Tag Archives: Naoko Ôtani

The River with No Bridge / Hashi no nai Kawa (1992) Yôichi Higashi, Naoko Ôtani, Tamao Nakamura, Tetta Sugimoto, Drama

The River with No Bridge (1992)
Though ethnically and culturally identical to the average Japanese, the burakumin have been an underclass in Japanese society since the 17th century when the shogunate government codified social hierarchies. The burakumin were the class on the bottom rung. They were herded into separate villages, and forced to work in such lowly vocations as slaughtering animals and tanning hides. In 1922, Zenkoku Suiheisha (National Levelers Association) organized and started fighting for burakumin civil rights. Though these rigid categories may have blurred since the 1600s, and despite the Zenkoku’s modern successors – the Buraku Liberation League – the stigma of being a burakumin still remains today. In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the struggle, director Yoichi Higashi spins this tale about two boys who endure a daily torrent of prejudice for their lowly lineage, but grow up to fight for their rights.
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