Flea-picking Samurai
Original Title:

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After incurring the wrath of his lord, he received one order- to be a “cat flea picker”?! Witness the birth of a hilarious human comedy about a mysterious secret life!


The film is written and directed by Yasuo Tsuruhashi. His latest film, “Black Widow Business” (16) was widely received as a human comedy with the theme of marriage fraud, becoming a smash hit. A highly decorated drama director, Tsuruhashi has received the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts for his film “Toride Naki Mono” (05), as well as the Purple Ribbon in 2007, and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in 2013. “Nomi tori Samurai” is a project that Tsuruhashi has been wanting to adapt into film for 30 years. The original work is a novel of the same name written by the historical novelist Shigeo Komatsu, known for his humorous and historically accurate period depictions of society. Of his works, three episodes were selected and re-arranged by director Tsuruhashi himself. Starring in the film is Hiroshi Abe. Abe made Japan laugh with his comical performance in “Thermae Romae,” leading him to win the 36th Japan Academy Film Prize for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. In this film, he’ll be portraying a samurai who is full of warmth and humanity, yet has fallen from his position in society to become the not-so-noble “flea-picking samurai,” and earnestly wants to climb the social ladder once more.


Hironoshin is a samurai of the Echigo-Nagaoka clan. One day, Hironoshin attends a party at a mansion in Edo where his lord, Tadakiyo was to recite poems. What Tadakiyo read was obviously plagiarized. Hironoshin, who was unluckily asked to give his opinion, to which Hironoshin foolishly comments that perhaps belonged to another. Naturally, Tadakiyo is infuriated, and orders Hironoshin:
“From tomorrow morning, you are to live your life without honor as a ‘cat flea picker’!!”
“What the hell is a flea-picker…?” Hironoshin was forced out of the clan while still confounded. As the name suggests, he goes to people’s houses to remove fleas from cats. However, it’s in fact a pseudonym for “male prostitute.” He sells his body to women for a living. However, the honest and straight-shooting Hironoshin convinces himself that he has no other options, and resigns himself to live as a “cat flea picker.” Hironoshin becomes an apprentice to a flea-picker boss who warmly cheers him on, wrongly convinced that Hironoshin is exacting revenge in the guise of a flea-picker.

Original Story
Shigeo Komatsu
Yasuo Tsuruhashi
Yasuo Tsuruhashi
Hiroshi Abe
Shinobu Terashima
Etsushi Toyokawa
Atsuko Maeda
Release Date in Japan