Cast & Crew
In 19th-century Magome, Hanzo Aoyama is the proprietor of an inn frequented by wealthy lords who traverse the rugged Kiso Trail, connecting Kyoto and Edo. In return for status and privilege, his family remains loyal to the ruthless Tokugawa shogunate general, who has refused the poverty-stricken Magome villagers permission to log the surrounding cypress forests. As the struggle for imperial restoration continues in the 1860's, there is great social and political upheaval; famine, labor strikes, and many assassinations lead to the War of the Restoration. When the emperor is reinstated in 1867, Aoyama opens his heart to his fellow villagers and appeals on their behalf to the new regime. His cause denied by Emperor Meiji, the embittered Aoyama dies insane at the age of 56.
Filmed on location in Magome, Japan. Released in Japan in 1953 as Yoake mae. Director Kimisaburo Yoshimura is also known as Kozaburo Yoshimura.