AW: Help

Benito Cachinero pencileraser at
Sat Feb 13 14:56:00 EST 2010

I suppose I should have been more sensitive to the fact that we are 
discussing readings that are not necessarily from the near present!


On Sat, 13 Feb 2010, Roland Domenig wrote:

> The correct readings of Japanese titles and names can, as several postings on this list in the past have shown, be very tricky (and intractable). The word for ?sisters? is one of these tricky stumbling blocks, for both readings - shimai and kyôdai - are possible. Today the two characters are generally read shimai, but before the war and up until the 1950s the characters were also commonly read kyôdai.
> The best way to settle the point is to turn to contemporary sources that often have furigana. In one of his Kinema Junpô columns of the 1990s Tanaka Masasumi has presented convincing evidence why Munekata kyôdai is correct and, to mention another prominent example, Mizoguchi?s Sisters of Gion must be Gion no kyôdai and not Gion no shimai. (Tanaka also discusses the conflicting readings of the name - Munekata or Munakata). This is not to say that one does not encounter conflicting readings in the contemporary sources as well - in the magazine Nippon eiga (which - another pitfall - is often wrongly transcripted as Nihon eiga) for instance one finds Mizoguchi?s film written with shimai-furigana.
> This applies to Western sources as well. The Cinema Year Book of Japan (1936-1937) for instance which was published a year after the release of Mizoguchi?s film the title is given correctly as Gion no kyôdai and in the French booklet Le Cinéma Japonais from 1955 it is
> also given as Gion no kyôdai (Ozu at that point in time is still conspicuously absent, so the Munekata film is not mentioned).
> The issue remains delicate.
> Roland Domenig
> Vienna University
> ________________________________________
> Von: owner-KineJapan at [owner-KineJapan at] im Auftrag von Roger Macy [macyroger at]
> Gesendet: Samstag, 13. Februar 2010 14:30
> An: KineJapan at
> Betreff: Re: Help
> Faith,
> The reading of ?? caught my attention as I've seen Ozu's ????'The Munekata Sisters' this week at the NFT.  There it was billed as 'Munekata shimai', following Bordwell and Richie.  But IMDb and, more significantly, Alex Jacoby goes for 'ky?dai ' (after consulting this list ?).  It's not hard to see the divergence when even my Spahn and Hadamitzky goes unambiguously for shimai (my Kenkushya has also 'ky?dai).  I take it that it's purely a question of usage?
> So, in retrospect, is it the trailer that can settle the point ?
> Sorry, if this has come up before.
> Roger
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: faith<mailto:faithbach at>
> To: KineJapan at<mailto:KineJapan at>
> Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2010 4:46 AM
> Subject: Re: Help
> Sebastien,
> Ukigusa Nikki (the film's standard title) was an "indie" production by Haiyu-za and Yamamoto Pro, the office of director Yamamoto Satsuo.
> "Sisters" is pronounced shimai,  studio Shochiku, director Ieki Miyoji.
> FB

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