Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Noted filmmaker Kaneto Shindo directs this erotic drama adapted from the autobiographical book by renowned writer Nagai Kafu. Kafu, a noted rake and whoremonger, became one of Japan's more celebrated literary figures by documenting fleeting pleasures and subtle human interactions as he frequented Ginza cafes and Yoshiwara brothels. For this film, Shindo captures the essence of Kafu's work with an episodic structure detailing Kafu's search for his feminine ideal. One day, Kafu (played by Masahiko Tsugawa), while walking along the rain-slicked streets of Tokyo's red light district, happens upon Oyuki (Yuki Sumita), a geisha with a heart of gold. Strikingly beautiful, patrons flock to her in the house she shares with her madame (played by film legend Haruko Sugimura). Kafu too becomes beguiled by Oyuki's beauty, but as years pass and their relationship deepens, he realizes that indeed she is the woman he has been looking for.