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Sanshiro Sugata: The Deleted Scenes (Toho Kingdom article)

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    Vili Maunula

    There’s another wonderful article by Patrick at Toho Kingdom, this time discussing the scenes that were deleted from Kurosawa’s first film, Sanshiro Sugata. Check it out!

    Does anyone here have information why the scenes were deleted in the first place? My understanding has been that it was for commercial or pacing reasons rather than censorship ones, but I can’t now find a reference for that claim.



    Yes, fantastic work from Patrick – I was aware that Sanshiro Sugata had been butchered, but I’d no idea of that history. Its wonderful that some parts have been found, it shows there may even be some hope that someday someone will find the rest of The Idiot hidden away in some dusty vault.

    I’ve nothing to add about the precise mechanics and reasons behind the cut, but I find it hard to believe that Kurosawa would have made such crude cuts if he was responsible for cutting down the running time. Someone obviously put some thought into it (hence the inter titles), but the choices are curious.

    I wonder if, in the chaos of wartime, the censorship issue wasn’t just some lowly bureaucrat feeling uncomfortable about the film without being able to articulate the reasons, so giving a vague order to Toho to edit parts out. Someone fairly low down the Toho editing chain may have just done the best they could with guesswork, and then another lowly bureaucrat just shrugged his shoulders and let things through.

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