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Translation Notes (General):

The Razor ("Goyoukiba") takes place in Edo, Japan, sometime during the middle of the Tokugawa Era (approx. 1603-1868, also called Edo Period), the period named for the 15 generations of Tokugawa Shogun (Military Overlords) that ruled the nation, maintaining a relatively static society, for over 250 years. This period of military-rule is characterized by its relatively peaceful order overall, clear division of the social hierarchy, extravagance by the privileged classes, isolation from the West, a lot of convoluted treachery, and many important cultural and intellectual advances.

For many centuries, Japan had a form of feudal system, in which the servants, vassals and palace guards of the Daimyo (the military Lords of independant regional domains, who maintained a castle, a home base, and several strategically-located satellite fortresses) were granted a piece of land (a fief), or in most cases, a stipend that came with a specific official post. In return, the vassals were expected to dedicate their lives to the service of their masters. The relationships between masters & vassals were based on this reciprocity of services and rewards, and were emotionally very strong. It was not uncommon for the servitors and followers of a Lord to join him in death. Similar master-follower relationships and customs developed among the Samurai and their servants, craftsmen and their assistants, and so on.

Almost two-hundred Daimyo-ruled domains and their associated castle-towns existed in the early Tokugawa period, whose sizes varied according to the Daimyo's holdings and the agrarian production of the fiefs under his control. However, the number of Daimyo decreased quickly during this era, as the Tokugawa Shogunate was always maneuvering to reduce their power.

Since in most cases this maneuvering was political in nature, both the Daimyo and the Shogunate employed a large contingent of spies, and despite the code of Bushido ("The Way of the Warrior"), betrayal of a Lord by his supposedly loyal servants was a common event.

From 1635 on, the Shogunate demanded that the Daimyo live alternate years in Edo. This compulsory, alternate residence policy ("sankin kootai") allowed the Shogunate to keep the Daimyo and Hatamoto under control. It also had the effect of causing great financial drain upon these feudal lords, making it more difficult to accumulate resources that could be used against the Shogunate.

Hatamoto (liege vassals, typically middle-ranking samurai) were below the Daimyo in the feudal hierarchy but they had closer affiliation with the Shogunate, as they were under the direct command of the Shogunate and were often called to active service. Hatamoto did not have as much wealth as Daimyo, but their wealth was magnitudes apart from those lower in social status. Many troublesome members of the Hatamoto and Daimyo classes wandered about Edo, doing pretty much as they pleased, and Hanzo the Razor is clearly not pleased with their behavior.

The Shogunate was the official governing body of the nation, consisting of the Samurai centered around their Lord, a Shogun. He was the chief administrator, who gave orders through his councilors, the Tairo (Great Councilor, only appointed during special circumstances) and the Roojuu (Senior Councilors). Although the former were only required to be present at the Shogun's castle 2 days each month, Roojuu were officially at the top of the administrative hierarchy, and were mostly responsible for managing the various administrative affairs of the Shogunate. They in turn gave orders to the commissioners who were responsible for matters relating to finance, taxation, the monasteries, and city administration & justice. The titles of these commissioners are somewhat misleading, since at this time there was no clear distinction between various executive and legal functions and duties. As such, the Financial Commissioner could be concerned with cracking down on vagrants, as is the case in "The Razor."

As they play a large role in "The Razor," the Commissioners of City Administration and Justice ("machi-bugyou") deserve special mention. During the Tokugawa Era, several Shogunate-controlled cities were under administration of City Commissioners. For Edo, they first appeared in 1631, when Kaganouri Tadasumi and Hori Naoyuki were placed in charge of the northern and southern districts of the city. In "The Razor," Hanzo is employed at the Northern District Office of the Machi-Bugyou. According to the map, it is located near Nihon-bashi Bridge. The area surrounding it was a center of great commercial activity, and it remains one of the busiest parts of the city to this day.

In the original script of "The Razor," it is written that "dosa-goyou" referred to cracking down on vagrants. It also said:

"...around this period in Edo Era, the vagrants --- the jobless and homeless --- flourished, and it was feared that they would form a militant group if left alone. The Finance Commissioner, with the cooperation of the City Commissioner, started arresting vagrants and sending them off to the labor camp in Tsukuda Island..."

The mission proved successful, because by arresting the vagrants, the City was able to eliminate some of its undesirables, and obtain a plentiful supply of inexpensive labor.

Also taking orders from Roojuu were the Oometsuke (Inspector Generals), which dealt with examining a person's loyalty to the Shogunate, Shogunate-associated members and officials' conduct and performance, and the Shogunate's relationship with the many Daimyo who still remained. Under them were the 16 Metsuke (Inspectors) and further below, the Wakadoshiyori (Junior Councilors, who were responsible for overseeing affairs of the Hatamoto and many Shogunate retainers). These officials frequently appear in Samurai films, often as the bad guys.

Tokugawa society as a whole was divided into four basic classes. Class was somewhat hereditary, in that once born into a particular class, it was impossible to become a member of a higher class. Although not a wealthy class and owning no land (land was owned by the Daimyo alone), at the top was the privileged class of Samurai (about 10% of the total population), the governing, sword-carrying members of the society. The Samurai class originally emerged around 800 AD, and they were highly skilled in military arts, and highly educated, especially in Confucianism, whose basic philosophy taught virtues of benevolence, propriety, righteousness, fidelity, wisdom and loyalty. Each person was expected to follow the virtuous examples of the ancient sages. The Shogunate demanded that the Samurai closely follow these rules of conduct and ordered that they study Confucian classics. In the early years of the Tokugawa Era, the Shogunate was heavily concerned with the problem of a large number of Samurai who became masterless as many Daimyo fell and lost their domains. These detached Samurai were called "roonin," and many of them went on to become teachers of swordsmanship, Confucian scholars, semi-privileged farmers, or simply became a part of the townspeople.

Swordsmanship is an interesting tradition that is carried on from one school of practitioners to the next. Each 'school' or 'style' is called a "ryuu," and is centered around a set of teachings, principles, customs and techniques. There were and are many ryuu in existence, in various sectors of martial arts. Shin-kage-ryuu (New Shadow), was devised by Yagyu Muneyoshi in 16th century. His son, Munenori (1571-1646), a character mentioned in Lone Wolf & Cub, had taught swordsmanship to the first 3 Tokugawa Shoguns. One of Munenori's sons, Jubei-Mitsuyoshi (1607-1650), a Samurai on whom many movie and video game characters are based, formulated his own ryuu called "Yagyuu-ryuu" between the years of 1644-1648, building upon many principles of the Shin-kage-ryuu.

Accounting for approximately 80% of the population were the peasants, the class of people whose functions were, in short, to serve the Shogunate and the ruling classes' economic requirements. These villagers were required to till the land, producing grain (rice, barley, and wheat), and were taxed harshly; 50% or more of the crop (esp. rice, which often played a role of currency in many official functions) they produced. However, as the Shogunate's expenses (which included expensive constructions and renovations, as well as the extravagant lifestyles of its members) skyrocketed, the tax burden on the peasantry became higher and higher. Many families were severely punished for failing to pay the required taxes, and some had to sell family members into temporary bondage (slavery was illegal, but this form of service was a common practice). In fact, the brothels (whose customers were largely Samurai) were filled with daughters of these peasants. In addition, the Shogunate considered the peasants to be readily-available labor force. They regularly called upon the peasants to participate in maintaining public roads and facilities.

Many families were severely punished for failing to pay the required taxes, and some had to sell family members into "temporary" bondage (slavery was illegal). In fact, the brothels (whose customers were largely Samurai) were filled with daughters of these peasants. In addition, the Shogunate considered the peasants to be a readily-available labor force.

The majority of the townspeople consisted of artisans and merchants. Many of these, as well as the retainers of the Daimyo and Shogunate gathered around castle-towns where most of the business was done. Among these were wholesalers and money-lenders, some of whom accumulated enormous fortunes and survived into the modern era, transforming themselves into some of Japan's largest companies.

At much lower social rank were the 'commoners,' classified by the Shogunate as a part of the 'outcast' population. These included exiled and ostracized members of villages, as villages had their own appointed chiefs who punished unruly members of their villages by sentencing them to exile. Others, the so-called "non-people" and "lowly-people" included: descendants of slaves, people with physical disabilities and abnormalities, beggars and prostitutes. This class was at the bottom of social hierarchy, and as such, they were not accounted for in official surveys, and were required to live in certain fixed (and undesirable) areas. The Shogunate even went so far as to state that a sub-class of outcasts were only worth a seventh as much as other individuals. Interestingly, actors and performers were officially considered to be outcasts, as they were also required to live near their theaters, and to hide their faces in public.

In the early years of the Tokugawa Era, administration of justice was loosely based on rule-by-status, therefore the governing class of Samurai was allowed to take the law into their own hands against the lower classes at will, if they so desired. Crimes carried extreme measures of punishment, and many criminals were indeed put to death. However, the official edicts stated that no individual could be punished unless a confession was obtained. As such, the use of many forms of torture, many more gruesome than their medieval counterparts, was often authorized. Some of these may be seen at work in "The Razor." Among the most popular torture methods of this era included being tied up into a tight little bundle, "sorobanzume," weighing down with stones, which is the torture Hanzo subjects himself to, "Surugadoi" - legs & arms backwards-wrapped around rocks and tied, then hung and spun from the ceiling, and "Ebizeme" - hands tied in the back, legs crossed and tied, head then tied to meet the toes.

Seppuku (also called Harakiri) was a ritual form of suicide-execution, mainly indulged in by the Samurai, which originated in the late 1200's. It involved disemboweling oneself with the sword, after which the execution-assistant, or "Second," delivered the decapitating coup-de-grace. There were many reasons for which Samurai committed, or were sentenced to commit, seppuku (breaking the code of conduct or being on the losing side of a plot were the most common) but Samurai would also sometimes commit seppuku to protest an action by their Lord they felt to be unfair. In "The Razor," Hanzo at one point claims to have already committed seppuku in protest, then bound his belly so he could bring the felons to justice as an already dead man! Since he'd already cut open his belly, and was thus doomed to die anyway, Oyura and her father knew that there was no way they could threaten him. We don't know of any historical precedent for this "hidden harakiri" but we would like to apologize for the awful alliteration in advance. It was just too good to resist.

In the last years of the Tokugawa Era, the Shogunate's expenses were increasing at a much more rapid pace than their revenues, despite their ability to raise taxes at will (mostly from the agrarian base). Also, the last of the Shoguns had employed many prominent scholars, who showed great interest in western science and technology, in an era in which the nation adhered to isolationist disciplines. In 1853, Commodore Perry arrived in Japan. The US was developing its power in the Pacific, and wanted to develop commercial relations with Asian nations. It also had many whaling ships in the Pacific which required shelter and supplies in the vicinity, another reason why it felt a need to open Japan's doors using any possible means. Perry's arrival, coupled with great scholarly interest in western knowledge, convinced many leading Bakufu (another word for Shogunate) officials that the western powers were so far advanced that it would be irrational for Japan to continue to refuse to establish full diplomatic ties. The Shogunate thus experienced great internal pressure to abandon isolationism and anti-foreign sentiments. In 1866, the 14th Shogun, Iemochi, died, and Hitotsubashi Keiki was appointed the 15th Shogun. Keiki appealed for unity, by restoring political power to the Imperial Court (restricted by the Shogunate until then to only handling scholastic affairs). In a matter of months, faced with opposition within the Shogunate, Hitotsubashi resigned. A new, provisional government, with no former Tokugawa associates, was formed, and a brief civil war followed. In the ensuing power vacuum, it was relatively easy for the Imperial Court to gain influence, and more than 250 years of Tokugawa rule was at an end.

During this era, there were also great cultural advances, many of which would not have been possible without the extravagance of the ruling classes. Such developments include literary works, especially haiku (17-syllable poetry) and fiction. The higher classes enjoyed literature, because education, which included literature among other topics such as military arts, was fairly well organized. Even the commoners could receive some form of education at temples, or by masterless Samurai. Puppetry and Theater also became very popular, primarily in the Yoshiwara entertainment district of Edo (Edo was renamed Tokyo in 1868, after the new Meiji government was established), where many Kabuki theaters, tea houses, and brothels, were located. (Hanzo "The Razor" spends a lot of his time in the Yoshiwara on business). Aside from these were developments in the fine arts. Woodblock printing and painting, originally introduced to Japan from China around the 8th century, while mainly commercial productions subject to the censorship and approval by the city magistrates, took art to new heights. Ukiyo-e, "the pictures of the floating world," and others by such famous artists as Hokusai and Hiroshige, influenced many European artists, especially the French Impressionists. Military crafts were also being perfected by a few artisans, most of whom worked as retainers for the Daimyo and the Shogunate. Prior to the isolation of Japan during the Tokugawa rule, Japan had a short-term trading relationship with the Portuguese, and in 1543, after muskets were introduced, many smiths quickly learned to produce them. Despite the Samurai preference for honorable swordplay, a fair amount of dirty-work "got done with guns."

A revolution of a sort took place in the field of medicine. In the early 1700's, the Shogunate somewhat relaxed its ban against western books. Interest in western science (especially Dutch) was building up, and by the mid-1700's Japanese-Dutch dictionaries were compiled and thus many scholars were able to pursue studies in the physical and biological sciences. In the field of medicine, the benefits were enormous; its pioneering practitioners and scholars had an opportunity to study a dissection being performed, verifying the information contained in Dutch books. As they realized the amazing accuracy of the Dutch texts, and discovered that their Japanese training and references were erroneous, Dutch texts on medicine were immediately translated and circulated. It is in a nod to history that the Court Physician in "The Razor" is named Genpaku, as one of the pioneers in medicine was a scholar named Sugita Genpaku.

Notes on Ninja: Iga (far south-west of Edo, now a part of Mie prefecture), one of many provinces that was not a part of the scattered Shogunate domains, and thus not under the Shogunate control, also was home to many spies, ninja and gangs that regularly infiltrated the Shogunate domains on behalf of various causes. So many of these spies, etc., were from Iga that the words "Igamono" (Iga-person) and "Igashuu" (Iga-people) eventually became synonymous with such infiltrators regardless of their true origins. In "The Razor" it is unclear whether or not the "Igamono" referred to are actually ninja from Iga, or just generic ninja.

Razor 1

The Flesh-colored Tattoo: Oyura has a special form of tattoo, in which the ink used is flesh-colored, and so is normally invisible. Only when the embroidered section of skin is inflamed, or flushed, such as when soaked in a hot bath, will the tattoo become visible.

Lady-in-waiting Scandals: One interesting event in history bears uncanny resemblance to the affair of Lady Oraku. Around 1714, during a number of trips, Lady Ejima (a lady-in-waiting in the women's quarters of the Shogunal castle) and her party made stops in a theater district while she had secret assignations with Ikushima Shingoroo, one of the most popular actors at the time. This was a major, well publicized scandal, causing the Shogunate to take a drastic action in retribution... destroying one of the only four officially licensed theaters there.

Kanbei of Sanzu: Among Buddhist teachings were those related to the so-called Six Modes (or States) of Existence. While there are many translations and interpretations of these, they were all based on Buddha's own observations of human conditions, which may be summarized as follows. An individual might be preoccupied with:

1) eternal craving for things --- the so-called "hungry ghost" state.

2) ignorant outlook, not examining theoretical possibilities --- the "animal" state.

3) eternal anger, constantly at war with himself or others --- the "hell" state.

4) overly-competitive, always out-doing others using any means --- the "jealous-god" state

5) overly-contemptuous with a false sense of having attained a god-like state --- the "god-being" state

The sixth state is what Buddha taught as being free from the other five states, calling it the "Human" state, which lacks the preoccupation's of the other states, and exhibits inquisitiveness and virtuous reasoning abilities. The first 3 states listed here are also called "The Three Lower Realms" or "Sanzu."

Note that because Buddhism relies on the concept of an eternal cycle of reincarnation, they are also states and possibly "places" in which one might transmigrate to and from another.

It is said that "Sanzu no kawa" (the River of Sanzu) is a river along which a "dead person" who is neither completely evil nor completely just travels, the destination being one of the 3 Lower Realms, depending on his karma (the measure of just or evil actions during the course of his life in his previous state). The fact that Kanbei in "The Razor" carries such a nickname clearly reflects his character.

What "Goyoukiba" really means: In the old days, "Goyou-kiki" (from "goyou," the official/officer, also the word that was used back then before arresting someone, and "kiki," "to listen/inquire/hear") referred to those individuals who have been ordered by the authorities to investigate criminals and suspects for a possible arrest. Here, "-kiki" is replaced by "-kiba," which means "fangs", and has various connotations, such as "to patiently plan on destroying an enemy," as in "kiba o togu" (literally "to sharpen one's fangs").

Shoochuu: This wine is similar to Sake (rice-wine), except that it is made using the waste-products of Sake production, as well as barley, wheat, buckwheat, corn, potatos, yams, and anything else that happens to be fermentable and handy. At 50 to 80 proof or more, it is much stronger than Sake.

Razor 2

Milking the Money Suppy: In Razor 2, we are introduced to the Shogunate's mint, and debased coinage. Although money existed for many centuries in Japan, rice and silk remained as the major instrument for exchange until the 12th century, when trade with China re-introduced copper coins after a period of trade standstill between the two countries. "By the 14th century Chinese copper coins were in wide use. The rise of a money economy made the control of copper, silver, and gold mines important, and they became the object of contention among the warring daimyo." (Hane)

The minting and standard usage of gold coins called Oban and Koban ("Big coins" and "Little coins", respectively) was ordered by the goverment in the late 1500's. Oban, which were almost a foot long, were primarily used among administrative offices and retainers, while Koban, thanks to their more portable cigarette-box size, were the coins widely used by merchants and richer townspeople. It should be noted that 1 ryo was a lot of money for the average townspeople. Mon coins, at 1/4000th of a ryo, and kan coins, at 1000 mon, were the coins most people used.

The koban issued in 1601 by Fushimi Mint (which was founded that year by Ieyasu, the 1st Tokugawa Shogun) was worth 1 ryo, weighed 44 momme (approx. 6 oz.), and "cointained 67.7% gold, 27.8% silver, and 4.5% copper", according to Sansom. The koban from this time period were generally called "Keicho Koban", which refers to the years of Keicho (1595 - 1614). The Oban coins were worth 10 ryo.

Debasing of coinage first occurred during Tsunayoshi's rule (the 5th Tokugawa Shogun who reigned from 1680-1709). Just as many expensive projects were begun, the Shogunate was also hit hard with decreasing output from the gold and silver mines, and thus faced a growing financial crisis. "Tsunayoshi debased the coinage in 1695 and created an inflationary situation. Although the government's revenues were increased substantially by this means, deficits had again increased by the end of his reign." (Hane) In the last year of Tsunayoshi's rule, "revenues came to about 760,000 to 770,000 ryo, as opposed to expenditures of 1.4 million ryo." Thus, deficit spending is not a modern invention.

Shoguns after Tsunayoshi took measures to prevent further debasement of the coinage, and even to raise their quality. However, adulterated coins were issued several times after Tsunayoshi's time for various reasons. A chief officer at the Mint named Goto Shozaburo was appointed by Ieyasu to formulate currency policies for the Shogunate, and many years later, the Goto family was still overseeing the Mint. During the time of Ienari (the 11th Shogun, reigned from 1787-1837), Goto San'emon, burdened with his own family debts, was approached by the Elder Mizuno in an effort to repair the Shogunate's financial situation (and to help Goto at the same time). They succeeded in 'raising' more than 2 million ryo by issuing smaller and adulterated coins, though only to be faced with disastrous consequences as time went by, primarily due to the extravagance and pleasure-seeking customs that characterized this time period. Koban issued around this time, called Man'en Koban, weighed no more than 3 grams, and measured about quarter the size of Keicho Koban. The last money issued by the Shogunate was in fact paper money upon which was written "100 ryo of gold".

Currency Conversions

1 "ryo" = 4000 "mon" coins = 4 "kan" coins = 50 "momme" (silver weight, 3.75 grams or 0.13 oz.) = 6.5 oz (of gold, ideally)

1 "kan" = 1000 "momme" = 3.75 kg or 8.2 lbs.

1 ryo can be considered roughly equivalent to 350,000 Yen. (Based on the gold exchange rates, reported by NHK). 1 ryo bought roughly 1 koku (approx. 180 liters or 5 bushels) of rice, which is about a year supply of rice. In a recent NHK documentary, it was reported that Tokugawa Ieyasu (the 1st Tokugawa Shogun) had amassed by the time of his death approximately 6 million ryo of gold (about 64% in Koban, 14% in Oban, the rest in other forms of gold), roughly equivalent to 2.1 trillion Yen.

Goma and Goma-no-hai: "Goma" are the aromatic, incense sticks which are burned inside temples and shrines. "Goma no hai", which literally refers to ashes from burning goma, also refers to bandits. This is because many bandits posed as sellers of ashes from famous temples (the genuine ashes were coinsidered valuable) before they assaulted unsuspecting travelers on the road.

Futon in the closet: Futon are traditional Japanese beds, which are folded and stored away in the closet when not in use. This saves a great deal of space, as it allows the sleeping quarters to be used for other purposes during the day. Japanese futons are much thinner than the futons sold in the United States for sleeping, but since they are placed on top of a tatami (reed) mat for use, the final effect is a mattress only slightly harder than a thicker futon on a hard base. A useful appliance found in almost every Japanese household is the futon drier, which is akin to a giant hairdrier attached to a large plastic bag in which the futon is placed. When futon are stored for a length of time, they are now placed in sealed plastic bags from which the air is removed with a pump or vacuum cleaner; this provides a quite remarkable reduction in volume.

Jitte: Jitte are 2- or 3- pronged weapons made of metal, which are designed to block and disarm swords. City Constables such as Hanzo are called "Jitte-mono", or the "Jitte carriers", because only the constables were allowed to carry them, although ninja and samurai can often be seen using them as well.

Razor 3

Legless Ghosts: Ghost tales are a great Japanese tradition. They depict ghosts as white or blue-white forms most often wearing white death-robes and triangular veils. Many such tales, in fact, have origins in the Edo Period --- ghosts of yujo, geisha and samurai, appear not infrequently in modern ghost stories. These ghosts are said to float in the air freely, having no legs or feet. The "ghost" that appears in Razor #3 is a classic one: a lady ghost with a marred face.

Poor Samurai: By the mid to late Edo Period, the ruling class was replaced by the rich, city merchants (especially the money-lenders) as the most financially powerful class. In the later decades, many samurai and ronin were forced to engage in low-paying, commoners' trades which were considered "menial" by the ruling class (Ex. Heisuke's umbrella shop in Razor #3), as their stipends were either decreased, eaten away by inflation, or eliminated entirely. It was not uncommon for samurai to work part-time, or for ronin to work full-time as teachers of swordmanship and ancient (mostly Chinese-derived) philosophy.


A favorite traditional snack-food made of rice balls (approximately 30% regular, short-grain rice, and 70% "mochi" or sticky rice), coated with a variety of coatings such as "anko" (sugary, red-bean paste) and "kinako" (powdered soybean). Yummy!

"Be careful with fire": The tradition of calling out this simple message to help prevent fires is said to have originated during the Edo Period. Aside from natural disasters (earthquakes, typhoons, and, in modern times, giant mutated lizards), fire was the most devastating calamity city-dwellers faced, and large parts of Edo regularly burned to the ground. The expense of rebuilding after fires also consumed much-needed Shogunate funds, contributing to their ongoing financial woes in the later decades of the Edo Period.

Edo Firemen were colorful characters, part of private companies that contracted with property owners to protect their property from fire. They did this in two main ways; first, wearing heavy protective clothing, they would dash into the burning homes of their subscribers to retrieve furniture and personal effects. And more interestingly, when a conflagration threatened a neighborhood, they would knock down the surrounding houses to create firebreaks.

Part of the reason that Japanese homes are traditionally small and of very light construction is that they were constantly getting either burnt up in fires or knocked down by earthquakes or firemen!

In Memoriam

Katsu Shintaro died of cancer on June 21st, 1997 at the age of 65. The famous, multi-talented actor-director-producer, affectionately called "Katsu-shin" by most Japanese, began his career in the 1940's, and was perhaps best known for his portrayal of the blind swordman, Zatoichi, in a long-running film series which was among the most successful in the history of Japanese cinema. As a producer, he fathered such hit movies as "Lone Wolf and Cub," which starred Katsu's brother, Wakayama Tomisaburo, and "Nemuri Kyoshiro," both of which are now being released in the US by Samurai Cinema.

Known for his love of alcohol and cigarettes, in the recent years Katsu-shin spent increasing amounts of time in the hospital, only to be seen lighting up cigars at press conferences held to announce his recovery.

On the 23rd of June, five thousand people attended his memorial service at a Tokyo temple.

Research Notes:

A considerable amount of historical research was necessary in translating Samurai Cinema's films and in compiling the information contained here. Among the many sources we have consulted, the following were especially helpful:

1) "Tokugawa Japan - The Social and Economic Antecedents of Modern Japan" Chie Nakane, Shinzaburoo Ooishi and Conrad Totman, eds. Univ. of Tokyo Press, 1990

2) "Japan - A Historical Survey" Mikiso Hane. Scribner, 1972

3) "A History of Japan: 1615 - 1867" George Sansom. Stanford Univ. Press, 1963

Production Staff

Japanese Production Staff - RAZOR 1
The Razor - Sword of Justice

Produced by Katsu Shintaro & Nishioka Hiroyoshi
Planning: Wakayama Tomisaburo
Story: Koike Kazuo & Kanda Takeshi
Screenplay: Koike Kazuo
Photography: Makiura Chishi
Sound Recording: Oosumi Masao
Lighting: Saitoo Shoozoo
Art Direction: Oota Seiichi
Music: Murai Kunihiko
Editing: Hayashi Yoshiharu
Fight Choreography: Katsumura Jun
Sound Effects: Kurajima Yoo
Assistant Director: Nabe Toshihiro
Production Manager: Adachi Genichiroo
Stills: Oyamada Yukio
Publicity: Sanada Masanori
Continuity: Yamamoto Reiko
Theme Song: MOPS (Toshiba Records)
Film Developing: Toyo Developing Labs

Directed by Misumi Kenji
Japanese Production Staff - RAZOR 2
"Kamisori Hanzo Jigokuzeme"
(Hanzo the Razor's Torture from Hell)
"The Razor" - "The Snare"

Executive Producers: Katsu Shintaro & Nishioka Kozen
Screenplay by Masumura Yasuzo
Original Story by Koike Kazuo & Kanda Takeshi
Photography: Miyagawa Kazuo
Lighting: Nakaoka Genken
Sound Recording: Ooya Iwao
Art Director: Oota Seiichi
Music: Tomita Isao
Editing: Taniguchi Toshio
Fight Choreography: Katsumura Jun
Sound Effects : Kurajima Yoo
Assistant Director: Ichifuru Takatomo
Production Manager: Toyama Takakazu
Props: Gotoo Kooichi
Set Decorator: Kusakawa Kei
Costume Design: Itoo Natsu
Makeup: Yumoto Hideo
Hairstylist: Ishii Emi
Color Technician: Fujii Hideo
Continuity: Yamamoto Reiko
Production Assistant: Utsumi Tooru
Stills: Ooya Eiichi
Publicity: Daimon Masao
Film Developing: Toyo Developing Labs

Directed by Masamura Yasuzo
Japanese Production Staff - RAZOR 3
"Oni no Hanzo Yawahada Koban"
(Hanzo the Devil - Gold & Soft Skin)

"The Razor: Who's Got The Gold?"

Executive Producers: Katsu Shintaro & Nishioka Kozen
Screenplay: Masumura Yasuzo
Original Story by Koike Kazuo & Kanda Takeshi
Music: Sakurai Hideaki
Art: Shimoishizaka Narinori
Lighting: Nakaoka Genken
Sound Recording: Hayashi Tsuchitaroo
Photography: Makiura Chishi
Production Manager: Adachi Gen'ichiroo
Assistant Director: Ichifuru Takatomo
Sound Effects: Kurajima Yoo
Fight Choreography: Katsumura Jun
Editing: Taniguchi Toshio
Hairstylist: Ishii Emi
Makeup: Yumoto Hideo
Costume Design: Itoo Natsu
Set Decorator: Ebise Yooichi
Props: Baba Yasuyuki
Film Developing: Toyo Developing Labs
Stills: Koyamada Yukio
Acting Director: Hatori Shooichi
Continuity: Yamamoto Reiko
Color Technician: Watanabe Mitsugu

Directed by Inoue Yoshio
US Production Staff (Subtitling)
Executive Producer: Robert J. Woodhead
Translator: Shin Kurokawa
Dialogue Checker: Ueki Natsumi
Cultural Consultant: Hisayo Klotz
Subtitling Director: Robert J. Woodhead

Voice Actors

Japanese Cast - RAZOR1
Katsu Shintaro as Itami "the Razor" Hanzo

Asaoka Yukiji
Atsumi Mari

Nishimura Ko, Yamauchi Akira, Fujiwara Kamatari, Kobayashi Kooji, Saga Zembe, The Chambara Trio, Kusano Daigo, Ishibashi Renji, Kanie Keizo, Matsuyama Teruo, Fujioka Shigeyoshi, Nambu Shoozo, Hamada Yuuji, Iwata Tadashi, Katsumura Jun, Yamamoto Ichiroo, Ban Yuutaroo, Nitta Akira, Yubuuchi Takeshi, Shinseki Junjiroo, Akatsuki Shintaroo, Kanda Kooji, Michii Kazuhito & Sakai Kiyono

and Tamura Takahiro
Japanese Cast - RAZOR2
Katsu Shintaro as Itami "the Razor" Hanzo

Kurosawa Toshio, Nishimura Akira, Satoo Kei, Ineno Kazuko, Komatsu Hoosei, Aikawa Keiko, Muneta Masami, Kusano Daigo, Kanie Keizo, Kishida Mori, Inaba Yoshio, Takagi Hitoshi, Oomori Yoshio, Yamamoto Ichiroo, Katsumura Jun, Kitano Takuya, Ooe Teruko, Koyanagi Keiko, Hidaka Hisashi, Maki Yooichiroo, Kitami Tadaichi, Akatsuki Shintaroo, Hanaoka Hideki, Fujikawa Jun, Hayami Kaori, Miyashita Yuuzo, Kanda Kooji, Mizuho Aki, Sakaki Yooko, Shiose Yuuko, Sorai Mizuho & Kumasawa Setsuko
Japanese Cast - RAZOR3
Katsu Shintaro as Itami "the Razor" Hanzo

Midori Mako
Nishimura Ko

Takahashi Etsushi, Koike Asao, Narita Mikio, Kanie Keizo, Kusano Daigo, Yamauchi Akira, Toora Mutsuhiro, Nawa Hiroshi, Tsukasa Michiko, Nakajima Aoi, Nagano Tatsuo, Maki Hiromi, Mizuki Mako, Eri Chigusa, Hamada Yuuji, Nita Akira, Ebuki Shingo, Kudan Goroo, Furukawa Rokku, Kanda Kooji, Miyashita Yuuzo, Watanabe Michio, Nunome Shinji, Takemi Shiroo, Akatsuki Shintaroo