6.4/10
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Josei no shôri (1946)

A socially committed film about the feudal state of many Japanese women in 1946. Hiroko Hosokawa, a female lawyer, defends Mrs. Asakura, who suffocated her child in her grief after her ... See full summary »

Director:

Kenji Mizoguchi
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kinuyo Tanaka ... Hiroko Hosokawa
Michiko Kuwano Michiko Kuwano ... Michiko
Mitsuko Miura Mitsuko Miura ... Moto Asakura
Shin Tokudaiji Shin Tokudaiji ... Keita Yamaoka
Kinuko Wakamizu Kinuko Wakamizu
Akiko Kazami Akiko Kazami ... Tokie Ishida
Shin'yô Nara Shin'yô Nara ... Judge
Kappei Matsumoto Kappei Matsumoto ... Prosecutor Shuichirô Kôno
Toyo Takahashi ... Setsu, Hiroko's mother (as Toyoko Takahashi)
Toshinosuke Nagao Toshinosuke Nagao ... Prosecutor Mizushima
Yôko Benisawa Yôko Benisawa ... Hisa, Moto's mother
Eiko Uchimura Eiko Uchimura ... Yukiko, Hiroko's younger sister
Katsumi Kubota Katsumi Kubota ... Doctor
Kuniko Igawa ... Nurse (as Toshiko Kôno)
Yoshino Tani Yoshino Tani ... Maid
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Storyline

A socially committed film about the feudal state of many Japanese women in 1946. Hiroko Hosokawa, a female lawyer, defends Mrs. Asakura, who suffocated her child in her grief after her husband died penniless following an industrial accident. The prosecutor is Hiroko's sister's husband Kono, who also sent Hiroko's fiance, Yamaoka, to jail for his liberal views during the war. Yamaoka has just been freed, but is seriously ill from his time in prison. Written by Will Gilbert

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Genres:

Drama

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Did You Know?

Trivia

First post-war film directed by Mizoguchi, it deals with themes of democracy and women rights, being much related thematically to Kurosawa's "No Regrets for Our Youth", from the same year. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (1975) See more »

User Reviews

 
A Remarkable Woman: Let That Be Said For Every Woman
30 October 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Kinuyo Tanaka is a lawyer. When Mitsuko Miura, an old school friend, is being tried for murder of her infant, she serves as her defending attorney. The prosecutor is her brother-in-law, Kappei Matsumoto, who put her fiancee in prison under the militarist government, and paid for her education. He is a cold, sere man, who espouses law on its own terms. Under the new swelling of democracy and liberalism, there are calls for his dismissal. He cites Tanaka's obligations to him. If he can ride out the current moment, he hopes to be appointed a chief prosecutor. He asks, no, demands, that she throw the case.

Kenji Mizoguchi's first post-war film, and the fifth of fifteen he would make with Miss Tanaka, shows signs of being an effort to make peace with the American occupation, of expiating the rah-rah nationalism of the films he made under the censors during the War. He was not, of course, the only director doing this: Kurosawa, Kinoshita, and undoubtedly others whose works I am not familiar with, were doing the same. Given his interests, it is hardly surprising that he made it a feminist tract.

It is weakened by Matsumoto's character. He claims that the law is an absolute in itself; yet he uses it and all means available to further his own interests. His arguments are straw man arguments, devoid of compassion or any humanity. Even though we do not hear the actual verdict, our sympathies are all with Miss Tanaka, and her victories outside the courtroom presage her inevitable victory within the well.

As stereotypical as Matsumoto's role is, and as fiery and admirable Miss Tanaka's, the best performance is given by Miss Miura. Humble, ashamed, weeping in court during Miss Tanaka's summing-up, she holds her hands in front of her face, denying the audience a chance to see her, demanding we must look. Mizoguchi's direction of her is simple and brilliant, and demands that, in the world of this movie at any rate, the purpose of the law must be to succor the weak, to protect the helpless, and to make a world in which they can be strong and moral.


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

18 April 1946 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Victory of Women See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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