More on Ozu

Sarah Frederick sfred
Tue Jul 18 14:32:16 EDT 2006

Thank you for all the Stella Dallas information, Michel, and I look forward
to looking at Minaguchi-san's articles on the subject. I often mention this
series of adaptations in my work on Yoshiya Nobuko and am happy to know
there is something published on it to refer people to.

Chika Kinoshita gave a great paper on the subject of Stella Dallas, Yoshiya
Nobuko's novelization, and Haha no kyoku a number of years ago during a
Yoshiya Nobuko panel I organized at the Univ. of Alberta conference on women
writers (Across Time and Genre).  But I don't think it is published in the
proceedings, although you can find some other pieces on Yoshiya Nobuko
there.  I hope she will represent her paper herself and correct any errors I
make.  But I will say that what has stuck with me was how she convincingly
demonstrated a formal similarity among the 1937 Stella Dallas, Haha no kyoku
also 1937, and the drawn illustration of the same scenes in Yoshiya's
version of the novel published in _Fujin kurabu_ (in 1936 I believe - the
Shinchosha book version was 1937).  Given the timing, these would not be a
product of direct influence but rather indicate the ways that they all
inhabited a connected visual culture that spans print and cinema and the
complexity of question of "influence."

I can provide some references on Yoshiya Nobuko if anyone wants.  There are
a number of articles in English though nothing much on Haha no kyoku that I
know of.

Sarah Frederick

On 7/18/06 3:24 AM, "kiseko minaguchi" <kiko at> wrote:

> Michel,
> Let me add to the previous email that my article on ICONICS vol.6, "Yamamoto
> Satsuo's Hahanokyoku:Making a Father's Story of Stella Dallas" is written in
> English.
> Minaguchi
> ----- Original Message -----
> ??? : "Michael McCaskey" <mccaskem at>
> ?? : <KineJapan at>
> ???? : 2006?7?13? 0:10
> ?? : More on Ozu
>> (Apologies if you get two, or even three of these--from a notification
>> from our computer center, it looks as if the sending did not go through
>> the first or even the second time, for some reason--but one or both
>> somehow may have somehow reached you after all.)
>> Dear Alex,
>> Thank you very much indeed for the confirmation and the new additional
>> Stella Dallas information.
>> What I have found so far is as follows:
>> Yamamoto Satsuo?s 1937 film Haha no Kyoku, with a 149-minute script by
>> Kimura Chiyo?o and Yasumi Toshio, released by Toei in two parts, on Dec.
>> 11 and Dec. 21, 1937, with the actress Hanabusa Yuriko as Stella, and Hara
>> Setsuko as her daughter, was based on a novel with the same name by
>> Yoshiya Nobuko (1896-1973). This novel in turn was a Japanese adaptation
>> of Stella Dallas, by the American popular novelist Olive Higgins Prouty
>> (1882-1974). The American original by Prouty, as well as its Japanese
>> derivative by Yoshiya, was yet another saga of a parent, a mother in this
>> case, sacrificing everything for a child, a daughter. (It seems that many
>> of the Ozu films from the same era also used this "sacrificing, silently
>> suffering" parent image.)
>> Yamamoto was also influenced by the 1925 American film version of Stella
>> Dallas, directed by Henry King. Another American film version was made in
>> 1937, directed by King Vidor, with Barbara Stanwyck as Stella. Yet another
>> American remake, Stella, appeared in 1990, with many changes to the
>> original storyline, written by Robert Getchell (Mommie Dearest) and
>> directed by John Erman, with Bette Midler as Stella. Stella Dallas was
>> also used as the basis of a soap opera of the same name, a perennial
>> standby which was on the radio in America for 18 years, broadcast on NBC
>> every weekday, from June 6, 1938 through Jan. 6, 1956
>> (, accessed July 8,
>> 2006.
>> Yoshiya Nobuko was a prolific and highly popular fiction writer, and from
>> 1922 to 1968 a total of 58 films were made based on her stories and
>> novels, albeit that a number of two-part and remake films are included in
>> the total (, accessed July 8,
>> 2006). Haha no Kyoku was remade in 1955 by Shin Toei, with a new 99-minute
>> script by Sasahara Ryozo, directed by Koishi Ei?ichi. It starred Mimasu
>> Aiko (1910-82), an actress who played the role of the matriarch in many of
>> the 50 movies she subsequently appeared in through 1981. Hanabusa Yuriko
>> (1900-1970), the mother in the 1937 version, also played a maternal role
>> in many of the 117 subsequent films she was in, through 1970.
>> Minaguchi-san also has a very good new book out on Mimasu Aiko, her
>> mother-roles in films, and comparisons with US film material, which I've
>> ordered from Amazon Japan:
>> &#26144;&#30011;&#12398;&#27597;&#24615;&#8213;&#19977;&#30410;&#24859;&#2337
>> 6;&#12434;&#24033;&#12427;&#27597;&#35242;&#20687;&#12398;&#26085;&#31859;&#2
>> 7604;&#36611; 
>> (&#21336;&#34892;&#26412;)
>> &#27700;&#21475; &#32000;&#21218;&#23376;
>> &#21336;&#34892;&#26412;: 268&#12506;&#12540;&#12472;
>> &#20986;&#29256;&#31038;: &#24425;&#27969;&#31038; (2005/04)
>> ASIN: 4882029804
>> Minaguchi-san was too modest to mention it, I think, so I thought it would
>> be good for me to mention it here. I hope you and she will correct any
>> errors or omissions there may be in what I wrote above.
>> Thanks Once Again for Your Very Helpful Information,
>> With Best Wishes,
>> Michael

Sarah Frederick
Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature
Boston University
sfred at

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