess. Still shaken up by the incident which had just occurred, a dejected Nagisa confesses that she was put under a curse, but cannot tell them by whom. Yorimitsu realizes that this was the reason she was sent to him by the Kanpaku, and declares her to now be under his care. Suddenly, the magical blade Hiekirimaru which sat beside them began to glow, indicating that a demonic presence was afoot, and Nagisa loses consciousness once more. Meanwhile, the warrior Hakamadare no Yasusuke leads his men on an attack on the village residence of Ikeda Chunagon, instructing them to slaughter all but women and children. The men ride through the village on horseback, setting fire to houses and fending off all who oppose them. One such bandit locates Chunagon and his daugher, Princess Katsura, cutting down the former and restraining the princess. Hakamadare stops him, however, proclaiming that such a prized woman should be taken for himself. Their objective completed, the men called for retreat and disappeared into the night. At the Genji kingdom, Yorimitsu's wife Kotsuma enters Nagisa's quarters, introduces herself to the woman and speaks with her about her stay. Nagisa tells Kotsuma that she had not been crying because she was reluctant to stay with Yorimitsu, but instead because she had been taken from her true husband by the Kanpaku. Kotsuma assures her that she will be taken care of by her brother, Watanabe no Tsuna, a servant of Raiko. Just then, Tsuna, who was patrolling the area, spots a woman passing through and asks her where she is headed. The woman replies that she is traveling alone from Omiya, Ichijo to Watari, Goji. Tsuna tells her that the capital is festering with dangerous bandits and offers to accompany her, to which she accepts. However, as they begin on their way, Tsuna notices the woman's reflection in the water, betraying her monstrous true appearance. So as not to raise suspicion, Tsuna continues to accompany her, mentioning that it would be great to have a wife such as her. Flattered, she tells him that he must surely have a wife, but he replies that he is little more than an undesirable countryman. She tries to convince him that she is in fact in love with him, but Tsuna confronts her about the reflection and demands that she reveal herself. The woman obliges, rapidly spinning around and revealing her demonic form before engaging him in battle. Eventually, the demon manages to grab hold of Tsuna, lifting him into the air and beginning to fly away with him in her clutches. The man manages to draw his sword, however, slicing off her arm and falling back to the ground.
The following morning,
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Tokuzo Tanaka
- Written by Fuji Yahiro
- Based on a story by Matsutaro Kawaguchi
- Executive producer Masaichi Nagata
- Planning by Akinari Suzuki
- Music by Ichiro Saito
- Cinematography by Hiroshi Imai
- Edited by Kanji Suganuma
- Production design by Akira Naito
- Assistant director Shigeru Doi
- Special effects by Shozo Honda, Tadakazu Ito
- Monsters modeled by Fuminori Ohashi
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Kazuo Hasegawa as Bizennosuke Tachibana no Tomotada
- Raizo Ichikawa as Settsu no Kami Minamoto no Ason Yorimitsu (Raiko)
- Kojiro Hongo as Sakata no Kintoki
- Naritoshi Hayashi as Urabe no Suetake
- Ryuzo Shimada as Usui no Sadamitsu
- Shintaro Katsu as Watanabe no Tsuna
- Jun Negami as Hirai no Yasumasa
- Eitaro Ozawa as Fujiwara no Michinaga
- Fujiko Yamamoto as Nagisa no Mae
- Tamao Nakamura as Kotsuma
- Sachiko Hidari as Ibaragi Doji
- Toshio Chiba as Kidomaru
- Sonosuke Sawamura as Tsuchigumo Jinnai
- Jun Tazaki as Hakamadare no Yasusuke
- Yutaka Nakamura as Kikuomaru
- Kichijiro Ueda as Arakuma no Taro
- Gen Shimizu as Torakuma no Jiro
- Shinobu Araki as Abe no Seimei
- Shozo Nanbu as Ikeda Chunagon
- Atsuko Kindaichi as Princess Katsura
- Ichiro Izawa as Umanosuke
- Ganjiro Nakamura as Yamato no Kami
- Tokio Oki as Hizen no Kami
- Shintaro Nanjo as Harima no Kami
- Saburo Date as Omi no Kuro
- Yuko Hamada as Guze Kannon
Weapons, vehicles and races
Daiei VHS (1984)
- Tapes: 1
- Audio: Japanese
Kadokawa Shoten DVD (2006)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese
- Special features: theatrical trailer, photo gallery, staff and cast list
DeAgostini Japan DVD (2015)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese
- Special features: 8-page booklet
- Notes: Released as part of the Daiei Special Effects Movie DVD Collection.
Though The Demon of Mount Oe is not available on Blu-ray, an HD version can be rented from the Japanese version of Amazon.
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