Forever a Woman
TANAKA Kinuyo 田中絹代
Chibusa yo eien nare


Part of the TANAKA Kinuyo Retrospective

CAMERA JAPAN is pleased to present four newly restored features by TANAKA Kinuyo, a leading actress who turned to directing in 1953, becoming Japan’s second female filmmaker and the only woman making films during the Golden Age of Japanese cinema in the late 1950s.

Fumiko is a tanka poet, a mother of two, and wife to an unfaithful husband. The start of her literary success coincides with her divorce. While she deals with being separated from her children, she is diagnosed with breast cancer. A wise and haunting confrontation with mortality and defiant portrayal of female sexuality. Also known as The Eternal Breasts.

Fumiko is een tanka dichter, een moeder van twee en getrouwd met een ontrouwe man. De start van haar literaire succes valt samen met haar scheiding. Terwijl zij haar kinderen mist, blijkt ze borstkanker te hebben. Een wijze en beklijvende confrontatie met sterfelijkheid en een rebels portret van vrouwelijke seksualiteit. Ook bekend als The Eternal Breasts.

TANAKA Kinuyo 田中 絹代 started her career as an actress in OZU Yasujirō’s early silent films. After World War II she became MIZOGUCHI Kenji’s muse, starring in all his most famous films including the titular character in The Life of Oharu. She also starred in films by KUROSAWA Akira, NARUSE Mikio and KINOSHITA Keisuke. Despite Mizoguchi’s objections, she also turned to directing in 1953 , becoming the second ever woman in Japan to do so. In less than ten years, she directed a total of six films. Her debut feature, Love Letter, was scripted by Kinoshita and selected for the 1954 Cannes Film Festival. Her second film, The Moon Has Risen, is based on a script by Ozu. She did not get much recognition for her directorial efforts in the 1950s, and even downplayed their significance herself at the time. Recently she has, however, become recognised as a major filmmaker and pioneer. Her films have also been recognised for their unique portrayals of Japanese women.

1962 – Love Under the Crucifix お吟さま
1961 – Girls of the Night 女ばかりの夜
1960 – The Wandering Princess 流転の王妃
1955 – The Eternal Breasts 乳房よ永遠なれ
1955 -: The Moon has Risen 月は上りぬ
1953 – Love Letter 恋文