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‘Bakumatsu Taiyo-den (The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate)’

by Mark Schilling

Director: Yuzo Kawashima

Language: Japanese (subtitled in English)

Set an April 22 release is the long-awaited English-subbed DVD and Blu-ray of Yuzo Kawashima’s “Bakumatsu Taiyo-den (The Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate)” (1957). Set at the end of the feudal era, with Frankie Sakai starring as a fixer for a brothel in the Shinagawa red-light district, it’s a fast-paced, knock-about comedy considered one of the best Japanese films of all time. Still criminally unknown abroad, Sakai is on top comic form.