His Birthright

His Birthright is a 1918 American drama film directed by William Worthington for Haworth Pictures Corporation. Sessue Hayakawa produced the film and played the lead role.[1][2] The rest of the cast includes Marin Sais, Howard Davies, Mary Anderson, and Hayakawa's wife Tsuru Aoki.

His Birthright
Film poster.
Directed byWilliam Worthington
Produced bySessue Hayakawa
Story bySessue Hayakawa
Denison Clift
CinematographyRobert Newhard
Distributed byMutual Film
Release date
  • September 8, 1918 (1918-09-08) (USA)
Running time
50 min.
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)


As described in a film magazine,[3] Yukio is a Japanese-American whose father, a naval officer, failed to return to his mother after the honeymoon. The mother commits harakiri and the son becomes determined to kill his father and goes to America. Influenced by a female German spy, Yukio steals an important document from his father, who is now an admiral. Rebuffed by the woman and ashamed to have sunk to the level of a thief, he then decides to recover the paper. He does so after a desperate battle with the woman's colleagues and returns the document to his father, who descends upon the place with police and captures the spies. Yukio announces that he came to take his father's life, but the admiral tells him that he loved Yukio's mother and did not return to her as he could not find her. Taking his place as the admiral's son, Yukio is now determined to join the U.S. army and fight in World War I, a cause in which Japan and America are united.



A partial copy with three reels exists at the EYE Film Instituut Nederland film archive.[4]


  1. Miyao, Daisuke (28 March 2007). Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom. Duke University Press. p. 165. ISBN 0-8223-3969-2.
  2. Bean, Jennifer M. (12 July 2011). Flickers of Desire: Movie Stars of the 1910s. Rutgers University Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8135-5072-5.
  3. "Reviews: His Birthright". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 7 (8): 26. August 24, 1918.
  4. Progressive Silent Film List: His Birthright at silentera.com
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