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Yoru no tsuzumi

The Adulteress


Release Date
April, 15th, 1958
Running Time
95 min
Screening Format

[ Directed by ]

[ Produced by ]

[ Cast ]

[ Staff ]

[ Production Company ]


[ Distributor (Japan) ]


[ Story ]

In the feudal Japan of the 18th century the all-powerful Shogun controlled the entire country through daimyo who, in turn, administered the samurai and others within their respective fiefs, and in alternate years the daimyo were obliged to go and live in Edo.
A daimyo's procession is proceeding toward its home province on a summer afternoon after having spent one year in Edo. Among those in the procession is a young samurai named Hikokuro Ogura who having won promotion is eager to return home to his wife Tane.
Soon after returning home, Ogura begins to hear ugly rumors concerning his beloved Tane who is said to have committed adultery during his absence with Genemon Miyaji, a traveling teacher of the hand-drum. The rumors continue to spread and a council of the Ogura family is summoned in an effort to learn the truth. Tane's younger sister Fuji states that Miyaji, the teacher of the hand·drum, was invited to visit their parental home on the day of the Peach festival in March but adds, that nothing unusual occurred on that day.
Later, however, Fuji reveals to Ogura what she had failed to tell the others: On the day of Miyaji's visit, much wine was drunk and after most of the household left to go to a shrine, Ogura's fellow-worker, Yukaemon Isobe, who had been fond of Tane since her youth, visited the house. Inflamed by wine, Isobe made love to Tane, and finally drew his dagger and threatened to kill her and himself. Tane thoroughly frightened, pretended to accede to his wishes, but just then, a voice chanting the text of a Noh drama was heard in the garden, and Isobe hurried away.
On hearing Fuji's story, Ogura realizes that Isobe is the source of the rumors and makes him confess at the point of his sword. Isobe adds, however, that after leaving the house, he discovered that he had forgotten something and returned, to find Tane behaving suspiciously.
Closely questioned by Ogura, Tane finally confesses that she had been grateful to Miyaji for chanting the Noh text and frightening Isobe away, but was fearful that he might repeat to others the promise she made unwillingly to him. And while attempting to persuade Miyaji to keep her secret, she lost her self-control and committed the unpardonable sin.
And in accordance with the samurai code, Ogura kills his beloved wife and the man with whom she had committed adultery.

【Quoted from Unijapan Film Quarterly 1958 1.1】

[ Contact (International) ]

13F, Togeki Bldg., 4-1-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8422
Attn: SATO Kiwamu
tel: +81-3-5550-1623
fax: +81-3-5550-1654