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This movie is somewhat famous amongst Masako Natsume fans, and more than half the value of seeing this movie is in seeing beautiful Masako Natsume in her prime before she met her untimely death.
Based on a novel by Sumiko Miyao, this movie tells the story of 50 years of human tapestry that is woven my the people of Masagoro Kiryuin's (Onimasa) clan seen from the vantage point of Matsue (Masako Natsume) who were adopted into this family when she was 12. Matsue witnesses the entire history of this family to its very end.
The movie's character Onimasa is actually a former yakuza, and he's a merchant selling dried goods but his old habits die hard, and him and his clan is almost a clan of yakuza. But the focus is more on the women of this yakuza family, set in late Taisho to early Showa period of Japan in Kochi prefecture. The entire meaning of this movie is vague, since Hanako Kiryuin who is the title of this movie (in Japan) is just a spoiled girl, and does almost nothing.
There are many good looking actresses in this movie asides from Masako Natsume, such as Emi Shindo, and Akiko Nakamura. A very young Nobuko Sendo makes her debut in the role of young Matsue.
The one liner Mastue says towards the end of the movie "Nametara ikanzeyo !!" (Don't underestimate us !) was a famous one liner that remains in the annals of Japanese movie history.
To be honest, the only reason to watch this film for me was to watch the beautiful Masako Natsume in action. She is that great in this movie. Thank you to director Hideo Gosha for changing the cast from Shinobu Ootake to Masako Natsume at the last minute.
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