"From growing up in the postwar era, I was attracted to characters that had only violence and strength to believe in and depend on. […] The movies that influenced me were based on success stories, like American movies with happy endings. That kind of success story was difficult to comprehend for a boy like me living in ruins. That’s why for me, rather than a success story, movies about setbacks and failure were more compelling. I wanted to create movies like that. […] That’s why I became interested in movies in the first place and why I focused on dealing with crime as the central plot in my movies. That’s where I was coming from."

Kinji Fukasaku
July 3, 1930 — January 12, 2003

Yakuza Graveyard // dir. Kinji Fukasaku

Yakuza Graveyard // dir. Kinji Fukasaku

William Friedkin on Kinji Fukasaku (July 3, 1930 – January 12, 2003)

"He wasn’t worried about happy endings. He didn’t have to redeem the good guys. He didn’t have to say that the good guys triumphed at the end and that was a profound influence on me. You can’t do that today in American film. Audiences have to be totally clear as to who the good guy is, who the bad guy is, and there’s no variations. It’s gotten to point even where they’re comic book characters. Comic book heroes, comic book villains. But in the Fukasaku universe, the great films of his, he had no judgement about the characters. The heroes were not always triumphant, so they had much more of a relationship to actual life."

Sympathy for the Underdog // Kinji Fukasaku

Sympathy for the Underdog // Kinji Fukasaku