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Yasha-ga-ike (1979)

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Outside of a small village in Japan, a mysterious pond is inhabited by mythic creatures. Their story is of revenge, tragedy, and the power of real love. A classical tale which translates ... See full summary »

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Title: Yasha-ga-ike (1979)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tamasaburô Bandô ...
Yuri / Princess Shirayuki (as Tamasaburo Bando)
Gô Katô ...
Akira Hagiwara
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Gaukuen Yamazaki
Kôji Nanbara ...
Priest Shikami
Yatsuko Tan'ami ...
Nurse
Hisashi Igawa ...
The Carp
Norihei Miki ...
Catfish Messenger
Juro Kara ...
Denkichi
Ryûnosuke Kaneda ...
Diet Member
Fujio Tokita ...
The Crab
Jun Hamamura ...
The Shadow / Yatabei, the Bellkeeper
Megumi Ishii ...
The Camellia
Tadashi Furuta ...
The Mackerel
Kazuo Satô ...
Tiger Priest
Kai Atô ...
The Bone
Edit

Storyline

Outside of a small village in Japan, a mysterious pond is inhabited by mythic creatures. Their story is of revenge, tragedy, and the power of real love. A classical tale which translates wonderfully to film. Written by Molly Malloy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Romance | Fantasy

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Details

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Release Date:

20 October 1979 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Demon Pond  »

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User Reviews

For sheer unbridled culture shock there is nothing like Japanese cinema
13 March 2003 | by (Cambridge, Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

For sheer unbridled culture shock there is nothing like Japanese cinema. I have one friend who gave me a series of films about a team of crack Japanese school girls who battle crime with a variety of lethal yo-yos. Another friend dragged me kicking and screaming to the Somerville Theater (back during its brief incarnation as an Art-House) to see Demon Pond, based on a popular play by B. K. Izumi and directed by Masahiro Shinoda. It's the story of a university student who travels to a small town in search of his professor, who left the university without word some years before. The professor is found living with his wife in a small house by a pond outside the village. He had promised a dying man that he would ring a large bell twice a day to prevent the demons from escaping from the pond and destroying the nearby village. The professor doesn't really believe in the demons, or the bell, but the problem with cynicism is that you can never rely upon it in a crunch (cause a true cynic can't really believe in cynicism either), so twice a day he's been ringing the bell, just in case. The townspeople don't believe in demons either, and there is grumbling that all this bell ringing is somehow the cause of the drought which has been plaguing the town for over a year. In the middle of all this controversy appears a pair of crustaceans with their own argument which carries over into the pond, where you meet the court of the Dragon Princess, who is trying to escape the pond to be with her boyfriend who's trapped in another pond. The Dragon Princess and the Professor's wife are played by a man, Tamasaburo Bando (one of Japan's most famous Kabuki players) and many of the scenes are staged in the Kabuki tradition, especially the scene in the pond (which resembles a Kabuki version of Pee-Wee's Playhouse) and an extremely elaborate tea ceremony (which goes on so long I was left thinking that the tea couldn't possibly still be hot.) Eventually the villagers take action, convince the professor to stop ringing the bell by threatening to tie his wife to a cow and send it careening into the pond. Cynicism loses in a spectacular demonstration of the consequences of messing with pond demons. I actually ended up going to see this film a second time, dragging some of my other friends kicking and screaming to the Somerville Theater. After all, the most fun you can have with foreign film is inflicting them on others.


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