Buraikan (1970) is an interesting historical comedy-drama from New Wave film maker Masahiro Shinoda that shed light on problems of Japan that were taking place when the film was released. The film is set during the “Tenpo Reforms” period of Japanese history, a time of prudish social reforms initiated by Lord Mizuno Tadakuni, with restrictive laws on the common men slowly fueling a seething rebellion inside the neighborhood that is the focus of the story. I suspect that this film amy have inspired Soehei Imamura's own Ejinaika! which is also about another popular uprising in Edo. The tension between the bold and comically theatrical style and the events within the movie are contrasted throughout the film. The movie revolves around three major characters, all living in or around the Yoshiwara red light district of Edo. The first is an infamous Buraikan (outlaw) named Kochiyama (Tetsuro Tamba) whose main job is to serve tea to Lord Mizuno himself. However, he secretly encourages actors, prostitutes and other people of the lower classes to rebel against the government and its Puritan edicts. The second major character is a wannabe actor named Naojiro, played by Tatsuya Nakadai, who who is a fortune teller and spends the rest of his time trying to escape from the domineering clutches of his mother. This minor thread involving Naojiro’s mother is an interesting one for a couple of reasons. For one, it fits in with the general theme of the film, that of ordinary people being forced to suppress their natural instincts, desires and talents by more powerful influences. The film traces a rather unconventional (to say the least) course for this relationship that is as outrageous as it is comic, with Michotose (Shinoda's wife Shima Iwashita), further complicating matters as the third point in the triangle. The outcasts of the Mizuno's reforms-the prostitutes, actors, moneylenders, and artists fruitlessly rebel and serve as a reflection of the protests that were raging in Japan in the 60s. I suspect the mix of comedy and drama and over the top acting may not be for every viewer. But the film features period appropriate costumes, props, and sets and reflects a fascinating look back at a forgotten episode in the history of Edo.