Classmates / Aa doki no sakura (1967)

While many Japanese movies in the 60s were exposing the failures of the Japanese army during WWII, there was also a new audience for war movies in which the Japanese could be heroes again. Interestingly, almost all of these dealt with the Navy, which is consistently depicted in a far more positive light than the … Continue reading Classmates / Aa doki no sakura (1967)

Samurai Wolf II: Hell Cut / Kiba Okaminosuki Jigoku Giri (1967)

As a general rule, I try not to write about sequels, simply because there are so many other Japanese movies to discuss. For actual series, I like to deal with the first or second feature to describe the series itself, but since all series films involve a certain amount of repetition, it seems pointless to … Continue reading Samurai Wolf II: Hell Cut / Kiba Okaminosuki Jigoku Giri (1967)

Innocent Witch / Woman of Osore Mountain / Osorezan no onna (1965)

Ayako's father hurts his back and can't go out fishing, so her mother resorts to the traditional solution and sells her to a local brothel. Her brief life afterward, in Gosho's subtle and fascinating Osorezan no onna, provides a penetrating look at life in a brothel and in the provincial world of pre-war Japan. At … Continue reading Innocent Witch / Woman of Osore Mountain / Osorezan no onna (1965)

Punishment Island / Captives’ Island / Shokei no shima (1966)

A mysterious stranger arrives in a remote village on a mysterious mission, one of the basic formulas of suspense movies the world over. In Punishment Island, Masahiro Shinoda uses the formula to make a mysterious and suspenseful movie that also tries to be more than that. Saburo, the stranger, is actually no stranger, for he … Continue reading Punishment Island / Captives’ Island / Shokei no shima (1966)