Kaneto Shindo

A Last Note, 1995

On a secluded cottage in the mountains, a retired carpenter and part-time groundskeeper named Rokubei assembles a humble coffin, carefully selects a properly weighted rock from the riverbed, and leaves a last note with the terse inscription “It’s over” scribbled onto the back of a bargain sale flyer before committing suicide – the round rock… read more »

The Strange Tale of Oyuki, 1993

Faced with a bout of ill health, global traveller, western-educated novelist Kafu Nagai (1879-1959) began to chronicle sundry episodes in his life, as well as thoughts and observations of contemporary Japanese society, in a series of intimate journals that would eventually span the early half of 20th century. Based on A Strange Tale from East… read more »

Sakura-tai Chiru, 1988

A somber retrospective on the final days of the Sakura-tai theatrical troupe that had arrived in the island of Hiroshima to begin preparations for the staging of a play and, at 8:15 on the morning of August 6, 1945, became victims of the atomic bombing, Sakura-tai Chiru is a thoughtful examination of artistic imperative in… read more »

Rakuyoju, 1986

A melancholic, nickelodeon arcade melody plays against the suffused, dreamlike image of a slow-circling merry-go-round, as a curious assortment of characters seated on the carousel gradually come into focus, then recede, before re-emerging again within the stationary frame. The nostalgic, surreal episode carries through to the voice-over narration of an aging author named Hatsu-rojin (Keiju… read more »

Kuroneko, 1968

In the midst of a devastating civil war, a band of desperate, battle-fatigued mercenaries led by a ruthless and opportunistic warrior (Rokko Toura) chance upon an isolated hut on the rural outskirts of Kyoto and begin to ransack the property in search of food and water. Encountering a peasant woman named Yone (Nobuko Otowa) and… read more »

Onibaba, 1964

In an open field of a remote village in ancient Japan, two disoriented, exhausted soldiers attempt to evade the pursuit of relentless horsemen from a rival samurai clan, collapsing amidst the tall, overgrown reeds of the prairie. After the threat of capture has seemingly subsided, the pair attempt to continue on their desperate flight, but… read more »

Naked Island, 1962

At sunrise, the nearly indistinguishable silhouettes of a peasant man (Taiji Tonoyama) and woman (Nobuko Otowa) are observed on the horizon as they navigate their modest rowboat through the tranquil waters. Arriving on the main island, the couple disembark from their boat carrying large water barrels and walk along a footpath towards the freshwater reservoir… read more »

Children of Hiroshima, 1952

Children of the Hiroshima opens to a shot of healthy children performing calisthenics in the schoolyard of an idyllic fishing village before being dismissed by their schoolteacher, Takako (Nobuko Otowa) for summer recess. Since the loss of her parents and sister four years earlier in the bombing of Hiroshima, Takako has remained on the island… read more »