Kenji Mizoguchi

Kenji Mizoguchi

Date of Birth: 16 May 1898

Country: Japan

Biography: Coming from a lower class family Mizoguchi entered the production company Nikkatsu as an actor specialized in female roles. Later he became an assistant director and made his first film in 1922. Although he filmed almost 90 movies in the silent era, only his last 12 productions are really known outside of Japan because they were especially produced for Venice.

Total Credits at Criticker: 36 (Director), 5 (Writer)

Biography last updated by Jehan, and picture by hristos

Find more information about Kenji Mizoguchi at The Internet Movie Database

Titles you haven't rated - Director (36) | Writer (5)

    Street of Shame
    Five prostitutes work at Dreamland, in Tokyo's Yoshiwara district. As the Diet considers a ban on prostitution, the women's daily dramas play out... (imdb)
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    Yôkihi
    In eighth century China, the Emperor is grieving over the death of his wife. The Yang family wants to provide the Emperor with a consort so that they may consolidate their influence over the court. General An Lushan finds a distant relative working in their kitchen whom they groom to present to the Emperor... (imdb)
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    Taira Clan Saga
    Special Forces commander Captain Tadamori returns to Kyoto after successfully defeating the uprising of pirates in the western sea of Japan. But because the high courtiers dislike career soldiers gaining power and influence, they ignore the will of ex-Emperor Toba and refuse to reward the captain. (imdb)
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    Sansho the Bailiff
    In mediaeval Japan a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him... (imdb)
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    A Story from Chikamatsu
    In 17th century Kyoto, Osan is married to Ishun, a wealthy miserly scroll-maker. When Osan is falsely accused of having an affair with the best worker... (imdb)
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    Uwasa no onna
    After an attempted suicide attempt, Yukiko (Kuga) spends some time recovering at Kyoto with her mother, Hatsuko (Tanaka). However, their familial home is in fact a geisha house, and Hatsuko is the strong-willed Madame of this institute. Through this mother-daughter relationship, and the romantic entanglements that arise when both find themselves in love with Dr. Matoba (Otani), Mizoguchi explores generational conflicts and social mores whilst paying an effective tribute to the resilience of femininity in contemporary Japan.
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    Ugetsu
    In the civil wars of 16th century Japan, two ambitious peasants want to make their fortunes. The potter Genjuro intends to sell his wares for vast profits in the local city, while his brother-in-law Tobei wishes to become a samurai (imdb)
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    A Geisha
    In the post-war Gion district of Kyoto, the geisha Miyoharu agrees to apprentice the 16 year-old Eiko... (imdb)
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    The Life of Oharu
    The tale of a 17th century samurai's daughter. (imdb)
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    Oyû-sama
    Shinnosuke is introduced to Shizu as a prospective marriage partner, but he falls in love with her widowed sister Oyu. Convention forbids Oyu to marry because she has to raise her son as the head of her husband's family. Oyu convinces Shinnosuke and Shizu to marry so that she can remain close to Shinnosuke. (imdb)
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    Lady Musashino
    About a woman trapped into upholding the family tradition and moral values just after the end of WW2.
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    Portrait of Madame Yuki
    The first of three consecutive films (the others are Miss Oyu and The Lady of Musashino) Mizoguchi made about women of the privileged classes.
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    My Love Has Been Burning
    A woman's struggle for equality in Japan in the 1880s. Eiko Hirayama leaves Okayama for Tokyo, where she helps the fledgling Liberal Party and falls in love with its leader Kentaro Omoi, just as the party is being disbanded by the government. (imdb)
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    Women of the Night
    Fusako Owada, a young woman in postwar Japan, is the mistress of a notorious drug dealer. Fusako's tenuous grasp on meaningful life is shaken when she learns that her lover is having an affair with her sister. (imdb)
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    The Love of Sumako the Actress
    The stage director Shimamura, who is bringing western theater to Japan, falls in love with the outspoken actress Sumako Matsui, and leaves his family to be with her, while trying to keep his Art Theatre solvent. (imdb)
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    Utamaro and His Five Women
    Utamaro, a great artist, lives to create portraits of beautiful women, and the brothels of Tokyo provide his models... (imdb)
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    The Victory of Women
    A socially committed film about the feudal state of many Japanese women in 1946. Hiroko Hosokawa, a female lawyer, defends Mrs. Asakura, who suffocated her child in her grief after her husband died penniless following an industrial accident. The prosecutor is Hiroko's sister's husband Kono, who also sent Hiroko's fiance, Yamaoka, to jail for his liberal views during the war. Yamaoka has just been freed, but is seriously ill from his time in prison. (imdb)
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    The Famous Sword Bijomaru
    Kiyone Sakurai, an apprentice swordmaker makes a sword for his guardian, Kozaemon Onoda. Onoda breaks the sword while defending his lord which eventually leads to his death at the hands of Naito, when Naito demands to marry his daughter Sasae. Sasae vows to avenge her father's death and pleads for Kiyone Sakurai to make a special sword for her. So Kiyone and his fellow swordmaker Kiyotsugu go to the master swordsmith Kiyohide Yamatomori to learn their craft and forge the sword. (imdb)
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    Song of Victory
    An all star cast.
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    Miyamoto Musashi
    Shinobu and her brother Genichiro plead with the famous swordsman Musashi Miyamoto to teach them swordsmanship to avenge their father's death. The killers of their father see the sister and brother practicing with Miyamoto, and so enlist the help of another powerful swordsman, Kojiro Sasaki, which gives Sasaki an excuse to battle Miyamoto. (imdb)
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    The 47 Ronin
    Lord Asano resists a bribery attempt by a member of the Shogun's court. His honesty, however, is useless against the corruption of the administration... (imdb)
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    The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums
    In Tokyo in 1885, Kikunosuke Onoue, the adoptive son of an important actor, discovers that he is praised for his acting only because he is his father's heir, and that the troupe complains how bad he is behind his back. The only person to talk to him honestly about his acting is Otoku, the wet-nurse of his adoptive father's child. She is fired by the family, and Kikunosuke is forbidden to see her, because of the gossip a relationship with a servant would cause. Kikunosuke falls in love with Otoku, and leaves home to try to make a living on his own merits outside Tokyo. (imdb)
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    The Straits of Love and Hate
    The Straits of Love and Hate (1937), loosely inspired by Tolstoy's much-filmed Resurrection, which had been one of the staples of Japanese film adaptation in the silent era. (Senses of Cinema)
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    Osaka Elegy
    Ayako becomes the mistress of her boss, Mr. Asai, so she can pay her father's debt, and prevent him from going to prison for embezzlement. She also sends money to her brother Hiroshi to pay his university tuition, but her father intercepts it. She tricks Mr. Fujino into giving her money so that she can marry her boyfriend Nishimura, but Fujino calls in the police. (imdb)
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    Sisters of the Gion
    Umekichi, a geisha in the Gion district of Kyoto, feels obliged to help her lover Furusawa when he asks to stay with her after becoming bankrupt and leaving his wife. However her younger sister Omocha tells her she is wasting her time and money on a loser. She thinks that they should both find wealthy patrons to support them. Omocha therefore tries various schemes to get rid of Furusawa, and set themselves up with better patrons. (imdb)
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    Orizuru Osen
    In Tokyo, Osen is the servant girl of an unscrupulous antiques dealer, Kumazawa, who takes in the penniless Sokichi Hata. Kumazawa mistreats Sokichi and Osen, while swindling some Buddhist monks out of their temple treasures. When Kumazawa is arrested, Osen agrees to help Sokichi finance his dream of going to medical school. They live in a humble room, and eventually the only way Osen can find enough money for them is to prostitute herself during the day, without Sokichi knowing. (imdb)
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    Poppies
    It's senseless. "I should have changed. But it's not my fault" says one of the characters. In the great tradition of storytelling, Mizoguchi creates remarkable characters, gets involved in their drama, but also keeps distance. He skips between concepts, ideas, emotions poetically. In his films, people laugh and people cry... (blog.waysofseeing)
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    Maria no Oyuki
    It is based on Kawaguchi Matsutaro's adaptation of Maupassant's "Boule de Suif". To this story Mizoguchi added some of his own elements. Set during the Franco-Prussian War, it is the story of a group of people who try to flee the battleground in a horsedrawn carriage. The bourgeois use the expression "lump of fat" to refer sarcastically to the prostitute who is riding along with them. When they are caught by the enemy, they offer to send her to the commander as a human sacrifice... (rapidshareindex.com)
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    Ojô Okichi
    Kenji Mizoguchi is credited as “supervisor” on this rare Japanese genre film, which stars the stunning Isuzu Yamada (Osaka Elegy, Throne of Blood) as a professional criminal, part con woman and part martial artist, who falls in love with a young man from the straight world.
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    The Water Magician
    Taki no Shiraito is a very independent young woman with a famous water juggling act in a travelling carnival troupe. She falls in love with an orphaned carriage driver Kinya Murakoshi, and pledges to put him through law school in Tokyo. She always encloses money in her letters to him, until one hard winter there is no work to be found. (imdb)
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    Tôjin Okichi
    Mistress Of A Foreigner is a 1930 film adaptation of the best-selling novel written by Yagisaburo Juichi. Today, only a 4 minutes fragment of the film remains. (SM)
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    Home Town
    The rise and fall of a singer Yoshio Fujimura. Fujimura entertains the lower class passengers on the ship home from Europe, and is traveling with Ayako, a maid who had fallen in love with him. On their arrival in Japan, a society woman, Natsue Omura, who is meeting a famous tenor from the first class, is attracted to Fujimura. Natsue introduces Fujimura to an agent and, under his guidance, sings the song "Furusato" which becomes a hit. (imdb)
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    Tokyo koshin-kyoku
    Although incomplete in its current form, 'Tokyo March' stands as a fragment of Kenji Mizoguchi's early work. Mizoguchi's story of love, revelation, and the sometimes-cruel hand of fate gives us an early glimpse at themes that will be returned to in his later works.
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    Asahi wa kagayaku
    The Morning Sun Shines is a fiction-documentary film (1929) by master director Kenji Mizoguchi and Seiichi Ina. Sadly, only 25 minutes of it survived.
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    The Passion of a Woman Teacher
    The curse of a jealous woman destroys the lovers on the run. (imdb)
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    The Song of Home
    A country boy gets tempted by the city life in this post-war propaganda piece.
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    An Osaka Story
    A satirical comedy about a store clerk who falls in love with his boss's daughter. Mizoguchi Kenji's final project; he died before completing it and directing duties turned over to Yoshimura Kozaburo. (The Movie Database)
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