I began Kino 893 as a casual blog to accompany my exploration of Japanese cinema, with a focus on the yakuza genre of the 1960s and 1970s. Over time I branched out into both professional writing for other sites and informal updates to my Letterboxd, meaning Kino 893 hasn’t been as up to date as I’d like. Going forward, this will be a place where I highlight Japanese films I have something particular to say about – especially if it’s a new release from boutique publishers like Arrow, Eureka, or Radiance.
I’m a British writer living in Leeds. When I’m not watching films, I’m playing (and writing about) videogames, cheering on sumo, or bouldering.
Why “Kino 893”?
“Kino” is synonymous with cinema, including for the leftist “Prokino” movement of 1920s Japan, but the numbers 893 require a little more explanation. Allegedly, “yakuza” – the word for Japanese organised criminals – has its roots in a losing hand of cards in the traditional gambling game oicho-kabu: 8-9-3. When read in Japanese, it sounds like yakuza, and has the connotations of being worthless or unlucky. It seemed like a fitting combination given my cinematic interests, and the name stuck.