Woman Gambler / Showa onna bakuto (1972)

One of the most popular of all the many film series of the sixties was Kyoko Enami’s Woman Gambler, reaching 16 features at Daei. After Raizo Ichikawa’s death and Shintaro Katsu’s move to independent production, the Woman Gambler was practically Daiei’s only dependable money maker, but it was not enough to keep the studio out … Continue reading Woman Gambler / Showa onna bakuto (1972)

Jongara / Tsugaru jongarabushi (1973)

In a tiny fishing village in the middle of nowhere a man and a woman appear. From her elegant red coat and his tie-less three-piece suit, it’s obvious to the locals they are from Tokyo. They are lovers, despite their age difference, and at first it looks like she has brought him to visit her … Continue reading Jongara / Tsugaru jongarabushi (1973)

Himiko (1974)

Himiko was or was not an early third century Japanese queen whose story is known only from brief references in a Chinese source from the late third century. From these, Yasahiro Shinoda and his writing collaborator Taeko Tomioka have fashioned a strange movie describing the earliest unification of the Japanese nation and the founding of … Continue reading Himiko (1974)

Coup d’etat / Martial Law / Kaigenrei (1973)

The coup of 1936 has been the subject of several significant movies. The most straight-forward presentation can be found in Memoirs of Japanese Assassins, with the same coup reflected in the romance of Utage and the teen-age bullies of Fighting Elegy. Yoshida’s Coup d’etat looks at this failed coup through the life of Ikki Kita, … Continue reading Coup d’etat / Martial Law / Kaigenrei (1973)