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.
Tag Archives: japanese
Shikingen gôdatsu / Gambling Den Heist (1975) Kinji Fukasaku, Kin’ya Kitaôji, Takuzô Kawatani, Hideo Murota, Action
Eno nakano bokuno mura / Village of Dreams (1996) Yôichi Higashi, Mieko Harada, Keigo Matsuyama, Shogo Matsuyama, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Tells of the childhood of two nine-year-old twins in a rural village in Japan after World War 2. Includes the boys relationships with their schoolteacher mother, civil servant father, elderly landlord, a rough new boy at the school, and three mysterious spirits in the form of old women.
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.
A troupe of travelling players arrive at a small seaport in the south of Japan. Komajuro Arashi, the aging master of the troupe, goes to visit his old flame Oyoshi and their son Kiyoshi, even though Kiyoshi believes Komajuro is his uncle. The leading actress Sumiko is jealous and so, in order to humiliate the master, persuades the younger actress Kayo to seduce Kiyoshi.
After falling in love with a courtesan, Rikiya is blinded by ash during a fight in a brothel. Believing the blindness permanent and his opponent dead, Rikiya goes back home to his sister. Okiku, desperate to protect her brother who thinks himself a murderer, wants to sacrifice herself for him and become a prostitute to pay for Rikiya’s treatment.
The Battle of Okinawa (1971) Kihachi Okamoto, Keiju Kobayashi, Yûzô Kayama, Tetsurô Tanba, Drama, War
Underworld Beauty (1958) Seijun Suzuki, Michitarô Mizushima, Mari Shiraki, Shinsuke Ashida, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
The moment he’s released from prison, the honorable gangster Miyamoto recovers the stolen diamonds he had stashed before getting pinched. When he returns to his haunt to make good by friend who took a bullet for him, he is diverted by the greedy boss Oyane and his insatiable taste for Miyamoto’s precious stones. Replete with film noir style, “Underworld Beauty” is one of Suzuki’s best nods to the American gangster genre.
Seijo densetsu / No More God, No More Love (1985) Tôru Murakawa, Hiromi Gô, Shima Iwashita, Miyuki Ono, Crime, Drama, Romance
Rabu sutori o kimini / Memories of You (1988) Shin’ichirô Sawai, Kumiko Goto, Tôru Nakamura, Tomomi Satô, Drama, Romance
University student Akira meets the lovely 14-year-old Yumi, whom he had tutored years ago. Her mother is told by her doctor that the schoolgirl has leukaemia and has only 6 months to live. So the mother entreats Akira to be her special friend. Yumi’s condition remains stable for a while, but on the day that Akira leaves for Nagano for his teacher training, she suddently falls ill in school and then goes to a friend’s villa in the resort town of Karuzawa to recuperate. She is able to visit Akira from time to time, and this eases her fear and suffering. But when summer is over, Yumi’s condition deteriorates, and finally Akira takes her to Mount Hodaka where, as she falls into her final delirium, they express their deep love for each other.