When her only relative, her elder brother is accused of robbing and murdering an old woman loan-shark, pretty, young Kiriko (Chieko Baisho) travels from her home in Kyushu to Tokyo to get Japan’s top lawyer to defend her brother. Unfortunately her naive idealism is shattered when the lawyer refuses to take the case based on her insufficient funds. What follows is a long determined revenge plot that sees the heroine become a Tokyo bar hostess and worse to punish the lawyer. The plot thickens with another murder mystery and a sleuthing reporter. Continue reading Yôji Yamada – Kiri no hata AKA Flag in the Mist (1965)
Takeshi finds several notebooks by his late aunt Taki Nunomiya, who never married. Through the notebooks Takeshi learns of his aunt’s life.
Prior to World War II, in a little house with a red triangular roof in Tokyo, Taki works as a housemaid. The family that lives in the little house consists of 3 members: the husband who works at a toy company, his beautiful wife Tokiko and their five year old son Kyoichi. Taki longs for her employer Tokiko. The husband then hires a young art school graduate named Shoji Itakura. Tokiko and Taki are both excited by the man’s artistic talents. Meanwhile, the war situation deteriorates as well as the relationships in the little house. Continue reading Yôji Yamada – Chiisai ouchi AKA The Little House (2014)
On a ship en route to the Sado Islands, Tora-san enjoys the company of a beautiful woman (Miyako Harumi), unaware that she’s a famous enka singer traveling incognito. In this variation on Roman Holiday (1953), the enka star enjoys Tora-san’s company when her boyfriend left her. Eventually, she returns to her glamorous life, but not before surprising everyone in Shibamata by showing up to give Tora-san a ticket to her latest concert. Tora-san thought that this could be a good start, but she finally tells him that… her boyfriend is back. Continue reading Yôji Yamada – Otoko wa tsurai yo: Tabi to onna to Torajiro aka Tora-san 31: Song Of Love (1983)
Based on Nogami Teruyo’s memoirs, Kaibei follows a normal, loving family as their innocent, bustling lives are forever transformed by the war. Veteran actress Yoshinaga Sayuri is the picture of dignity and grace as a strong and elegant woman who holds her family together in her husband’s absence, while acclaimed actor Asano Tadanobu disappears into the role of an awkward, affable writer who becomes the unlikely hero for a struggling family. Continue reading Yôji Yamada – Kaabee aka Our Mother (2008)
Ginko (Yoshinaga Sayuri) seems to be living the good life: She’s the respectable owner of a neighborhood drug store in Tokyo, and her daughter Kaharu (Aoi Yu) is about to get married to a doctor. However, Koharu’s wedding day also brings homes Ginko’s younger brother Tetsuro (Tsurube Shofukutei), a failed actor and a hard drinker who shows up causing trouble. Having covered for him all her life, Ginko is ready to disown her burdensome younger brother, but some things are easier said than done… Continue reading Yôji Yamada – Otôto AKA About Her Brother (2010)