21 July 2019 | boblipton
Appearances and Reality
Jûkichi Uno is a tubercular patient, recovering at his home. Toshiro Mifune, his doctor, takes the bus to tend to him and meets Uno's wife, Kinuyo Tanaka. He does not know who she is. He thinks her a local, and asks for directions; she takes him into the house. As time goes on, they develop a yen for each other, and Uno suspects the worst.
Keisuke Kinoshita's drama offers a very un-Japanese view of morality, almost a Jewish one. For the characters in this drama, appearances are very little. What matters ultimately is what people do, not what they think or feel. Even so, those feelings are very important, and sometimes determine what they do; Miss Tanaka runs a fancy jewelry store in the Ginza. She has a fabulous diamond wedding ring, easily six carats, yet she leaves it off in her scenes with Mifune. These trigger resentment, self-loathing and suicidal thoughts in Uno; hope and a desire to abandon his responsibilities to his patient in Mifune; and shame in Miss Tanaka. The question, in the end, is not what they feel, or what others may believe. It is the actions of the people involved which are the only things which are important.