Tag Archives: Japan
Bakumatsu taiyôden / The Sun Legend of the End of the Tokugawa Era (1957) Yûzô Kawashima, Furankî Sakai, Sachiko Hidari, Yôko Minamida, Comedy
Set in the last few years of the shogun’s rule, this period/ensemble movie depicts the lives of the young and the restless at a whorehouse. The protagonist is Saheiji, a resourceful, witty free spirit. It’s 1862, 6 years before the Shogun turned his political power over to the Emperor. Penniless Saheiji splashes out at a famous Shinagawa whorehouse. He’s forced to stay on at the whorehouse to repay his debt. At first Saheiji is regarded as an unwelcome guest who never leaves but it turns out he is not just a poor grifter. None of the whorehouse’s guests, hosts, servants and attending ladies are innocent but they are pragmatic schemers. Saheiji soon endears himself to them all and solves many whorehouse disputes with his wit.
Jûichinin no samurai / Eleven Samurai (1967) Eiichi Kudô, Isao Natsuyagi, Kôtarô Satomi, Kôji Nanbara, Adventure, Drama, History
The lord of the Oshi fief is killed by his trespassing neighbour, the cruel and despotic Nariatsu, son of the former Shogun. After an investigation, the Oshi clan is blamed for what happened and sentenced to be disbanded. Eleven of the best samurai of the clan refuse the sentence and are willing to give their life for justice.
Chiyari Fuji / A Bloody Spear on Mount Fuji (1955) Tomu Uchida, Chiezo Kataoka, Ryûnosuke Tsukigata, Chizuru Kitagawa, Adventure, Drama
Joyû Sumako no koi / The Love of Sumako the Actress (1947) Kenji Mizoguchi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Sô Yamamura, Kikue Môri, Drama
The stage director Shimamura, who is bringing western theatre to Japan, falls in love with the outspoken actress Sumako Matsui, and leaves his family to be with her, while trying to keep his Art Theatre solvent.
Oedo go-nin Otoko / Five Men of Edo (1951) Daisuke Itô, Tsumasaburô Bandô, Utaemon Ichikawa, Isuzu Yamada, Action, Drama
During the 17th Century bands of hatamoto, samurai vassals of the Tokugawa shogunate, were causing havoc in the new capital city of Edo. Opposing them was Banzui-in Chobei,whose sole aim was to save Edo from the hatamoto as their violent behavior threatened to pull apart the very fabric of society.
Kinoshita’s ambitious and intensely moving film begins as a multi-generational epic about the military legacy of one Japanese family, before settling into an emotionally complex portrayal of parental love during wartime. As the parents of a boy shipped off to battle, Kinuyo Tanaka and Chishu Ryu locate profound depths of feeling that transcend ideology.
Tabi no Omosa / Journey Into Solitude (1972) Kôichi Saitô, Yôko Takahashi, Etsushi Takahashi, Kyôko Kishida, Drama
Bored with her school life, a 16-year-old student leaves home to take a trip along the Pacific Ocean. After meeting with a theatre group she falls sick and is rescued by a fisherman with who she shares her life with.
Meitô bijomaru / The Sword (1945) Kenji Mizoguchi, Shôtarô Hanayagi, Kan Ishii, Eijirô Yanagi, Drama
Kiyone Sakurai, an apprentice swordmaker makes a sword for his guardian, Kozaemon Onoda. Onoda breaks the sword while defending his lord which eventually leads to his death at the hands of Naito, when Naito demands to marry his daughter Sasae. Sasae vows to avenge her father’s death and pleads for Kiyone Sakurai to make a special sword for her. So Kiyone and his fellow swordmaker Kiyotsugu go to the master swordsmith Kiyohide Yamatomori to learn their craft and forge the sword.