Made in the domestic Fujicolor process, this was the first colour film produced by Toho. Director Kajiro Yamamoto (1902-1974), who also produced and co-scripted the film, was a Toho stalwart noted especially for his longstanding collaboration with star comedian Ken’ichi Enomoto (Enoken), who had been the leading figure of Tokyo’s prewar revue stage. He also made literary adaptations such as Botchan (1935) and Wagahai wa neko de aru (I Am a Cat, 1936), both based on the work of Meiji-era novelist Soseki Natsume, and some of the more effective pieces of wartime propaganda cinema. Yamamoto had a profound influence on the history of the Japanese cinema as mentor to Akira Kurosawa, who served as his assistant on a number of films including Uma (Horse, 1941). As one of Toho’s most reliable directors he was an ideal choice for this pioneering work, a lighthearted film that, like Shochiku’s pioneering colour film, Karumen kokyo ni kaeru (Carmen Comes Home, 1951), depicts the contrasts between urban and rural Japan in the postwar era.
The film tells the story of the two daughters of a farming family in a village outside Tokyo, soon to be incorporated into the conurbation. Both women are torn between their traditional rural life and the attractions of modernity in the capital. The road close to their farm and the trucks that navigate are symbols of the encroaching modern. The “Kinema Junpo” reviewer praised the exact and conscious use of the domestic Fujicolor process, which he found more suitable than Technicolor to the representation of Japanese scenes and manners.
Cast and Credits
Scen.: Kajiro Yamamoto, Dai Nishijima. F.: Taiichi Kankura. Scgf.: Yasuhide Kato. Mus.: Raymond Gallois-Montbrun. Int.: Makoto Kobori (Sahei Ishii, head of the Japanese pear farm), Noriko Honma (Yone Ishii, sua moglie), Kiyoshi Kamota (Seitaro Ishii, il figlio maggiore), Mariko Okada (Momoko Ishii, la sorella maggiore), Yoko Sugi (Yoshiko Ishii, la seconda figlia), Keiju Kobayashi (Katsuzo Ishii, amico di Seitaro), Eijiro Tono (Shoroku Ishii), Hiroshi Koizumi (Junichi Mimura, l’elettricista), Akihiko Hirata (Takamaro Kitakoji), Kazuko Ran (Chizuru Kitakoji, sua sorella). Prod.: Kajiro Yamamoto per Toho · 35mm. Col.
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