Jûzô Itami

Jûzô Itami – Marusa no onna AKA A Taxing Woman (1987)

Synopsis:
Ace tax investigator Ryoko Itakura (Nobuko Miyamoto) sets her sights on the mysterious and philandering Hideki Gondo (Tsutomu Yamazaki), a suspected millionaire who owns a thriving chain of seedy hourly hotels. For years, Gondo has succeeded at hiding the true extent of his assets from the Japanese authorities. As the government investigation progresses, Itakura and Gondo find themselves locked in a battle of wits — one further complicated by their growing affections for each other. Read More »

Jûzô Itami – Marutai no onna AKA Woman in Witness Protection (1997)

Synopsis:
Following the release of his Minbo No Onna — less a film than a textbook on how to extricate oneself from yakuza harassment — veteran director Juzo Itami was attacked and almost killed by the mob for his effort. In this crime-comedy, he voices his outrage at the attack, which he viewed as an attack on his right for self-expression. The film centers on Hiwako (played, as always, by Itami’s wife, Nobuko Miyamoto), a grand dame of the stage who witnesses a murder while exercising on a lonely country road. The victim turns out to be a lawyer who was snooping around in a shadowy cult clearly modeled on the subway-gassing sect Aum Shinrikyo. Hiwako manages to get a good look at the perpetrator’s face and identifies him as a cult member. Read More »