CastMeiko Kaji, Ryûdô Uzaki, Hisashi Igawa, Sachiko Hidari Release date29 April 1978 (1978-04-29) WriterMonzaemon Chikamatsu (novel), Yasuzo Masumura, Yoshio Shirasaka GenresDrama, Romance Film, Crime Fiction Similar moviesRelated Yasuzo Masumura movies
Double suicide of sonezaki 1978 opening
The Love Suicides at Sonezaki(曽根崎心中,Sonezaki Shinjū, also released as Double Suicide Of Sonezaki) is a 1978 Japanese historical romance film directed by Yasuzo Masumura starring Ryudo Uzaki and Meiko Kaji based on the Chikamatsu play of the same name.
The love suicides at sonezaki with english captions
The plot follows closely the original play. Tokubei (Ryudo Uzaki) works as a soy-sauce maker. He falls in love with indentured prostitute O-Hatsu (Meiko Kaji). After O-Hatsu's indenture is bought by a wealthy patron, they plan to commit suicide.
Ryudo Uzaki - Tokubei
Meiko Kaji - O-Hatsu
Hisashi Igawa - Kyuemon
Sachiko Hidari - O-Sai
Isao Hashimoto - Kuheiji
Gen Kimura - Kichibei
Masumara's treatment of the play is quite literal, and was considered by some (McDonald, 1994) the most faithful screen adaptation of any of Chikamatsu's plays second only to Kurisaki's puppet version two years later. Masumara's casting of Uzaki, a rock star, and Kaji, a young idol, signaled an energetic approach to the story, though the film was restrained by Masumara's standards and did not contain the elements of abnormal behaviour or attack on Japanese society for which Masumara was known. Instead Masumara adopted a theatrical but "sardonic" (Sultanik, 1986) approach with emphasis through concise editing and close-ups.
The crew worked hard to a tight budget, and the lead actress Kaji had been so keen to work with Masumura that she took the role with no guarantee of any payment. The cast and crew finished the filming in 19 days. Kaji recalls that the last 3 days were done with actors and crew working through the nights.
Lead actress Meiko Kaji won several acting awards for her performance, including the Blue Ribbon Award and Hochi Film Award for best actress. The film showed in New York under the English title "The Love Suicides at Sonezaki," and at the Montreal Festival as "Double Suicide Of Sonezaki."