7.7/10
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9 user 17 critic

Gion bayashi (1953)

In the post-war, the sixteen year-old teenager Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a "maiko" (apprentice of geisha). Eiko explains that her... See full summary »

Director:

Kenji Mizoguchi

Writers:

Matsutarô Kawaguchi (novel), Matsutarô Kawaguchi (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Michiyo Kogure ... Miyoharu
Ayako Wakao ... Eiko
Seizaburô Kawazu ... Kusuda
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Saburô Date Saburô Date ... Imanishi
Kyôko Hisamatsu Kyôko Hisamatsu ... Young girl
Sumao Ishihara Sumao Ishihara ... Kokichi
Kanae Kobayashi Kanae Kobayashi ... Hairdresser
Keiko Kobayashi Keiko Kobayashi
Midori Komatsu Midori Komatsu ... Oume
Kanji Koshiba Kanji Koshiba ... Kanzaki
Kazuko Maeda Kazuko Maeda ... Maid
Ryusuke Maki Ryusuke Maki
Tokiko Mita Tokiko Mita ... Apprentice geisha #1
Kikue Môri Kikue Môri ... Domestic arts teacher
Chieko Naniwa Chieko Naniwa ... Okimi
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Storyline

In the post-war, the sixteen year-old teenager Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a "maiko" (apprentice of geisha). Eiko explains that her mother, who was a geisha and Miyoharu's friend, has just passed away; her father Sawamoto has failed in business; and her uncle is harassing her. Miyoharu is a warm-hearted woman and accepts to train her. One year later, Eiko's father refuses to be her guarantor and Miyoharu borrows a large amount from the tea-house owner Okimi to buy her kimono and debut in a party. Miyoharu changes Eiko's name to Miyoe and introduces the teenager to clients as her sister. Soon Miyoharu is charged for the money but neither she nor Miyoe wants to have patrons. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

11 June 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Geisha See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Eiko: Mistress, if you've had to sleep with a man you despise for my sake, I'll stop being a geisha!
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
a very unsettling film--just as the writers intended
13 June 2005 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is the story of a woman who becomes a Geisha. She is never given any choice and she becomes a virtual slave to the system. In essence, its as if the was sold to the owner of the stable of Geishas. Then, after all her training and money spent making her the perfect host and performer, her "owner" expects the girl to pay her back by sleeping with her clients--whether or not she finds them repellent or not. The girl objects and is abused and threatened until she complies. A TOUGH movie to watch, indeed.

This movie is diametrically opposed to the documentaries I have seen about the lives of Geishas. They portray the women as entertainers and say they do NOT sleep with the clients--unless, of course, one agrees to do this on her own. This may be true now, but I know that this was not always the case--particularly with women the Japanese kidnapped from Korea and other parts to be "comfort women"--less "Geishas" with all their training but more glorified prostitutes.

A very unusual and interesting film that will also tug at your heartstrings for this poor girl.


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