[KineJapan] Morisaki Azuma has passed away

Roger Macy macyroger at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Jul 21 10:59:37 EDT 2020

Thank you, Luke, for getting in touch and giving morecontext.  I will actively undertake toget myself an education on some of Morisaki’s films which, at the momentconsists of that swan-song, an over-sweet (I thought) propaganda fictionalizedfilm encouraging the use of care homes for the elderly in Japan, along withmulti-generational and multi-gendered support. Indeed if, as you say, he wasalready suffering memory-loss, that film may be doubly unrepresentative of hisoeuvre.  

The Japan Foundation UK 2016 screenings of Pekorosu no haha ni ai niiku were accompanied by a helpful short piece by SAKO Katsura [迫桂], KeioUniversity, putting it in context of social trends and recent literature inJapan. Looking at my notes from the screening, I can still see the rawness ofmy reaction against the discrepancy between the film’s sweet depiction, and theexperience of my own relatives in care homes.

Which leads me to the somewhat morbid, if contextual question – does anyoneknow where and how Morisaki spent his final declining years. I read that hedied in hospital, but, before that, did he experience life in the care homesfor which he (on the shoulders of OKANO Yūichi and AKUNE Tomoaki) propagandized?


    On Tuesday, 21 July 2020, 01:27:10 BST, Luke Cromer via KineJapan <kinejapan at mailman.yale.edu> wrote:  
 Thank you for sharing this. I recall the NHK documentary in 2013 revealing that Morisaki's memory was deteriorating during production of his last film (Pecoross), and it is sad to learn of his passing now. 
And thank you Roger for reminding us of this report. It was written when I was a research student before commencing a master's degree at Waseda. The piece evolved from spending a lot of time with graduate students in Fujii Jinshi's course who put me onto Morisaki and Fujii's book. They knew that I was researching for a thesis on Kawashima Yuzo, and almost demanded that I write something on Morisaki if I was interested in somewhat outsider or rogue filmmakers. As Aaron has pointed out, Morisaki was concerned with marginalised and minority groups, with connections to Okinawa that of course adds further layers to his films. The last of the Shochiku rebels? Indeed Nuclear Gypsies (I never came across the English title back then), is one to watch and a film that I continue to think about whenever hearing of the continued nuclear problems in Japan. I'm sure we will begin to see some retrospective screenings for those fortunate to be in Japan, and probably more DVD releases. 
Luke Cromer PhD Candidate and Sessional Tutor 
Department of Japanese StudiesSchool of Languages and Cultures

The University of Sydney 

On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 5:17 PM Roger Macy via KineJapan <kinejapan at mailman.yale.edu> wrote:

Thanks for this, Matteo and Aaron.

I expect Fujii included this but can I just add that there was a substantialKinema Club Conference Report by Luke CROMER, November 2013. ‘Morisaki Azuma’s Postwar:A Talk with Yamane Sadao, Ueno Kōshi and Fujii Jinshi’ https://kinemaclub.org/conference-report/morisaki-azuma-s-postwar-talk-yamane-sadao-ueno-k-shi-and-fujii-jinshi


From: Gerow Aaron via KineJapan <kinejapan at mailman.yale.edu>To: Japanese Cinema Discussion Forum <kinejapan at mailman.yale.edu>Cc: Gerow Aaron <aaron.gerow at yale.edu>Sent: Friday, 17 July 2020, 06:07:33 BSTSubject: Re: [KineJapan] Morisaki Azuma has passed away
 Sad to hear of Morisaki’s death. His comedies were different from Yamada’s, even though they worked together for a time. He tended to focus on marginal, nomadic, and sometime multi-ethnic communities, in a satirical sometimes acerbic way. He is definitely one Japanese director virtually unknown abroad whose work deserves far more attention. 
Fujii Jinshi edited this critical anthology on Morisaki’s work, which is a good place to start:
Morisaki Azuma-tō sengenhttp://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/11912416

Aaron Gerow
Film and Media Studies Program/East Asian Languages and LiteraturesChair, East Asian Languages and LiteraturesYale University143 Elm Street, Room 210
PO Box 208324
New Haven, CT 06520-8324
Phone: 1-203-432-7082
Fax: 1-203-432-6729
e-mail: aaron.gerow at yale.eduwebsite: www.aarongerow.com

    On Friday, 17 July 2020, 05:26:03 BST, matteo boscarol via KineJapan <kinejapan at mailman.yale.edu> wrote:  
 Hello everyone, 

It was reported today that director and screenwriter Morisaki Azuma has passed away, he was 92. 
Born in 1927 he joined Shochiku in 1956, first working as an assistant director for Nomura Yoshitarō and  Yamada Yōji. His first work as a screenwriter was for Yamada’s なつかしい風来坊 The Lovable Tramp in 1966 (not the Tora-san one), a nice comedy with undertones of seriousness and satire, with Baishō Chieko and Hana Hajime. In the same year he wrote or co-wrote the script for other 3 movies and in the second half of the 60s while continuing to write, always for Shōchiku, he had his debut behind the camera with 喜劇 女は度胸   Women Can’t be Beaten (1969) with Baishō Mitsuko (Chieko’s sister) and Atsumi Kiyoshi, from an original idea by Yamada himself. In 1969 he co-wrote with Yamada the first Tora-san 男はつらいよ and the following year Morisaki directed one of the only two films in the entire series not directed by Yamada, 男はつらいよ フーテンの寅. He’s relatively known for Nuclear Gypsies 生きてるうちが花なのよ死んだらそれまでよ党宣言 (1985), one of the best titles ever and a underseen masterpiece, for Location ロケーション (1984), the fictionalized adaptation of photographer Tsuda Ichirō’s book ザロケーション, about his experiences on pink eiga sets, and more recently for the touching and funny Pecoross' Mother and Her Days ペコロスの母に会いに行く (2013). 

Matteo Boscarol
記憶ただ陽炎のゆらめきAsian Docs- Documentary in Japan and Asiahttp://storiadocgiappone.wordpress.com- Film writer for Il Manifestohttp://ilmanifesto.it
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