In postwar Japan a young woman is unable to marry her sweetheart because her family’s in difficult circumstances and needs her income to keep afloat. Read More »
Tag Archives: Ken Uehara
Mr. Thank You is the kindly young driver of a local bus traveling from poverty stricken coastal villages, over the mountains, to the town. Read More »
A married couple looking for an apartment move in with the husband’s co-worker, a widower. Read More »
Yama no oto / Sound of the Mountain (1954) Mikio Naruse, Setsuko Hara, Sô Yamamura, Ken Uehara, Drama
The businessman Ogata Shingo works with his son Shuichi, who is his secretary, and they live together in the suburb with their wives Yasuko and Kikuko respectively. Read More »
Entotsu no mieru basho / Where Chimneys Are Seen (1953) Heinosuke Gosho, Kinuyo Tanaka, Ken Uehara, Hideko Takamine, Drama
Where Chimneys Are Seen focuses primarily on the interconnected lives of two couples in a lower-middle-class neighborhood in Senju, a poor industrial section of Tokyo. Read More »
Ikite iru Magoroku / The Living Magoroku (1943) Keisuke Kinoshita, Ken Uehara, Fumiko Katsuragi, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Drama
A superstitious farming family is hesitant to use their prized fallow fields to grow crops to help feed the nation’s troops. Read More »
Kanko no machi / Jubilation Street (1944) Keisuke Kinoshita, Ken Uehara, Eijirô Tôno, Chiyo Shin, Drama, War
As World War II escalates, the tight-knit habitants of a street in Tokyo must relocate from their homes so that the government can use the space. Read More »
Aizen katsura / The Love-Troth Tree (1938) Hiromasa Nomura, Kinuyo Tanaka, Ken Uehara, Hideo Fujino, Drama, Romance
A young doctor, Kozo Tsumura (Uehara), falls for young nurse Katsue Takaishi (Tanaka). But she’s got a secret: she’s a widow with a son. Read More »
Munekata kyôdai / The Munekata Sisters (1950) Yasujirô Ozu, Kinuyo Tanaka, Hideko Takamine, Ken Uehara, Drama
Setsuko is unhappily to Mimura, an engineer with no job and a bad drinking habit. She had always been in love with Hiroshi but both of them failed to propose when Hiroshi left for France a few years ago. Now he is back and Mariko (Setsuko’s sister) tries to reunite them. She too is secretly in love with Hiroshi.
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Set in the Taish? period of Japan (dating from 1912 to 1926), Untamed follows the fiery Oshima (in a superbly eccentric performance by Takamine) as she passes from one suitor to another, a series of calamities befalling her along the way. Characteristic of Naruse’s work, urban and rural settings are juxtaposed: the moody Tokyo streets against a majestic mountain village. At each point, the various situations Oshima is caught in seem uncannily bound up with her surroundings. It’s worth noting that the film, while not widely known, is singled out for praise by critic Chris Fujiwara.
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Bangiku / Late Chrysanthemums (1954) Mikio Naruse, Haruko Sugimura, Ken Uehara, Sadako Sawamura, Drama
What is the life of a Geisha like once her beauty has faded and she has retired? Kin has saved her money, and has become a wealthy money-lender, spending her days cold-heartedly collecting debts. Even her best friends, Tomi, Nobu, and Tamae, who were her fellow Geisha, are now indebted to her. For all of them, the glamor of their young lives has passed; Tomi and Tamae have children, but their children have disappointed them. Kin has two former lovers who still pursue her; one she wants to see, and the other she doesn’t. But even the one she remembers fondly, when he shows up, proves to be a disappointment.
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Tokyo. Mihoko and Toichi Nakagawa’s ten year marriage is crumbling out of inertia. Each knows the other isn’t happy, they themselves aren’t happy, but they don’t talk about their problems with each other, each festering in their unhappiness largely so that they will not show especially to their three boarders their problems. Mihiko in particular, old fashioned in her outlook, does not see divorce as an option, that move which would be a stigma she could not tolerate. Both are seemingly oblivious to the fact that others around them are facing similar if not worse situations, and that they themselves are largely the cause of their unhappiness. Things for their marriage get worse when Toichi starts to fall for his work colleague, widowed Fusako Sagara, who returns his affections.
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Hana saku minato / Port of Flowers (1943) Keisuke Kinoshita, Eitarô Ozawa, Ken Uehara, Mitsuko Mito, Drama
The sweet but naive denizens of a charming port town are hoodwinked by a couple of con men who prey on them at the outset of the war. But the hustlers’ plan backfires when they come down with severe cases of conscience. Kinoshita’s directorial debut is a breezy, warmhearted, and often very funny crowd-pleaser that’s a testament to the filmmaker’s faith in people.
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