[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
* KOTAKI Shohei
* UMEZAWA Michihiko
[ Cast ]
* KITAGAWA Keiko
* KOMOTO Masahiro
* MIYAO Shuntaro
[ Staff ]
* Original Story: FUJISAWA Shuhei
* Screenplay: HASEGAWA Yasuo
* Screenplay: IIDA Kenzaburo
TAKEBE Satoshi Music
[ Production Company ]
BANDAI VISUAL, PONY CANYON, TV Asahi, YAMAGATA-TV, Nichigakudo, ASATSU-DK, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN COMPANY, Destiny
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
[ Production Studio ]
Release Date: March, 13th, 2010
Running Time: 107 min
Genre: Drama, Romance, Historical, Feature
Screening Format: 35mm, HDCAM
Sound Processing: Dolby Digital, Magnetic(HDCAM)
[ Story ]
Based on a short story by noted historical novelist Fujisawa Shuhei, many of whose works have been made into films, including Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei), which was nominated for an Academy Award. Unasaka domain, northeastern Japan — the Edo period. Crossing practice swords with Magoshiro (Miyao Shuntaro), the domain’s best sword-fighter, Ito (Kitagawa Keiko), the only daughter of an Unasaka official and a talented fencer, falls in love for the very first time. Several months later, however, Magoshiro is ensnared in the insidious plot of a high clan official — not knowing what to do, Magoshiro takes his own life. Upon hearing the devastating news, Ito vows to take revenge.
[ Official Site ]
The novels and historical accounts of Fujisawa Shuuhei cinema owe a lot. Suffice it to say that his stories are at the base of neo-jidaigeki trilogy Youji Yamada or the beautiful Semishigure or even the recent Yamazakura . Even Hana no ato is based on a story by Fujisawa.
In the film, there is a lot of care for the staging and the images have rightly a significant role. Screens, kimonos, furniture, gardens, flower arrangement: everything is harmonized and tuned to perfection. The same applies to outdoor shooting: cherry blossoms, snow on the mountains, flowing water are a feast for the eyes. It ‘sa Japan a little’ postcard, to Nakanishi, but it is a very nice postcard.
The story of the daughter of a senior provincial official very good use of the sword, an unusual quality for the time. In a fierce challenge of exercise with a lower-ranking samurai, their eyes meet for a moment and remain engaged. Just that moment to love him in silence for a lifetime, in the awareness of the impossibility of marrying him for a difference in rank. When he will be forced to commit seppuku for a plot hatched by the lover of his wife, she will avenge. Kitagawa Keiko, to his first major role in the film after the success of the drama Buzzer Beat, is doing very well at impersonating the daughter of a samurai characterized by pride and stoic endurance. Moulting and stubborn fortitude that manages to instill in his character – a force however she already manifested in other words in the drama Hitsudan hostess – and frown virginal beauty clad in fine fabrics, make it fascinating figure credibly.
The only downside is the choice of Fujimura Shiho (71 years) for the voiceover: unpleasant and too fast to the point of biting words.