Shochiku is to produce andsell Kakushi Ken Oni No Tsume,the next picture by Yoji Yamada, director of this year's foreign language Oscarnominee Twilight Samurai.

Production begins this month with the Japanese release scheduled for the autumn.

The picture is anotherperiod Samurai drama that includes a love story that transcends class barriers.It is set in the Edo era when western influence was rapidly changing Japan. Thescreenplay, adapted from the Hidden Sword (Kakushi Ken) and Snow'sGlare (Yuki Akari) novels is byYamada and author Shuhei Fujisawa.

The film stars MasatoshiNagase (Pistol Opera, Gojoe),Takako Matsu (April Story),Hidetaka Yoshioka, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Min Tanaka, Nenji Kobayashi (TwilightSamurai) and Ken Ogata.

"Yoji is a brilliantdirector whose distinct vision and directing methods enable him to createspectacular films that are admired around the world. Our long standingrelationship with Yamada has been extremely rewarding and successful on manylevels and we're very excited to continue this relationship through the releaseof this highly anticipated film," said Take Himatsu, Shochiku's managing directorof production and theatrical distribution.

Remake rights to Yamada's 1977 film The Yellow Handkerchief were recently acquired by prominent Swiss-basedproducer Arthur Cohn for development. The Yellow Handkerchief is the story of a murderer on parole trying to makehis way home to Hokkaido to meet his wife.