Japan 2021

Love Letter

+ intro by Irene González-López, co-editor of Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity

Koibumi

Actress Kinuyo Tanaka steps behind the camera to direct this story of a translator of love letters from Japanese women to American GIs.

Image from Love Letter + intro by Irene González-López, co-editor of Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity

Japan 1953
Dir Kinuyo Tanaka
With Masayuki Mori, Yoshiko Kuga, Jûkichi Uno, Kyôko Anzai
97min
35mm
English subtitles
Certificate 12A

Kinuyo Tanaka, one of Japan’s greatest actors, was also the only woman to sustain a directorial career in commercial Japanese cinema at the time. Her protagonist (played by Masayuki Mori, Tanaka’s co-star in the same year’s Ugetsu Monogatari) works as a translator of love letters from Japanese women to American GIs, a topical theme just a year after the end of the postwar American occupation.

Print courtesy National Film Archive of Japan.

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