Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires Ministerio de Cultura

Film info: A Story Written in Water

Film Information

Original Title A Story Written in Water
English Title A Story Written in Water
Director Kijû Yoshida
Year 1965
Format 35 mm
Colour B&W
Duration 120 min
  • Mariko Okada, Ruriko Asaoka, Yasunori Irikawa, Isao Yamagata
  • Guiòn: Kijû Yoshida, Toshirô Ishidô, Rumiko Kôra
  • Fotografía: Tatsuo Suzuki
  • Montaje: Hiroshi Asai
  • Producción: Hirokichi Itô, Akio Komazaki


Yoshida’s first independent production after his break with Shôchiku, which forced him out of the studio and on location. A Story Written in Water is also the first installment of six stylistically dazzling “anti-melodramas”, all starring Mariko Okada and challenging the conventions of the Japanese melodrama. In this film based on a story by Y?jir? Ishizaka he confronts the Japanese patriarchal family structure, which he considers a direct reflection of the Japanese state structure headed by the father figure of the emperor. As an anthitesis he focuses on the mother-child relationship, which is uniquely free from these institutionalised bonds of power, and in this film becomes so strong that it reaches the level of incest. This film also introduces the symbols of water and the parasol as female emblems that resist male suppression. The strong erotic compulsion of Yoshida’s female protagonists invariably makes them reject –almost unconciously– the patriarchal family structure and the suffering inherent in womanhood, the two mainstays of Japanese melodrama.


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