19th century. Oshin is a prostitute in a brothel of a red-light district. A disgraced samurai, Fusanosuke, rushes in the brothel seeking for a refuge, because he had wounded a powerful ... See full summary »
A journalist interviews an old woman who was forced into prostitution, just like many other Japanese women working in Asia outside of Japan during the first half of the 20th century. She worked in a Malaysian brothel called Sandakan 8.
When his pistol is stolen, police detective Murakami is humiliated, especially when the gun is later implicated in a crime. Working with his superior, Chief Detective Sato, Murakami works ... See full summary »
In a village subsisting on its herring fishery, a one-eyed criminal named Jakoman terrorizes the inhabitants. One of them, the son of the head of one of the fish companies by the name of Tetsu, decides to overthrow Jakoman and his cohorts.
Three Japanese pilgrims arrive in India. Miss Naruse is looking for Otsu, a Catholic priest, her lover ten years before; after time in France and Israel, he has come to Benares where he ... See full summary »
19th century. Oshin is a prostitute in a brothel of a red-light district. A disgraced samurai, Fusanosuke, rushes in the brothel seeking for a refuge, because he had wounded a powerful samurai. Oshin hides him from the authorities and falls in love with him, against an older prostitute's, Kikuno's, misgiving. Fusanosuke advises Oshin to cleanse herself by giving up her line of work. Believing falsely that this is a promise for marriage, she turns her customers over to the other prostitutes, who are happy to help her. Funasukoke leaves to be reconciled to his family, but, when he returns, he reveals that he is engaged and is going to marry his fiancé. Some time later a desperate itinerant, Ryosuke, appears and Oshin falls in love again. Meanwhile, an older man asks Kikuno to buy her contract and marry her, but she is entangled with an old abusive customer of hers. One night, while the madam of the brothel is away to thermal baths, a storm hits the area and everybody tries to flee. ... Written by
Contrary to some people's summaries, the women depicted in the film are not geisha. They are oiran (prostitutes) living outside the most famous pleasure districts, and their lives and experiences represent the lives of a great number of Tokugawa era women. I can't say the stories were particularly enlightening, but their charm lies in just how typical they are. The themes are universal and everyday: love, friendship, and sacrifice.
I did greatly enjoy the art direction and the acting. I felt like I was getting a glimpse of a time and place I can never otherwise glimpse. The actors, especially the 4 women who played the main oiran, were a thrill to watch. I'd only recommend this movie to people who want a taste of Japanese culture, or to those who enjoy quiet and emotional stories. It's a great example of both.
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