The Crimson Kimono - A film review

Literature Review, 2003

9 Pages, Grade: 1

Abstract or Introduction

During his career, the Hawaiian born Nisei actor James Shigeta was cast as everything but a Hawaiian born Japanese American. Among others, he played Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan characters. Depending on the time frame of a given film, i.e. if it was set around World War II or not, he played either a villain or a hero. One of the movies he portrayed a hero in was Samuel Fuller’s Crimson Kimono (1959). This movie could be characterized as an urban crime story and an interracial love triangle, but it is also one of the first multicultural films before the term “multiculturalism” was even coined. In Crimson Kimono, James Shigeta plays Detective Joe Kojaku, a police detective working for the L.A. homicide squad. His partner is a white American, Detective Sergeant Charlie Bancroft, played by Glenn Corbett. Joe and Charlie are both Korean War veterans. During the war, one of them saved the other’s life by donating blood, and since then, they have been friends. While working on a case – a stripper has been murdered – the detectives’ friendship is tested by a romantic triangle. First, Charlie gets involved with one of the main witnesses, a white female art student called Chris. But then, Joe, as well, falls in love with her. While Joe’s behavior changes to apathy in his friendship to Charlie, the situation turns into an identity crisis for him personally. Joe begins to interpret Charlie’s jealousy as racism and turns away from his friend. However, in the end, the friendship is restored with Charlie giving up Chris for his friend Joe, and the murder case is solved, too.


The Crimson Kimono - A film review
San Francisco State University  (Ethnic Studies)
AAS 693 Asian Americans and the Mass Media
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
439 KB
Crimson, Kimono
Quote paper
B.A. Stephanie Wössner (Author), 2003, The Crimson Kimono - A film review, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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