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» Special Program (1) Filmmaker in Focus: KAWASHIMA Yuzo

» Our Doctor, Our Chief / Tonkatsu Taisho
» Between Yesterday and Tomorrow / Kinou to Asu no Aida
» Burden of Love / Ai no Onimotsu
» Suzaki Paradise : Red Light / Suzaki Paradaisu : Akashingou
» Here's to the Young Lady / Ojosan Kanpai

» Special Program (2) Filmmaker in Focus: SOMAI Shinji

» Special Program (3) Nicholas RAY 1911-2011

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Special Program (1) Filmmaker in Focus: KAWASHIMA Yuzo

Burden of Love / Ai no Onimotsu
1955 / 110 min.
©1955 Nikkatsu

Set during the population explosion resulting from the first baby boom after World War II, this satirical comedy adopts a light touch in depicting the furore that erupts when children are born one after another to the family of a welfare minister promoting birth control. A prime example of the urbane comedies that KAWASHIMA excelled at, its portrayal of a bourgeois household drips with sarcasm, but at the same time it is also a celebration of humanity that paints its characters in an abundantly benevolent light. It is also KAWASHIMA's first film for Nikkatsu, with fellow Shochiku alumnus IMAMURA Shohei contributing his talents as an assistant director.


Born 1918 in Tanabu Town, Shimokita-gun (now Mutsu City), Aomori. Joined Shochiku after graduating from Meiji University. Worked as an assistant director to filmmakers including SHIMAZU Yasujiro, OZU Yasujiro, and KINOSHITA Keisuke, before making his directorial debut with "Kaette kita Otoko" starring TANAKA Kinuyo in 1944. Went on to direct mostly "program pictures" such as the classic nonsensical comedy "Shimikin no Oo! Shimin Shokun" (48), but broke new ground with his vivid depiction of life in a working-class neighborhood in "Tonkatsu Taisho" (52). After completing "Between Yesterday and Tomorrow" (54), he switched to Nikkatsu which had resumed film production, and made classics such as Japanese-style screwball comedy "Burden of Love" (55), melodramatic masterpiece "Suzaki Paradise: Red Light" (56), and "Waga Machi" (56), an adaptation of a novel by ODA Sakunosuke. After directing "The Sun Legend of the End of the Tokugawa Era" in 1957, a film that is frequently chosen as one of the most important works in the history of Japanese cinema, he left Nikkatsu for Toho-affiliated Tokyo Eiga. While making literary films such as OOKA Shohei adaptation "Kaei" (61) and YAMAMOTO Shugoro adaptation "Aobeka Monogatari" (62), he also displayed his brilliance in outrageous comedies like "Temptation on Glamor Island" (59) and "Shima no Sebiro no Oyabun-shu" (61). Co-directed "Yoru no Nagare", set in one of Tokyo's downtown entertainment districts, with NARUSE Mikio. Meanwhile, he also made three films for Daiei: "Onna wa Nido Umareru" (61), "Gan no Tera" (62), and "Shitoyaka na Kedamono" (62). All starred WAKAO Ayako, and were masterpieces of a completely different type. On June 11th 1963, KAWASHIMA died suddenly on the eve of the release of what became his final work, "Ichi ka Bachi ka." He was 45. Among his assistant directors during his time at Nikkatsu were IMAMURA Shohei, URAYAMA Kirio , and NAKAHIRA Ko.

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