Koji Yakusho: Taka-aki Ise/Tetsuro Haga
Ken Watanabe: Akio Sako
Yumi Aso: Kyoko Fuda
Yosuke Saito: Masashi Fuda
Hoka Kinoshita: Shinji Miyake
Kumiko Tsuchiya: Chikako Fujishiro
Ikuko Kawai: Kaoru Mabuchi
Run time: 123 min.
Based on a novel by Toru Shirakawa,
"Umi Wa Kawaiteita"(The sea was dry)
Scinario: Haruhiko Arai
Dircted by Kichitaro Negishi
Release date: June, 1998
The first glimpse of Koji Yakusho when the film starts, appalls the viewers.  He stands on the busy street at
night all alone. Look at the above picture. He looks sad, lonely and above all, gives the impression that he is
deeply withdrawn in his own shell. At the next scene, he looks up at a huge screen on top of a tall building,
which is an advertisement for a newly released CD by a violinist, named Kaoru Mabuchi. Her photo shows
that she is young and beautiful. Looking up at her photo, the man looks very moved with admiration and
affection. The viewer also notices at this time that he has got a scar from a burn below his left ear.

What we gradually come to know about this man is that his name is Taka-aki Ise, owner of several clubs and
restaurants in Tokyo.  He has a friend named Fuda, who seems to belong to a big yakuza group. Fuda's wife,
Kyoko, once loved Ise, but married Fuda as she was not certain if Ise loved her or not.
One summer night, a journalist was shot to death in Tokyo. A police detective, Sako (Ken Watanabe)  starts
investigating the murder. Sako finds in due course that the gun which was used to kill the journalist had been
used nearly ten years before.

Sako comes to know that Ise is actually a man named Tetsuro Haga, who murdered his own father with the
gun due to anger and hatred toward him. Tetsuro's father, who was violent and wicked, drove his mother to
suicide. His mother, escaping from the violent husband with young Tetsuro duly met a gentle man called
Haga, a cargo ship doctor, and remarried. Her ex-husband found where she was , cheated her and acquired
the right for their large house, while her husband was at sea. Distressed, she made up her mind to die by
setting fire to the house one night. Tetsuro became aware of the fire and got out of the burning house with his
little half-sister, Kaoru.  Tetsuro and Kaoru were sent to an orphanage in Kobe, where they made friends
with Shinji and Chikoko. They grew up together like real brothers and sisters. Tetsuro taught Kaoru how to
play the kena-lute with a tune which his gentle step- father used to teach. That was Parionita.

Kaoru, who had a wonderful talent for music was adopted by a university professor of music (Mabuchi) and
became a popular violinist.
It was Shinji who murdered the journalist, because he found that the man, who was Chikako's boyfriend,
had  started investigating the secret background of Kaoru, who was just engaged to a millionaire
businessman He used the same gun which he had  actually been asked to discard in the sea ten years before
by Tetsuro, whom  he admires like his elder brother.

After knowing what had happened, Tetsuro has now one possible idea to save Kaoru and his old friends from
the scandal and being arrested at the same time. That was to shoot the yakuza who ordered a subordinate to
kill Fuda because of the conflict between the two yakuza groups, using the same gun, but that means .....
IIse (Yakusho) and Sako (Ken Watanabe) at
Fuda's funeral. Sako is now certain that Ise is
actually Tetsuro Haga.
After the violin concert,  Tetsuro happens to see  
Kaoru in the elevator but cannot speak to her. He
has got a self-sacrificing scheme in mind to save
those he loves.
Tetsuro is within a few yards of the sea,  where he may be able to
go to Peru by boat. He was told by his step-father that it was a
good country. But fatally wounded (after killing the yakuza, he
was shot in the abdomen.), Tetsuro cannot see the sea any more
and dies in Kyoko's arms  whom he was actually in love with.  He
was holding the kena-lute which was given to him by his
At Kaoru Mabuchi's violin concert.
Tetsuro is on the verge of
sobbing,when Kaoru starts playing
an encore music. That was the very
tune, "Parionita",  which the boy
Tetsuro performed with his little
half-sister, Kaoru with a kena-lute.
The DVD of Kizuna (Region-2) was released on June 25, 2004.
But it has no English subtitles!
KIZUNA (1998)