Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis (Jissoji Akio 1988)
Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis
Genre: Battle Of White and Black Onmyoji Magic over Tokyo’s Urban Development [Taisho Era 1912-1926]
review in one breath
This incredibly ambitious and well-cast film depicts a spiritualized version of Japan’s gradual turn away from its ancestral religion and toward modernity starting in the early Taisho Era and ending in the Showa Era. Whereas actual secular history accounts for the great earthquake of 1923 and the subsequent rebuilding of Tokyo using modernized architecture and technology (such as a subway system), here we are told of both evil and benevolent spiritual forces at work behind all these events. Available now in subtitled Region 1 DVD and running at slightly over 2 hours, this is a highly involved and sometimes confusing tale of Japan’s irrevocable turn toward modernity.