Two of Japan’s finest actors, Kinuyo Tanaka and Toshiro Mifune, come together in this touching seaside melodrama Read More »
Tag Archives: Jûkichi Uno
An ageing fishing boat, Dai-go Fukuryu Maru (“Lucky Dragon No. 5”) sets out from the port of Yaizu in Shizuoka Prefecture. Read More »
Shiinomi Gakuen / The Shiinomi School (1955) Hiroshi Shimizu, Kyôko Kagawa, Yukiko Shimazaki, Jûkichi Uno, Drama
A university professor and his wife have two sons with infantile paralysis. Read More »
Ikari no machi / The Angry Street (1950) Mikio Naruse, Jûkichi Uno, Yasumi Hara, Yuriko Hamada, Crime, Drama
The Angry Street includes a great deal of location shooting in the rebuilt city, including downtown streets, residential neighborhoods, the campus of the University of Tokyo, and the high life of jazzy dance halls. Read More »
Gan / Wild Geese / The Mistress (1953) Shirô Toyoda, Hideko Takamine, Hiroshi Akutagawa, Jûkichi Uno, Drama, Romance
A young woman is forced to become a mistress to a married, middle-aged man in order to support her father, in this meiji period drama directed by Shiro Toyoda. Read More »
Aisai monogatari / Story of a Beloved Wife (1951) Kaneto Shindô, Nobuko Otowa, Jûkichi Uno, Ichirô Sugai, Drama, Romance
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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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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This valiant melodrama is the brilliant debut as a moviemaker of the great Japanese actress Kinuyo Tanaka, who also has a small role in the story. Based on a screenplay by Keinosuke Kinoshita, “Koibumi” explore the wounds of war, the limits of love and the need to forgive. A sad and troubled man, Reikichi Mayumi (Masayuki Mori), finds a new job five years after the end of WWII. He will write love letters for other people, which was not uncommon in post-war times (remember the starving poet Lope Veiga -Fernando Rey- in Spanish masterpiece “Cielo negro”). His ideas about love and his personal principles will be tested when he reconnects with his former girlfriend, Michiko (Yoshigo Kuga), a woman with a dark past marked by war and the further occupation of her country by the US military forces.
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