Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
In this renowned and classic Japanese film directed by Kon Ichikawa, the great Kabuki onnagata Kasuo Hasegawa celebrates his 300th film appearance in a role designed especially for him. One of the classic theater styles of Japan, Kabuki does not use women in female roles. Highly trained male actors, called "onnagata," perform in them, and are often more convincing as women than many women might be. In the story, set in 1836, Yukinojo (Kasuo Hasegawa) is an onnagata, travelling to Edo in feminine disguise. On his journey, he recognizes three ruthless merchants who ruined his father's business, driving him to suicide. Pledged to revenge his father's death, he follows them, and with the help of a mysterious bandit martial artist named Yamitaro (also Hasegawa), fulfills his pledge, even though this means the destruction of one of the merchant's innocent daughters, who has fallen in love with him. Actor Hasegawa performed these same roles in a 1935 film version of this same story, directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa, who consulted on this film.
businessperson, chase, investigator, kabuki, murder, revenge, suicide
High Artistic Quality