Shinoda gossip

Jean W. Williams jqw3827
Thu Oct 30 22:49:46 EST 1997

Well it's not as juicy as personal info, but . . . 

"Sharaku" was screened at NY's Japan Society tonight as part of their
on-going 90th anniversary.  Shinoda introduced the film and stayed for a
cocktail reception afterwards.

JS' film director, Dr. Kyoko Hirano, taught me in a course this past
summer, so I saw my big opportunity.  With her introduction, I asked
Shinoda whether the character of the oiran with the black cat might have
been inspired by a kouta and jiuta mai dance I know about a lower class
prostitute with a black cat.  He looked at me indulgently as though I were
one of the world's most henna of henna gaijin and replied that in the 18th
century it was very fashionable for women to keep cats.

Maybe so.  And that's probably why geisha wrote about it in a kouta which
is still sung and danced today.

So sometimes I think you can "get" the cultural reference and maybe "miss"
the film!  Or at least your 15 second chance to talk with the director.

Jean Williams
Dept. of Performance Studies
Tisch School of the Arts
New York University
jqw3827 at

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