Starring with a wonderfully powerful performance is the great Okawa Hashizo (Hantaro). Irezumi Hantaro is a solid action packed melodrama.
Risking his own life Hantaro goes all out to help save the lovely Geisha Onaka from her exploited lifestyle and her ill-fated future. He himself is down on his luck, a compulsive gambler, who has run-up a huge debt in a crooked dice game. Forced from his village Hantaro must go on the run... This is a wonderful emotional drama, with a strong story, deeply drawn characters and some exciting sword action.
Masahiro Makino was a prolific filmmaker who worked fast, detractors see no more than routine programmers. However rhythm and tempo are what makes this and his other films so unique, it was his signature creative style. Makino crafted some of the most influential jidai-geki ever made, a director who seldom left familiar genre patterns, but whose experience & expert craftsmanship made every one of his minor works absorbing drama, highly entertaining, Classic Japanese Cinema. Highly Recommend !