Kizuna (1998)

Sub-Genres - Crime Drama  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Kichitaro Negishi directs this gangland crime film about a businessman who tries unsuccessfully to escape his past. The film centers on Takaaki Ise (played by Yakusho Koji), a former yakuza and owner of a company that manages a number of clubs in Tokyo's swinging Roppongi and Ginza districts. One day, a foot soldier from his old Sasaki gang named Fuda (Yosuke Saito) shows up on his doorstep beaten and bleeding -- a casualty of a gang war between Sasaki-gumi and its rival, the Kuhara-gumi, which is trying to muscle in on its turf. After spiriting him to a yakuza-friendly clinic, Ise meets Fuda's wife and Ise's ex-girlfriend, Kyoko (Yumi Aso), who suddenly seems interested in renewing Ise's acquaintance. Later, a tabloid journalist (Yoshihiro Katoh) is found dead of a gunshot wound. The press reports that the weapon used for that crime was the same used for the murder of a bank president ten years previous -- a crime that Ise himself perpetrated. Ise recalls how he had given the gun to his protégé (Hoka Kinoshita), telling him to pitch the object into the ocean. What happened? Meanwhile, a pair of cops -- detective Sako (Ken Watanabe) and Okubo (Mansaku Ikeuchi) -- are hot on the trail of the reporter's murder. After learning from the victim's girlfriend (Kumiko Tsuchiya) that he suddenly received a stack of yen for mysterious reasons, they soon figure that the reporter tried to blackmail the wrong person. The suspect at the top of their list: Takaaki Ise.