2 user 1 critic

Castle Under Fiery Skies (2009)

Katen no shiro (original title)
An achievement-type of story: a builder/carpenter/architect goes through trials and tribulations to construct an impressive castle for his employer, the major Japanese historical figure, Oda Nobunaga.


Mitsutoshi Tanaka


Ken'ichi Yamamoto (based on the novel by) (as Kenichi Yamamoto), Yoshi Yokota (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Toshiyuki Nishida Toshiyuki Nishida ... Mataemon Okabe
Saki Fukuda Saki Fukuda ... Rin Okaba
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shôzô Endô Shôzô Endô ... Osaka Businessman
Mido Fukui Mido Fukui ... Girl
Renji Ishibashi ... Ikagami Goroemon
Takuya Ishida Takuya Ishida ... Ichizo
Mami Kumagaya Mami Kumagaya ... Fusa
Jun'ichi Kômoto Jun'ichi Kômoto ... Hashiba Hideyoshi
Ken Maeda Ken Maeda ... Tomekichi
Miki Mizuno Miki Mizuno ... Une
Isao Natsuyagi ... Tonami Sebe
Tokuma Nishioka Tokuma Nishioka ... Niwa Nagahide
Naoto Ogata Naoto Ogata ... Oshoya Jinbay
Jyonmyon Pe Jyonmyon Pe ... Taske
Takashi Sasano Takashi Sasano ... Kiso Yoshimasa


An achievement-type of story: a builder/carpenter/architect goes through trials and tribulations to construct an impressive castle for his employer, the major Japanese historical figure, Oda Nobunaga.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jidai geki | based on novel | See All (2) »


Drama | History



Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

12 September 2009 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Castle Under Fiery Skies See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Somabito appear in this movie. They are strange and somewhat semi-religious wood cutters who have a kind of mysterious role in the forests. Some theories hold that they were vanquished Ainu who sought refuge in the forests long ago. See more »

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User Reviews

This Japanese historical is an absolutely engaging affair
9 November 2009 | by xpicsSee all my reviews

On an analogous note, one can refer director Mitsutoshi Tanaka as the Ashutosh Gowarikar of Japan – his film is a historical period drama set in the late 1500 (the same era as Akbar) and runs for a good 2 and a half hours which is long enough as per international standards. Based on an award-winning novel Matsumoto Seicho by Yamamoto Ken'ichi, the film not an entirely factual account but the fictional screenplay is devised from many true historical details.

The film opens in 1576 when king Oda Nobunaga (Shiina Kippei) wishes to build a 5-storeyed Azuchi castle on a mountain fronting a lake that is believed to be the center of Japan. Master carpenter Okabe Mataemon's (Nishida Toshiyuki) design is approved as he is allotted the task to make the most grand and lavish castle in Japan in a span of three years. The trails and tribulations that he faces to complete the mammoth task is what the film is about.

Like the magnificent and strong structure of castle, the screenplay is constructed as much beautifully and steadily and has an emotional connect with the viewer. The production design is of high standards and some decent computer graphics are employed. Unlike any Samurai film there are no battle sequences here but scenes where the castle's central pillar is erected and another where a giant boulder is pulled towards the castle show the magnanimity of the project.

The film does resort to some formula like a supporting actor surfacing from nowhere in the climax which could have been easily avoided. The love tracks don't help much and a superhuman style flying Kung Fu fight remains both unexplained and unbelievable. Also Mataemon is nowhere in picture once the castle is completed.

Nevertheless for the compelling act of Nishida Toshiyuki, an interesting premise and director Tanaka's grand vision, Castle Under Fiery Skies is an absolutely engaging affair.

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