I personally had an altogether different take of The Yakuza Fast. First, I confess the Mitchum, Keiko, Takakura love triangle hit me hard as the Second World War aftermath left an indelible imprint on their post war lives.
Also Keiko is a gorgeous mature Japanese beauty whom I cannot resist falling for though I laboured to fight
but her charms reduced me to surrender. The Kendo instructor is her former husband, who returned after the
American occupation was on and Keiko was living with the then Yank sgt, Mitchum. So he accepted it and took
a stoic samurai silent divorce over the whole thing. Mitchum proposed to Keiko but she declines, saying she will
follow and live with him only as his mistress. So, Mitchum-one of my favourite Yanks, borrows money from Keith
who runs an American protection racket, buys Keiko the bar and leaves. Unbelievable. I would have brought Keiko
back to London with me. I liked the sword play and kendo dojo drills, and the knife finger slice off honor atonement
ritual which was neat but Keiko the kimono girl really sold and stole the show for me.
This is a great take. I checked and you are right about Takakura being her husband not brother. I'm going to correct my comments to reflect that, but wanted to acknowledge my debt to you here.
As you show, that certainly changes several of the dynamics at play. I got the part about Mitchum's proposal being rejected, the borrowed money and the bar, but the brother/husband was a big goof on my part.
I, too, enjoyed the Japanese rituals, and in other movies (several that I've commented on over the years here), they've deeply moved me, but in this one, they just felt to me like props for the story.
Maybe I just saw too many similarities to the other vigilante movies of the era for this one to touch me the way it did you. Thank you again for the correction and for your thoughtful comments.