Gion bayashi   1953   Japan A Geisha
A Geisha Image Cover
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Director:Kenji Mizoguchi
Studio:Daiei Studios
Writer:Matsutarô Kawaguchi, Yoshikata Yoda
IMDb Rating:7.7 (545 votes)
Awards:2 wins
Duration:85 min
Kenji Mizoguchi  ...  (Director)
Matsutarô Kawaguchi, Yoshikata Yoda  ...  (Writer)
Michiyo Kogure  ...  Miyoharu
Ayako Wakao  ...  Eiko
Seizaburô Kawazu  ...  Kusuda
Saburo Date  ...  Imanishi
Sumao Ishihara  ...  Kokichi
Midori Komatsu  ...  Oume
Kanji Koshiba  ...  Kanzaki
Kikue Môri  ...  Domestic arts teacher
Chieko Naniwa  ...  Okimi
Eitarô Shindô  ...  Sawamoto
Ichirô Sugai  ...  Saeki
Haruo Tanaka  ...  Ogawa
Emiko Yanagi  ...  Kaname
Kazuo Miyagawa  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: I was in a geisha mood after The Sea Is Watching and stumbled across this little gem of a film. Seemed like it went by in about fifteen minutes. They don't mess around in these older films. There was probably more cultural significance going on than I soaked in but it was still a nice little story about challenging mores in the geisha world. I'm not sure if there was a lesbian subtext or not but it did have a little girl power going on, albeit within a restricted context. Great performance by Michiyo Kogure as the patron of the geisha wannabe. I was surprised at how real these characters seemed as opposed to other depictions in other geisha films.

Summary: In the post-war Gion district of Kyoto, the geisha Miyoharu agrees to apprentice the 16 year-old Eiko, whose mother was a former geisha who had just died. After a year of training they have to find a large sum of money before Eiko can debut. Miyoharu borrows the money from the tea-house owner, Okimi, who in turn obtains the money from the businessman Kusuda. Kusuda fancies Eiko himself and wants to give Miyoharu to Kanzaki in order to close a large business deal. However both geishas have minds of their own and, going against tradition, want to be able to say no to clients.

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