movie poster

Rating: 7 stars


Japan vimeo battle princess prince emperor dragon religion volcano island creation goddess god arrows sword fight

Seen 1 time

Seen on: 08/15/2018

View on: IMDb | TMDb

The Three Treasures (1959)

Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki

Epic | Fantasy | Action

Most recently watched by sleestakk


The legend of the birth of Shintoism. In Fourth Century Japan, the Emperor’s son Ouso expects to succeed his father on the throne, but Otomo, the Emperor’s vassal, prefers Ouso’s stepbrother, and conspires to have Ouso die on a dangerous mission he has contrived. But Ouso prevails in the mission and returns to his father’s castle under a new name, Prince Yamato Takeru. Otomo plots to have the Prince sent into even greater danger, but Otomo is unaware that the gods have favored the Prince and the outcome is far from what any of them expected.

Length 182 minutes


Toshirō Mifune | Takashi Shimura | Kichijirô Ueda | Akira Takarada | Kinuyo Tanaka | Akira Kubo | Jun Tazaki | Yoshifumi Tajima | Kumi Mizuno | Akihiko Hirata | Nobuko Otowa | Kyôko Kagawa | Bokuzen Hidari | Misa Uehara | Yôko Tsukasa | Setsuko Hara | Ikio Sawamura | Eijirô Tôno | Chieko Nakakita | Haruko Sugimura | Kenichi Enomoto | Yutaka Sada | Yû Fujiki | Hideyo Amamoto | Toshiko Higuchi | Akira Tani | Shôichi Hirose | Ichirô Arishima | Akira Sera | Minosuke Yamada | Jun'ichirô Mukai | Yasuhisa Tsutsumi | Katsumi Tezuka | Ganjirô Nakamura | Hajime Izu | Michiyo Tamaki

Viewing Notes

Starting a 3+hr movie at midnight probably not the best idea… Maybe the largest cast of Toho studio system regulars I’ve seen in one film (bigger than Longest Day bc of all the women present here). So many regulars from that era with Mifune at the top. Shimura always gets the best cameos and was probably paid well for his 2 minutes of screen time.

Wouldn’t consider this a great movie by definition but certainly epic (for that cast and runtime) as it dives into the spirituality of how beliefs were formed in early Japan wrapped within this Greek Tragedy of a tale between Emperor and his heroic son (Mifune). Also has a love triangle between MIfune’s Prince Yamato and two princesses (Youko Tsukasa and Kyouko Kagawa). Rough life that Mifune playing the romantic interest of those two.

Had this been 90min or 2 hours even it’s be more like a 6/10 but there’s just so much going on plus there’s a sweet fight Oroochi the 8 headed dragon (Tsuburaya did the FX, natch) to give this a bump in the rating. It’s ambitious as hell. Compared to other epic type adventures like Hiroshi Inagaki’s SAMURAI trilogy, this one just doesn’t have the same emotional punch.

I watched on Vimeo via Drive-In Mob’s upload. Not sure if they’re planning on covering it or if it was for someone else but I didn’t want to wait too long to view bc this movie isn’t available on home video (probably grey market, however). Unfortunately the upload file didn’t look so good blown up on my HDTV but I really didn’t want to watch on my computer screen if I can avoid it (have to watch all the DTV stuff on my macbook and that’s enough). So the viewing suffered from the bad PQ but still watchable.

It would be rather nice to have a restored 2K or 4K scan of this movie because it uses both studio sets and on location filming in this big widescreen shots. Would love to see a sharp image of all that plus the crazy FX.


1 year ago

Note: TMDb only had *four* cast members listed. I had to add the rest. Ugh