Shirô Toyoda

  • Shirô Toyoda – Uguisu aka Nightingale (1938)

    1931-1940DramaJapanShirô Toyoda

    Not much info on this film out there, but here is a nice little rundown by Keiko McDonald from her book, From Book to Screen: Modern Japanese Literature in Films:

    “Uguisu (The Nightingale) drew on a story of the same title published that year by Einosuke Ito. Here the frame of reference is a subgenre that called itself agrarian literature. Ito’s tale is an episodic account of peasants responding to poverty and depravation with cunning, simplicity, and often woeful ignorance.Read More »

  • Shirô Toyoda – Kôkotsu no hito AKA The Twilight Years (1973)

    1971-1980ClassicsDramaJapanShirô Toyoda

    Story about a woman who looks after her father in law.Read More »

  • Shirô Toyoda – Nakimushi kozo AKA Crybaby Apprentice (1938)

    1931-1940ClassicsDramaJapanShirô Toyoda

    Shiro Toyada is known for his literary adaptations and this is an early adaptation of Fumiko Hayashi’s work, the second after Sotoji Kimura’s A Wanderer’s Notebook from three years ealier. Like Toyoda’s later 50s masterpieces it features strong minded woman and weak, feckless men.

    Crybaby Apprentice tells of four sisters, the eldest, the widowed Sadako, has a failed businessman as a lover and two children, eleven year old Keikichi and his younger sister. The boy’s sullen demeanour gets on “uncle’s” nerves and after moving in to save money he threatens to move out again. During the course of the film Keikichi is passed from one sister to the next, unwanted either as a nuisance or through poverty.Read More »

  • Shirô Toyoda – Wakai hito aka Young People (1937)

    1931-1940AsianDramaJapanShirô Toyoda

    This film depicts the delicate relationship between Keiko, who was born an illegitimate child and was regarded as a problem child at the mission school, and her teacher Mazaki, who understands her, and Hashimoto, a female teacher with whom he has a close relationship. One day, Keiko becomes pregnant, and rumors spread that the partner is Mazaki… A film that gave Toyoda Shiro the opportunity to show his talent in literary works. Later, the film was adapted by Kon Ichikawa, Katsumi Nishikawa, and Keisuke Kawasaki.Read More »

  • Shirô Toyoda – Jigokuhen AKA Portrait of Hell (1969)

    1961-1970ActionDramaJapanShirô Toyoda


    A rebellious Korean artist tests the limits of his sadistic patron, an omnipotent feudal Japanese lord. Yoshihide demands a commission to paint screens of the Hell which he sees the egotistical lord’s peasants suffer. Such a public display will challenge the uncaring upper class’ obsession with their own personal beauty. With Chinese and Buddhist influences at a peak in 11th century Japan, the daimyo Horikawa wanted a mural of Buddhist paradise. As Yoshihide’s ghastly artworks appear to come to life, the painter and his patron’s mutual racism also take their toll.Read More »

  • Shirô Toyoda – Neko to shozo to futari no onna AKA Shozo, a Cat and Two Women (1956)

    1951-1960ArthouseComedyJapanShirô Toyoda

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    A wry psychological comedy about a man who prefers his cat to his two wives. Some of the most famous Japanese players are the leads: the first wife is the legendary Isuzu Yamada (she was in over 300 movies between 1929 and 1956, had been married six times, and was still playing romantic roles); Kyôko Kagawa, usually a demure heroine, plays the unsympathetic second wife; Hisaya Morishige is the indolent cat-loving husband; the character actress Chieko Naniwa plays the mother. The story (by Junichirô Tanizaki) is set among shopkeepers at a small seaside town near Osaka, in the Kansai district. —Pauline KaelRead More »

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