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.
Yuzo and his fiancée Masako spend their Sunday afternoon together, trying to have a good time on just thirty-five yen. They manage to have many small adventures, especially because Masako's... 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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