As her husband Eiichi becomes more entangled in his life as businessman, Naoko looks for ways to expand her own life even as her husband’s life shrinks in scope and intimacy. She finds new interests, new love, and a greater sense of her place in the world.
Tag Archives: Japan
Zero no shôten / Zero Focus (1961) Yoshitarô Nomura, Yoshiko Kuga, Hizuru Takachiho, Ineko Arima, Crime, Drama, Mystery
Kumo no hitomi / Eyes of the Spider (1998) Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Shô Aikawa, Duncan, Ren Ôsugi, Crime, Thriller
Eyes of the Spider concerns Nijima, a white-collar worker who one day finds the man responsible for his young daughter’s brutal rape and murder. He tortures and interrogates the man, who maintains his innocence, before killing and burying him. He returns to his ordinary life feeling listless and hollow, until he meets an old high school friend who introduces him to his hapless band of hired killers. His skill in the assassination business catches the attention of a bigger crime boss. For reasons that remain opaque, Nijima is assigned to investigate his friend, which ultimately results in a bloody confrontation.
Young Boss Takeshi / Waka oyabun (1965) Kazuo Ikehiro, Raizô Ichikawa, Yukiji Asaoka, Shiho Fujimura, Action, Crime
This is the story of Takeshi Nanjo, the young boss of Nanjyo family in the meiji-era of Japan. At the time Japan was celebrating victory of Japan-Russia war, the boss of Nanjo family Tatsugoro was killed by a member of Takizawa family. When Tatsugoro’s son Takeshi learns about his father’s death, he quit naval officer position and headed to home to succeeds father’s position and taking a revenge. After Takeshi succeeded father’s revenge, he finds out the true enemy is a malicious yakuza boss of Izo family.
Wedding Ring / Konyaku yubiwa (1950) Keisuke Kinoshita, Jûkichi Uno, Kinuyo Tanaka, Toshirô Mifune, Drama
Two of Japan’s finest actors, Kinuyo Tanaka and Toshiro Mifune, come together in this touching seaside melodrama beautifully photographed by Kinoshita’s regular cinematographer, Hiroshi Kusuda. Seeking a cure for her ailing husband, a woman who runs a successful jewelry business in Tokyo brings him to a new doctor outside the city. Her husband begins to recover, but the woman finds herself falling in love with the doctor. Kinoshita avoids big dramatic exchanges, preferring to chronicle the rising tensions among the three through quick glances or furtive gestures. Tanaka beautifully captures the contradictions of the wife, a woman who has made her own way in the world who can’t control or fully understand the emotions she’s suddenly feeling, while Mifune plays the doctor as volcano of energy threatening to explode at any moment.
Mitsu (Sakai Miki) meets Yoshioka (Watabe Atsuro) on Christmas and spends the night with him. But their happiness comes to an end quickly when Mitsu is dignosed with leprosy, and needs to be transferred to a sanitarium. Yoshioka dares not visit her. Fortunately, the pitiable Mitsu receives the warmest greeting from the people in the sanitarium. She decides to stay even after finding out her diagnosis was mistaken. She realizes her own identity there as Yoshioka eventually hurries to the sanitarium for her.
Moetsukita chizu / The Man Without a Map (1968) Hiroshi Teshigahara, Shintarô Katsu, Etsuko Ichihara, Osamu Ôkawa, Mystery
A private detective is hired to find a missing man by his wife. Contradictory evidence and the lack of clues soon render the case as virtually unsolvable, as the detective grows more and more frustrated.
Samâ sorujâ / Summer Soldiers (1972) Hiroshi Teshigahara, Keith Sykes, Reisen Ri, Kazuo Kitamura, Drama
This fascinating Japanese drama takes an objective look at the relationship between American GIs and deserters in Japan during the Vietnam war. Many of the men went on leave to Tokyo. Some did not want to return and ended up sheltered by Japanese “host families” who would conceal them for a night. The story centers on the different experiences of an exhausted deserter, and a gung-ho soldier. Meanwhile, the Japanese “Deserter’s Aid Committee” holds audiences with would-be dodgers.
Ukigumo / Floating Clouds (1955) Mikio Naruse, Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Mariko Okada, Drama, Romance
Naomi Kawase collaborates with Shinya Arimoto, a Taiyo award-winning photographer she knows from university, to create a photo album of Machiko Ono (who Kawase scouted for her previous feature film Moe no Suzaku) and Mika Mifune (daughter of famous actor Toshiro Mifune) with the idea to contrast these two aspiring actresses, Ono coming from the rural Nara and Mifune from Tokyo. Kawase documents the photo shooting and interviews Arimoto, Ono and Mifune as the work progresses, while the tension between her and Arimoto increases over disagreement on the direction of the project.