Two characters on a Noh stage dramatize the rite of love and death of Lieutenant Shinji Takeyama and his wife Reiko. Takeyama was one of a cadre of young officers who staged a coup d'état in February, 1936. He was not arrested when the coup failed, but as an officer of the palace guard, he knew he would be given the order to execute his friends. The night before the execution, he and his wife prepare for hara-kiri, first with passion without shyness, then in uniform and kimono with sword and dagger. Calligraphy figures in the preparation, as Reiko gathers her keepsakes to give to survivors. They embrace in death.
Did You Know?
After Mishima's death on 25 November 1970, all prints of this film were rumored to have been destroyed by his wife Yoko. However, in August 2005, original film negatives were "discovered" at the late author's residence in Ota Ward, Tokyo. About 40 reels have now been found in what Japanese media refer to as an "airtight tea box". According to Hiroaki Fujii (78), the movie's producer (who at the time apparently urged Yoko to keep the original intact), the recovered elements are in "pristine condition". The film will be released on DVD by Shinchosha early in 2006. See more
Tristan und Isolde
by Richard Wagner See more