JFDB Column

SEKIGUCHI Yuko

SEKIGUCHI Yuko
Writer, Editor, Journalist
Has held the positions of 'Kinema Junpo' editor-in-chief, as well as editor-in-chief of 'Variety Japan', the Japanese edition of American entertainment magazine 'Variety'. Serves on the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Intellectual Property Strategy Department's Contents Licensing Council, the Agency for Cultural Affairs Subsidy Council, the Commission on Film Promotion of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the council on corporate patronage of the arts, the international film festival review committee, and as a screening juror for the Japan Arts Council film festival section of the Agency for Cultural Affairs Geijutsu Sensho. Currently a serialized columnist for BANGER!!! and Hint-Pot.

Reflecting on the Course of Actress Tanaka Kinuyo, Japan's Second Female Director

At Kinema Junpo where I worked at the time, there was an archive collecting all the copies of this magazine since before the war. Late at night when everything settled down, I would love going there to read past issues of 'Kinema Junpo'. The reason being is when I thought about what should be done in the future, the trends of cinema, and the shift in interests of people who pick up the magazine, the already near 80 year history of 'Kinema Junpo' was an invaluable database.

In this way, I received advice through the magazine from my predecessors and something had caught my interest. Female screenwriters and directors received unbalanced scrutiny from a disposition deviating from film reviews which were also written in articles. There were people who published rebuttals in different publications, but during the age directors ruled supreme it must have been considerably difficult for actors to speak out. Without counterarguments, I felt more than a few such reviews took root.

Tanaka Kinuyo had also been in that situation. As an actress who started acting in films from the silent era at Shochiku's Shimogamo Film Studio, she succeeded Kurishima Sumiko and took the world by storm. She created numerous masterpieces with directors such as Shimazu Yasujiro, Gosho Heinosuke, Shimizu Hiroshi, Ozu Yasujiro, Mizoguchi Kenji, Naruse Mikio, Kinoshita Keisuke, Ichikawa Kon, and Kumai Kei among others.

When Tanaka portrayed a woman no matter her social position, I came to empathize with her. In "A Hen in the Wind" she played a wife who sells her body one time to pay for her child's hospitalization fees as she awaits the return of her soldier husband. "Lady Oyu" saw her play a widow of a merchant family who takes an interest in her sister's husband. She was a woman whose life is upturned by the circumstances of her family and ends up ruining herself in "Life of Oharu". For "Sandakan No.8" she was an elderly woman who at one time worked as a prostitute in Borneo.

The first time she directed a film was 1953. That same year, she learned direction on the set of Naruse Mikio's "Older Brother, Younger Sister" and proceeded to make "Love Letters". Thus she became Japan's second female director. Her thoughts on this first directorial work was covered in 'Kinema Junpo'. The interviewer was film critic Kishi Matsuo. The two worked together in "Ginza Cosmetics" on which Kishi was the screenwriter. They had most likely been old acquaintances on good terms, but seeing the objective to have her say she vents her frustrations as an actress through directing or to make her say directing is difficult for women that is evident between the lines of the article was disappointing to see.

Tanaka brought forth six films onto the world. One among them, "The Moon Has Risen", had been beleaguered by the Five-Company Agreement, but I regard all of them more positively than their reviews at the time. Yes, there are more opportunities now than in the past to watch the films in which she has appeared and those she has directed. The era prioritizing published writings has already passed, consequently there is no need to be tied to the praise of predecessors. I urge you on your own conviction to enjoy the worlds of Tanaka Kinuyo.

Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director

Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (1975)

  • Documentary
Director
SHINDO Kaneto
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, KYO Machiko, YAMADA Isuzu
SANDAKAN NO.8

SANDAKAN NO.8 (1974)

  • Feature
Director
KUMAI Kei
Cast
KURIHARA Komaki, TANAKA Kinuyo, TAKAHASHI Yoko, TANAKA Ken, MIZUNOE Takiko, OZAWA Eitaro, MIZUHARA Eiko, TODO Yoko, YANAGAWA Yukiko, NAKAGAWA Yoko, UMEZAWA Masayo, JINBO Tomoko, SUNAZUKA Hideo, NAKATANI Ichiro, HAMADA Mitsuo, IWASAKI Kaneko, MAKI Yoshiko
The Scent of Incense

The Scent of Incense (1964)

  • Feature
Director
KINOSHITA Keisuke
Cast
OKADA Mariko, OTOWA Nobuko, MIKI Norihei
LONELY LANE

LONELY LANE (1962)

  • Feature
Director
NARUSE Mikio
Cast
TAKAMINE Hideko, TAKARADA Akira, KATO Daisuke, KOBAYASHI Keiju, TANAKA Kinuyo, KUSABUE Mitsuko, NAKAYA Noboru, ITO Yunosuke, TATARA Jun, ODA Masao, KATO Takeshi, FUMINO Tomoko, KAHARA Natsuko, IIDA Choko, KITAGAWA Machiko, BENIZONO Yurika, NAKAKITA Chieko, YABUKI Toshiko, SUGAI Kin, ITO Hisaya, YOROZUYO Mineko, ISHIDA Shigeki, NAKAYAMA Yutaka, NAGOYA Akira, KONISHI Rumi, KAWA Michiko, YOSHIKAWA Masae, ENDO Tatsuo, AOKI Chisato, INANO Kazuko, YAGI Masako, HAYASHI Michiko, MORI Akiko, MORIKAWA Hiroko, UNO Yoshiko, KIRISHIMA Yachiyo, KAGA Motome, UMEKA Fumiko, UCHIDA Asao, KUSUNOKI Yoshitaka, FUKUYAMA Hirotoshi, TSUMAKI Ippei, KAJIKAWA Taketoshi, YAMAMOTO Minoru, NISHIZAWA Toshiaki, SUGI Hiroyuki, OIDA Katsuhiro, WAKI Seiichi, HOSOYA Kiyoshi, KISHIDA Shin, KUSANO Daigo, HASHIZUME Isao, MORI Kinta, SUNAGAWA Akemi, CHIGUSA Chiyo, KOSAKA Sayo, CHIHARA Makiko, TOSABAYASHI Michiko
Love Under the Crucifix

Love Under the Crucifix (1962)

  • Feature
Director
TANAKA Kinuyo
Cast
ARIMA Ineko, NAKADAI Tatsuya, TAKAMINE Mieko
The Wandering Princess

The Wandering Princess (1960)

  • Feature
Director
TANAKA Kinuyo
Cast
KYO Machiko, FUNAKOSHI Eiji, RYU Yomei, KINDAICHI Atsuko, SAWAMURA Sadako, NANBU Shozo, HIGASHIYAMA Chieko, OZAWA Eitaro, MITSUDA Ken, MITO Mitsuko
HER BROTHER

HER BROTHER (1960)

  • Feature
Director
ICHIKAWA Kon
Cast
KISHI Keiko, KAWAGUCHI Hiroshi, TANAKA Kinuyo, MORI Masayuki, NAKAYA Noboru, HAMAMURA Jun, KISHIDA Kyoko, TSUCHIKATA Takaya, NATSUKI Akira, TOMODA Teru
Ballad of the Narayama

Ballad of the Narayama (1958)

  • Feature
Director
KINOSHITA Keisuke
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, TAKAHASHI Teiji, MOCHIZUKI Yuko
A HOUSE OF GEISHA

A HOUSE OF GEISHA (1956)

  • Feature
Director
NARUSE Mikio
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, YAMADA Isuzu, TAKAMINE Hideko, OKADA Mariko, SUGIMURA Haruko, KURISHIMA Sumiko, NAKAKITA Chieko, MATSUYAMA Natsuko, IZUMI Chiyo, KAHARA Natsuko, MIYAGUCHI Seiji, NAKAYA Noboru, KATO Daisuke, TATSUOKA Shin, OTOWA Kumeko, MATSUO Fumindo, MINAMI Yoshie, KUROGANE Ichiro, SADA Yutaka, NAKAMURA Nobuo, TSUTSUMI Yasuhisa, KAWABE Masayoshi, OMURA Senkichi, SHINPO Noriko, UENO Akemi, UEDA Kichijiro, TAIRA Bontaro, EBATA Hideko, KATO Shigeo
HER MOTHER'S PROFESSION

HER MOTHER'S PROFESSION (1954)

  • Feature
Director
MIZOGUCHI Kenji
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, OTANI Tomoemon, KUGA Yoshiko, SHINDO Eitaro, MIAKE Bontaro, NANIWA Chieko, TANAKA Haruo, TOAKE Hisao, AI Michiko, MINE Sachiko
SANSHO THE BAILIFF

SANSHO THE BAILIFF (1954)

  • Feature
Director
MIZOGUCHI Kenji
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, HANAYAGI Yoshiaki, KAGAWA Kyoko, SHINDO Eitaro, SUGAI Ichiro, MIAKE Bontaro, SHIMIZU Masao, MITSUDA Ken, KOZONO Yoko, KONO Akitake
Love Letter

Love Letter (1953)

  • Drama
  • Feature
Director
TANAKA Kinuyo
Cast
MORI Masayuki, KUGA Yoshiko, KAGAWA Kyoko, UNO Jukichi, DOSAN Juzo, ANZAI Kyoko, SEKI Chieko, NATSUKAWA Shizue
UGETSU 4K Digitally Restored Version

UGETSU 4K Digitally Restored Version (1953)

  • Feature
Director
MIZOGUCHI Kenji
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, KYO Machiko, MORI Masayuki, MITO Mitsuko, OZAWA Sakae
The Life of Oharu

The Life of Oharu (1952)

  • Feature
Director
MIZOGUCHI Kenji
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, YAMANE Hisako, MIFUNE Toshiro, UNO Jukichi, SUGAI Ichiro, MATSUURA Tsukie
Ginza Cosmetics

Ginza Cosmetics (1951)

  • Drama
  • Feature
Director
NARUSE Mikio
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, HORI Yuji, KAGAWA Kyoko, HANAI Ranko, TONO Eijiro, MISHIMA Masao, KOSUGI Yoshio
Miss Oyu

Miss Oyu (1951)

  • Feature
Director
MIZOGUCHI Kenji
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, OTOWA Nobuko, HORI Yuji, HIRAI Kiyoko, KONGO Reiko, YANAGI Eijiro, SHINDO Eitaro, KOBAYASHI Kanae, YOKOYAMA Fumiiko, FUJIKAWA Jun
MUNEKATA SISTERS

MUNEKATA SISTERS (1950)

  • Feature
Director
OZU Yasujiro
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, TAKAMINE Hideko, UEHARA Ken, TAKASUGI Sanae, RYU Chishu, YAMAMURA So, HORI Yuji
A Hen in the Wind

A Hen in the Wind (1948)

  • Drama
  • Feature
Director
OZU Yasujiro
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, SANO Shuji, RYU Chishu, MURATA Chieko
A Tale of Archery at the Sanjusangendo

A Tale of Archery at the Sanjusangendo (1945)

  • Feature
Director
NARUSE Mikio
Cast
HASEGAWA Kazuo, TANAKA Kinuyo, ICHIKAWA Sensho, KONO Akitake, TANAKA Haruo, MITANI Sachiko, YOKOYAMA Unpei, KIYOKAWA Tamae, HAYASHI Kimiko, KATSURAGI Fumiko, TOBA Yonosuke, SAWAI Saburo, HANAZAWA Tokue, KITO Zenichiro, NAGAI Ryusaku, FUKAMI Taizo
Ornamental Hairpin

Ornamental Hairpin (1941)

  • Drama
  • Feature
Director
SHIMIZU Hiroshi
Cast
TANAKA Kinuyo, RYU Chishu, KAWASAKI Hiroko, SAITO Tatsuo, HIMORI Shinichi, MIMURA Hideko