Feature Four Frames

Desire and Moral Boundaries: Keisuke Kinoshita’s Wedding Ring

In Keisuke Kinoshita’s Wedding Ring (Konyaku yubiwa, Japan, 1950), Noriko Kuki (Kinuyo Tanaka) finds herself on the threshold of adultery when she falls in love with the young medical intern Ema (Toshiro Mifune), who has been assigned to her husband Michio (Jukichi Uno), suffering from tuberculosis. The first encounter between Noriko and Ema takes place […]


The portrayal of women in Kinuyo Tanaka’s Love Under the Crucifix and Girls of the Night

“It is sad to be a woman,” says the protagonist Ogin (Ineko Arima) in Kinuyo Tanaka’s Love Under the Crucifix (Ogin-sama, Japan, 1962) while watching a woman on her way to the execution site. The woman has refused to be the concubine of Hideyoshi, Japan’s ruler in the late sixteenth century, which is the historical […]

Feature Thousand Words

Toshiro Mifune – Intense acting and inventive spirit

When I began working on Akira Kurosawa, the pivotal role for his cinema of Toshiro Mifune (b. 1 April 1920 d. 24 December 1997) sprang immediately to mind. I could not help thinking how much Mifune’s presence and vitality contributed to the strong sense of movement in Kurosawa’s films. Mifune’s intense acting already fascinated the […]