3 user 9 critic

Taki no shiraito (1933)

The tragic tale of a woman who despite doing good where she can gets punished by society.




Credited cast:
Tokihiko Okada Tokihiko Okada ... Kinya Murakoshi
Ichirô Sugai ... Gozô Iwabuchi - usurer
Bontarô Miake Bontarô Miake ... Shinzô
Kumeko Urabe ... Ogin
Suzuko Taki Suzuko Taki ... Nadeshiko
Kôji Ôizumi Kôji Ôizumi ... Kenji
Joe Ohara Joe Ohara ... Tanjirô
Etsuzô Oki Etsuzô Oki ... Old detective
Nobuo Kosaka Nobuo Kosaka ... Detective Takamura
Takashi Kawase Takashi Kawase
Takako Irie ... Taki no Shiraito
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hirotoshi Murata Hirotoshi Murata ... Nankin (as Kôju Murata)


Taki no Shiraito is a very independent young woman with a famous water juggling act in a travelling carnival troupe. She falls in love with an orphaned carriage driver Kinya Murakoshi, and pledges to put him through law school in Tokyo. She always encloses money in her letters to him, until one hard winter there is no work to be found. Written by Will Gilbert

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based on novel | See All (1) »




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Alternate Versions

Originally filmed as a silent movie with Japanese intertitles; an unceasing voiceover narration in Japanese has been added later. See more »


Remade as Taki no Shiraito (1952) See more »

User Reviews

A Spectacular Achievement
2 May 2008 | by crossbow0106See all my reviews

Before I watched this, I re-watched some of the excellent documentary of director Kenji Mizoguchi, which is included on the Criterion Collection collection of Ugetsu, possibly Mizoguchi's best known film. Specifically, I went to the part where Takako Irie, the star of this film, speaks. The film was made in the mid 70's, and Ms. Irie was just about in her mid 60's (she has since passed on). She speaks in measured tones, but praises Mizoguchi. She seems shy and reserved. Also, for her years, she was very attractive, so the notion was she was probably a beauty when she made this film at the tender age of 22. Make no mistake, she was. The Water Magician is exactly as the title states, a movie starring Ms. Irie as a water magician traveling with a group of other circus type performers. The fact that this film still exists is a minor miracle. Many films of this time have been lost forever, which was at least partially due to the war, which is a true crime. This film survives, and it is phenomenal. I can't say enough about Takako Irie in this film. She is beautiful, she lights up the screen and gives a standout performance as the magician. Usually man hating, she falls for a carriage driver Kin-San, who she tries to help into becoming a lawyer by sending him money for his studies while she is on the road. This is sometimes a hardship for her, and they communicate by letter, but she is faithful to him. It sounds like a great love story, but wait. It is a Mizoguchi film, so you know there is going to be some kind of tragedy in this tale. Two notes about the film: The film was released as a silent film, but in the Benshi style, which means that people who went to the cinema in those days had a performer (the Benshi) describe the film to that, even doing all the silent lines of the film using different voices. In other words, the film is only kind of silent. The DVD, which I purchased from Japan, has a choice of two Benshi to listen to, as well as English subtitles. The second thing was mentioned earlier, that many films of that period were lost forever, but this one survives. The quality of this film is, at best, decent, but it doesn't matter. The film is so amazing, you barely notice the fact that the picture is just adequate. I am certain this is the best copy of the film available, and it is way more than enough. At the end, I thought of this more as a Takako Irie film than a Mizoguchi film. If you have any interest in Japanese cinema, this is required watching. The incredible acting performance of Takako Irie is mesmerizing. Rest in peace, Takako Irie. You were talented, a pioneer (she was producing films at this age. Name an American actress that produced films at age 22. Remember, this is 1933!), and flat out beautiful. Congratulations for this. Anyone who sees this film will know how special you were and are.

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None | Japanese

Release Date:

1 June 1933 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Cascading White Threads See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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