|Sun in the Last Days of Shogunate|
Director: Yuzo Kawashima
Cast: Frankie Sakai, Sachiko Hidari, Yoko Minamida, ISHIHARA Yujiro, KOBAYASHI Akira
Bakumatsu taiyo-den - This burlesque comedy harks back to the Japanese Rakugo comic tradition and is set at a time of enormous social and political upheaval: the final years of the shogunate on the eve of the Meiji Restoration, which would transform the isolated feudal state of Japan, dominated as it was by the warrior aristocracy of the samurai, into a modern society.
At a brothel in the pleasure district of Shinagawa in 1862, a young samurai joins the fight to restore the imperial government and wants to drive foreigners out of the area. Meanwhile, the establishment’s two most beautiful geishas battle it out for the top spot, while the debt-plagued geisha, Osomo, sees no alternative other than to stage a spectacular double suicide with a customer. Shrewd man-about-town Saheiji (played by famous comedian Frankie Sakai) is finally forced to work off his debts in the brothel, a situation that he manages to turn to his own advantage however.
In a 2009 poll, the magazine Kinema Junpo called it the fourth-greatest Japanese picture ever made, ranked behind only Ozu’s Toyko Story (1953), Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954) and Naruse’s Floating Clouds (1955).
1957 BLK/WHT Academy Standard 4:3 Fullscreen 110 Mins.
Japanese with Optional English Subtitles.