Tanaka Kinuyo, Director
New Restoration

Impressive in its sweep and humane vision.”

Imogen Sara Smith, Film Comment

Tanaka Kinuyo’s fourth film as a director—and first in colour and widescreen—adapts the best-selling memoirs of Japanese noblewoman Saga Hiro, and is set against Japan’s wartime occupation of Manchuria in the 1930s and 1940s. Ryuko (Kyo Machiko), eldest daughter of an aristocratic Japanese family, enters into an arranged married with Futetsu (Funakoshi Eiji), younger brother of Puyi, Manchuria’s figurehead Qing Dynasty emperor, and unexpectedly finds love and happiness—until the larger forces of history prevail. Tanaka’s film was scripted by Wada Natto, the regular screenwriter (and wife) of Harp of Burma and Tokyo Olympiad director Ichikawa Kon. Lead actor Kyo, one of the foremost Japanese screen performers of the era, also starred in Rashomon and Ugetsu. The saga of Puyi himself was famously told in 1987’s The Last Emperor, the Oscar-conquering epic directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, in which Saga features as a minor character.

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