Monday, January 23, 2012
Tonight I watched an excellent Japanese film, Kabei: Our Mother, about a mother of two girls whose scholar husband has been arrested by the militaristic government during the invasion of China, and then follows her efforts to provide for her children while remaining loyal to her man. She makes great sacrifices, and gets some help from a sister and a former student of her husband (who falls in love with her). It is a sad movie about the strength of a mother, undying love, the tough times the Japanese people had to suffer for their expansionist dreams, the perils of blind conformity, as well as the goodness and failing of many people. Based on Teruyo Nogami's memoirs, the film is lovingly presented by director Yoji Yamada. Sayuri Yoshinaga is wonderful in the main role, as are the two young actresses who play her daughters. The movie is a wonderful insight into the attitudes and culture of Tokyo during the war. I recommend it.