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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 »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kazuo Hasegawa ... Mohei
Kyôko Kagawa ... Osan
Eitarô Shindô ... Ishun
Eitarô Ozawa Eitarô Ozawa ... Sukeemon (as Saka Ozawa)
Yôko Minamida ... Otama
Haruo Tanaka Haruo Tanaka ... Gifuya Dôki
Chieko Naniwa 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
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Storyline

In 17th century Kyoto, Osan is married to Ishun, a wealthy miserly scroll-maker. When Osan is falsely accused of having an affair with the best worker, Mohei, the pair flee the city and declare their love for each other. Ishun orders his men to find them, and separate them to avoid public humiliation. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

November 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Story from Chikamatsu 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?

Trivia

The movie is based on a play by the classic Japanese author Monzaemon Chikamatsu (1653-1725). The original title "Chikamatsu monogatari" means "A Tale From Chikamatsu". See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

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

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User Reviews

Balanced Beam
26 May 2007 | by tedgSee all my reviews

Some time ago, I had the opportunity to attend an Ichibana lecture and demonstration. It was given by those close to emperor and was tailored for westerners. That meant that there were plenty slides that contrasted western flower arranging with this highest Japanese art. The western values all had to do with perfect symmetry, balance, coherent, simple shapes. Each element should be beautiful by itself. Harmonies were all within this lovely melody of perfect pace. Bach.

Contrasted with this was the Ichibana we saw constructed before us. Dissymmetries, tension, motion and peace. Some elements were dead, even damaged. The base or container was as likely to be misshapen, even ugly. Where the western arrangements were music, this was life. It had soul, katachi. The whole thing was quite an experience for me and was my most visceral introduction to a corner of Japan that I have since enfolded into my own life and eye. At the root of this is dissymmetry (which is different from asymmetry), the presence of items that have sibling states which are not expressed. It gives a tension that springs, the pumps blood and makes real beauty because it provides space for the definition of beauty.

This is one of the reasons I appreciate Kurosawa. He understood this, and is why I eagerly watch recommended Japanese films. And why I came to this. Surely Mizoguchi is one of the most celebrated Japanese filmmakers. But what I'm experiencing with him lacks that katachi, that clean, beauty of tension I wished for. What I see is comparatively western. Oh, the story is traditionally Japanese, and the manner of the story. But everything cinematic is perfectly constructed, balanced. Every frame is a masterpiece of construction, and in three dimensions. Its geometric, its rich, its balanced, every vision. Every bit is lovely, every motion perfect, every jot complemented.

Its not Ichibana. Its too pretty to be beautiful. Its too Methodist.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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