The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
17 user 2 critic

The Encounter 

Post-WWII Hawaii. Two men of once-opposing races stuck in an attic full of war trophies, including a samurai sword waiting to dutifully avenge its slain master.


Robert Butler


Martin Goldsmith (as Martin M. Goldsmith), Rod Serling (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Neville Brand ... Fenton
George Takei ... Arthur Takamori / Taro


A man, Fenton, is cleaning out his attic when a Japanese gardener, Arthur Takamori, stops by asking if he would like his grass cut. Fenton invites him up for a beer but, having served in the Pacific during World War II, isn't quite sure what to make of his visitor. He has his prejudices but wavers as Arthur says he was born in the USA and is no different than any other American. As they discuss their pasts, it's revealed that both men have lied and are haunted by what happened to them. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

attic | japanese | gardener | beer | sword | See All (26) »







English | Japanese

Release Date:

1 May 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Encounter See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This episode sparked unexpected controversy, so much so that it was not rebroadcast again in the U.S. until 2016. Although it was not removed from home video box sets. The Encounter faced fierce criticism for using perceived racial stereotypes about Japanese-Americans while also re-igniting unfounded rumors surrounding Japanese-Americans and Pearl Harbor. The Japanese-American community expressed outrage over the episode's inclusion of an imaginary plot by a treacherous Japanese-American to assist Japan in the Pearl Harbor raid. Today, as in 1964, no evidence exists of any Japanese-American involvement in the attack. See more »


Arthur's beer is alternately upright and upside-down between shots. Also, the beer cans in the carton are packed alternately upside-down and right side up; and despite having visible pull tabs on their tops, the upside-down cans are opened with a can opener. See more »


Taro: I grew up in Honolulu. I was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed.
Fenton: Were you one of the pilots?
Taro: I was four years old!
See more »

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User Reviews

Rare sighting
12 June 2019 | by sscalSee all my reviews

I was wondering why I could not recall this episode. Went on to read this was out of syndication until 2016. Blown away by the acting - it really drew me in (enjoyed seeing a young George Takei). Some posters have been hard on this episode saying it did not incorporate the supernatural. Huh? Were they watching a different program? I think the serious drama threw them off. To me, the sword and its inscription "the sword will avenge me" indicated that the spirit of the slain Japanese warrior had indeed infiltrated that attic and pushed Taro and Fenton to do the unspeakable. That being said, rehashing the horrors of war and the glorification of toxic masculinity are not genres I generally find appealing.

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