8.0/10
3,635
17 user 26 critic

A Story from Chikamatsu (1954)

Chikamatsu monogatari (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History, Romance | November 1970 (USA)
Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.

Director:

Kenji Mizoguchi

Writers:

Monzaemon Chikamatsu (play), Matsutarô Kawaguchi (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kazuo Hasegawa ... Mohei
Kyôko Kagawa ... Osan
Eitarô Shindô ... Ishun
Eitarô Ozawa ... Sukeemon (as Saka Ozawa)
Yôko Minamida ... Otama
Haruo Tanaka ... Gifuya Dôki
Chieko Naniwa ... Okô
Ichirô Sugai ... Gembei
Tatsuya Ishiguro ... Isan
Hiroshi Mizuno Hiroshi Mizuno ... Kuroki
Hisao Toake Hisao Toake ... Morinokoji
Kazue Tamaki Kazue Tamaki ... Jushiro Umegaki
Kimiko Tachibana Kimiko Tachibana ... Umetatsu Akamatsu
Keiko Koyanagi Keiko Koyanagi ... Okaya
Sayako Nakagami Sayako Nakagami ... Osono
Edit

Storyline

To save her brother and the ancestral house from the heavy burden of an unfulfilled debt, Osan--the noble wife of the parsimonious but reputable scroll-maker, Ishun--turns to her husband's kind-hearted employee, Mohei. However, a transparent forgery paired with a preposterous accusation will force the pair to escape from the printer's unwelcome Kyoto household, seeking refuge in 17th-century Osaka's inhospitable streets. Now, amid scandalous and disquieting rumours--and constantly under threat--Mohei and Osan seem to fight a lost battle. What fate awaits the fugitives from Chikamatsu? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #949. See more »

Quotes

Osan: No matter what happens to us, I never want to leave your side.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Toutes les histoires (1989) See more »

User Reviews

 
Nothing is more unpredictable than a person's fate
20 June 2017 | by gbill-74877See all my reviews

Set in 17th century Japan, and based on a 1715 play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (hence the title, 'A Story From Chikamatsu'), this film starts with a rich scroll-maker (Eitarō Shindō) refusing to give his wife (Kyōko Kagawa) money. When she turns to one of his top apprentices (Kazuo Hasegawa), she sets in motion of a chain of events that ultimately have them fleeing together, because the apprentice, normally a virtuous man, intended to take the money from the scroll-maker and was caught.

The story reveals emotion and desire that is both on the surface, such as the scroll-maker sexually harassing a young servant (Yōko Minamida), as well as that which is concealed. It shows us the randomness of events which may cause everything to suddenly change in one's life; as the wife puts it at one point, "Nothing is more unpredictable than a person's fate. In just one day, all of this has happened to us." If you've ever had your life flip suddenly because of love, you'll identify.

The film also shows the all-too-common fate of women; the advice given to the young servant being harassed is to "Just take it. That's the duty of an employee." Adultery is also blamed first and foremost on the women ("It's frightening what women are capable of"), and it's ominous when a couple of adulterers are being led through the town to be crucified early on in the film.

It's a solid film throughout – the cast is strong, the story is well told, and there are some gorgeous scenes, one of which is in a bamboo forest. I don't think it's going to blow you away, but it's a good one.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

November 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Story from Chikamatsu See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,311
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed