StreetMobsterposter.jpg

Street Mobster, known in Japan as Gendai Yakuza: Hitokiri Yota (現代やくざ 人斬り与太), is a 1972 Japanese yakuza film directed by Kinji Fukasaku and starring Bunta Sugawara and Noboru Ando. It is the sixth installment in Toei‘s Gendai Yakuza series of unrelated films by different directors, all starring Sugawara. Shot on location in Kawasaki, the plot centers around Okita, a street thug and troublemaker released from prison after ten years only to discover that the criminal underworld in which he used to operate and the socio-political landscape of Japan has changed dramatically. Complex named it number 3 on their list of “The 25 Best Yakuza Movies”.

The protagonist, Isamu Okita, mentions how he has the same birthday, August 15th, and was born the same year, 1945, that Japan surrendered at the end of World War II, which he considers inauspicious. He was born the only son of an alcoholic prostitute-turned street food vender who neglected him until she drowned while walking home drunk. With no education or money, he got into trouble and was sent to reform school twice, before forming a gang as a teenager and getting involved in extortion and kidnapping girls to sell to brothels on the mean streets of Kawasaki. The Takigawa yakuza family demands a cut of their earnings, and when Okita refuses, he gets beaten.