Filmed in 2007 (Renjishi) and 2008 (Rakuda), directed for Cinema Kabuki by Yoji Yamada. Renjishi written by Mokuami Kawatake was recorded at Shimbashi Embujo Theatre, and usually features a father/son duo as two powerful lions. This extraordinary triple Lion Dance stars Kanzaburo with his sons Kantaro and Shichinosuke as the younger lions. There are unusual hand held shishi masks which evolve into majestic full mane costumes. At the top of Mt. Seiryo is a natural stone bridge where lion like creatures called Shishi live. Ensuring that the strongest survive, the parent kicks its sons over the edge. The cubs below see a reflection of their parent on the river surface, and scale the rocky cliff to the top where reunited, they all dance for joy.
Rakuda is a slapstick comedy with dark undertones. A troublemaker called Uma dies after eating poisonous fugu fish, yet becomes the life and soul of the party. His only friend Hanji sends Kyuroku, the junk collector, to demand support for the funeral from Uma's miserly landlord, or the dead Uma will come to his house and dance.
NTSC, Region Code 2, 107 minutes, 16:9 HD Size, Dolby Digital 5.1ch (1) and 2.0ch Dolby Digital sound (2).