By Kenzo Kitakata
Kazuya Takino leads a quiet life running a supermarket in the Tokyo suburbs. But when an extortionist tries to force him out of business, he finds himself drawn into the yakuza underworld-a world he once called home and thought he had left behind. Pursuing him is Detective Takagi, an aficionado of French cigarettes and modernist poetry, the most decorated inspector on the Tokyo police force. As the shadowy Maruwa gang engages Takino in an escalating cycle of violence and retaliation, Detective Takagi can only stand by and watch as the beast within Takino is lured further and further out of his cage.
A towering masterpiece of the hardboiled genre, The Cage is at once a searing portrayal of the violence of the Japanese underworld and a tender mediation of the ties of love and friend that can save men from madness-or plunge them deeper into it.