Tag Archives: Japan

Veronika wa shinu koto ni shita / Veronika Decides to Die (2005) Kei Horie, Yôko Maki, Wan Lee, Jun Fubuki, Drama

Veronika wa shinu koto ni shita (2005)
Towa lives in a peculiar sanatorium after committing suicide. Convalescing in sanatorium, she is informed that she has only 7 days to live. Isolated within their worlds, strange people live in this sanatorium and try to avoid making any contact with her. However, Claude a man who lost his power of speech feels sympathetic towards her and their every lovable things give true colors to the life and inspire Towa’s honest desire for the life.

Read More »

Kenka erejî / Fighting Elegy (1966) Seijun Suzuki, Hideki Takahashi, Yûsuke Kawazu, Junko Asano, Action, Comedy, Drama

Kenka erejii (1966)
In Okayama in the mid-1930s, Kiroku attends high school and boards with a Catholic family whose daughter, Michiko, captures his heart. He must, however, hide his ardor and other aspects of his emerging sexuality, focusing his energy on a gang he joins, breaking school rules, and getting into scuffles (he tells her, “Oh, Michiko, I don’t masturbate, I fight”). He comes under the influence of a young tough nicknamed Terrapin, and together they lead fights against rival gangs. Gradually, Kiroku and Terrapin align themselves with the right-wing Kita Ikki, and Kiroku becomes a stand-in for the attitudes of Japanese youth who embraced the imperialism leading to World War II.

Read More »

Amida-do dayori / Letter from the Mountain (2002) Takashi Koizumi, Akira Terao, Kanako Higuchi, Shoji Arano, Drama

Amida-do dayori (2002)
As the film begins, Takao (Akira Terao) and Michiko (Kanako Higuchi) have already pulled up their Tokyo roots and moved to a village that is Takao’s ancestral home. They visit a thatched cottage that serves as a memorial shrine (amidado) for the village dead and chat with the attendant, the spry 96-year-old Oume (Tanie Kitabayashi). Together they admire the view — from an inspiring distance. Oume, it turns out, is a kind of sage, whose thoughts and observations are a popular feature in a column in a local newsletter. Her amanuensis is a mute, sweetly smiling young woman named Sayuri (Manami Konishi), who is as devoted to Oume as Oume is to the souls of her beloved dead.

Read More »

Musashino fujin / The Lady of Musashino (1951) Kenji Mizoguchi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Yukiko Todoroki, Masayuki Mori, Drama

Musashino fujin (1951)
Set in post-war Japan, The Lady of Musashino tells the story of Michiko, a disillusioned young woman trapped in a loveless marriage. She confides in her younger cousin, Tsutomo, and the two become close, but decide not to consummate their affair. He instead becomes involved with the flirtatious Tomiko, who is also conducting an affair with Michiko’s husband. When Michiko finds that her husband has abandoned her, she decides to take her fate into her own hands.

Read More »