Tag Archives: Japan

Aisai monogatari / Story of a Beloved Wife (1951) Kaneto Shindô, Nobuko Otowa, Jûkichi Uno, Ichirô Sugai, Drama, Romance

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Shindo’s directorial debut is the fictionalized account of the death of his first wife. Following the breakout of the Pacific War, the Japanese film industry was forcibly downsized. Numazaki, a mediocre screenwriter, faces imminent dismissal. His wife Takako encourages him to seek work in Kyoto. Numazaki fails his aptitude test, which is to write a script for the famous but demanding director Sakaguchi (a veiled reference for Kenji Mizoguchi). Takako offers to support his husband for a year, so that he can hone his craft from scratch.

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Watashi no guranpa / My Grandpa (2003) Yôichi Higashi, Bunta Sugawara, Satomi Ishihara, Tadanobu Asano, Comedy, Drama

watashi-no-guranpa-aka-my-grandpa-2003
Yoichi Higashi’s Watashi No Gurampa (My Granpa) concerns the relationship between ex-convict Kenzo (Bunta Sugawara) and his 14-year-old granddaughter Tamako (Satomi Ishihara). Kenzo was behind bars for killing a gangster. Upon his release, he goes to live with his son (Mitsuru Hirata), whose marriage is on the rocks. Already a loner, Tamako is ostracized further when it is discovered that her grandfather is a murderer. Kenzo soon helps defend Tamako from bullies at school. When Tamako stands up for herself, she comes to believe that she has inherited some of her grandfather’s great strength. Eventually, an associate of the man Kenzo killed comes looking for revenge, along with the dead man’s son.

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Dobu / Ditch (1954) Kaneto Shindô, Nobuko Otowa, Taiji Tonoyama, Jûkichi Uno, Drama

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Toku, a factory worker (Taiji Tonoyama) gives food to a starving woman, Tsuru (Nobuko Otowa), who then follows him home. He shares a shack in a shanty village in Kawasaki with his friend Pin-chan (Jukichi Uno). The two men try to get rid of her but then let her stay when she gives them money. Tsuru tells the people of the village that she lost her job due to a strike, then was robbed of her severance pay, then sold to a brothel in Tsuchiura. She ran away with a friend from Kawasaki. Toku and Pin-chan sell her to a geisha house and spend the money. She is thrown out. The owner demands his money back. Tsuru earns the money to pay their debt by working as a prostitute outside the station. The other prostitutes beat her. She fends them off with a policeman’s revolver and is then shot dead by the police.

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