Michael Hirohama kamesan
Sun Oct 5 16:14:40 EDT 1997

I saw "Manji" (1964) and "Senbazuru" (Thousand Cranes, 1969), both directed
by Yasuzo MASUMURA, last night.  According to the film notes, these films
were adaptions from novels by TANIZAKI and KAWABATA, respectively.  In both
films, the leading characters use suicide and threats of suicide to affect
their relationships to their significant others.

Jissatsu (suicide) and especially shinjuu (mutual-suicide) are themes which
are common in popular Japanese stories of the theater, Noh, Bunraku, etc.
Of the Japanese films which I have viewed, suicide and talk about suicide
are not uncommon.  I have not viewed many popular Japanese-produced films
of the '70s, '80s, and '90s.  Are suicide and "romantic" suicide themes
still as popular in  recent films and other aspects of Japanese popular

[To list-owners:  I would like to receive messages from the list archives
on these topics.]

By the way, I hope to have time during the next week or two to write up my
impressions of "Hodo no sasayaki" (Whispering Sidewalks, 1936), a wonderful
jazz and tap musical.

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