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05 January 2017

Film "A Geisha" Feminist study movie

1st time I watch this film was more than 20 years ago. When I was attending US university. I took a course titled "History of Japanese and Chinese women." During the 4 month-long semester, the attending students had to see the old Japanese film as part of course requirement and the students all discussed matter related to the theme of the film. The film was of course, played with subtitle.

The film was released in 1953, 8 years after Japan's surrender to the war. Japan regained sovereignty and new constitution that ensures basic human rights and women's suffrage became effective. The story took in Gion district, famous Geisha town in Kyoto.

So women including Geisha girls should have basic human rights as other people. The two geisha got in trouble with their clients. One younger apprentice geisha (called Maiko) was about to be raped by her client so she fought back and hurt him. That aggrevated the client. Then the older geisha who ran Geisha house and hired the apprentice had to compensate by sleeping with the client's big client so that both can reach a big business agreement.

She was used as a prostitute and a tool for the business. The apprentice was shocked to know that because she thought that is not what a Geisha does.

In the last scene, the older Geisha says "You are living in a new era. I want you to keep your body clean."

A sad fact of Geisha life.

Nowadays, such thing should not be done so often, I believe.

A lot of people seem to misunderstand job of Geisha. Geisha literally means "Artist" or "Entertainer."

Geisha is after all, entertainer. Just showing dances, and singing songs in the party room. Of course they escort guests by pouring sake and chatting with them. They do not sleep with guests.  

They are not prostitutes. They have never been like that even in the very old days. But what happened to them is sometimes Geisha needed a big money to make a debut buying expensive kimono. So easiest way to get that is have patrons. Geisha agencies preferred that way so that the agencies could get back the debut fund they owed their hired geishas. Some popular ones did not have patrons because she could payback the debut fund only by entertaining guests in party rooms.  

Geisha not only entertain adult men but they entertain families including children. No alcohol, and nasty or obscure talk in the room. Just enjoying shows, meals, casual talk and views from the window. Independent and decent women's occupation.

That should be the tradition we have to preserve.

15:46 Posted in Film, Society | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: history, women, feminism, geisha, kyoto

11 May 2016

French film "Une Nouvelle Amie (The New Girlfriend)" Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation

The story of the film reminds me of American transwoman, Caitlyn Jenner, who was a Olympic gold medalist named Bruce Jenner.

He turned himself to be a woman at the age of 65 but her sexual preference was the same as before. She loves women.

The story started with a funeral scene and a woman named Claire who lost her bestfriend making a speech.

Her late bestfriend, Laura had been married and had a girl. One day Claire entered Laura's house and saw David, husband of Laura, dressed in woman cloth.

Claire was at first upset but later gradually accepting his feminine part and then attracted to him being a woman. In the end, the two fell in love with each other as two women.

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation are two seperate matters. Never interlook each other.

The movie is about what is a big deal about gender and sexual orientation.

The actor who played David was excellent in terms of casting and his act as transwoman.

He was kind of a bi-sexual or neutral person but never disgusting. He was beautifully musculine as well as feminine.

In Japan it is said Gods or Buddha are asexual. Gender is what we, humanity defines.

Last week I attended one of LBGT events set forth for Tokyo Rainbow Parade 2016 held on 8 of May. The event was discussion on how family members of LGBT deal with their LGBT member and society. I met a Korean American woman whose daughter turned herself into male at the age of 16. She said she was encouraged by Jenner's coming out and was glad that her son could do the same much earlier age.

As the theme in this movie has become common recently, LGBT lifestyle has become more socially acceptable.

We may be living in a greatest transition period.

P.S. The French song, "Une femme avec moi" was just excellent as the movie as a whole. 

 

03:44 Posted in Film, France, Society | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: lgbt, gay, lesbian, women

30 December 2014

Film: 007 "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" Best in the series

I learnt the queen is called "Her majesty" by this film. Just like Emperor is called "His majesty."

The story is just as unrealistic as other films in the series. James Bond went to Switzerland to search for a bad guy who tried to spread poisonous chemical all over the world. While the search, he met a beautiful woman and fell in love with her.

Great thing about this film was that James Bond really fell in love with the woman and lastly married her. That was actually what her father asked him to do in exchange for the information Bond needed. But he really loved her.

The words her father told 007 about his daughter was very memorable. She divorced and lost her child and was in despair. She demanded too much but never met that demand so she could never make herself happy. Right, no one should not demand too much. I recently learnt why I've been not so happy these days by the words.

Interesting fashion was James Bond wore skirt as formal wear at dinner. Actually that was Scottish male formal wear. James Bond was said to be Scottish. It may be common with Japanese. Traditional Japanese male formal wear is skirt as well, actually longer.

DSC_3003.JPG

The Bond girl in the film seemed very advanced type of character in that era. She skied and drove very professionally and fought against a big man with her hands.

That made me think Bond girls in the series created original image of Charlie's Angels in 1970's. In fact introduction of the film is similar to Charlie's Angels TV shows, shadow image of women's figures.

Unfortunately, Bond girls in the series are killed. At least one in one film. That is the cliche of the series, making viewers sad. But maybe very realistic in that sense.

In this film this cliche was very passionately used. Very cruel way. It happened not in the beginning or in the middle like other films but in the end, which was very dramatic. That really made viewers sad.

That really impress viewers and let them learn how clever the film makers were.

Please see the film and you can share the same opinion with me.

23:54 Posted in Britain, Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: women, 007, kimono

29 June 2014

Great words from a Canadian principal

I have recently become a big fan of TV drama "Hanako and Anne" aired daily on NHK, Japan's public broadcasting station.

It is a story on a real woman who lived between end of 19th century and 1960's. The woman's name was MURAOKA Hanako. She was a translator who translated famous English books including "Anne of Green Gables" and "The Prince and the pauper."

She was born in a poor family but she could attend most prestigious girls' school established by a Canadian Christian missionaries in Tokyo because of charity. She learned hi-society manner and English there.

After she graduated from the school, she became a teacher, publisher, translator and radio announcer. She was also a sufferagist.

Surprised to know there was a life like hers. She met great people in life. Her life was far from average women at that period.

She lived through the second world war. During the air raid on her town she translated Canada's famous children's book "Anne of Green Gables", which she was given from her Canadian friend who left Japan because hostility erupted. In the war time, she could never expose herself to be English speaker in public. English was treated as the enemy's language. But she kept on translating the book although she never knew who would publish it.  

Why could she hold on hopes in such severe time?

Maybe because she remembered words from her school's principal, Ms. Blackmore.

"If some decades later, when you look back on your time with us, you feel these were the happiest days in your life. Then I must say your education will have been a failure.

Life must improve as it takes its course. Your youth, you spend in preparation because the best things are never in the past but in the future. "

That was very impressive words.

In fact, her translation of the book was published 7 years after the war ended and became a best-selling novel, giving hopes to Japanese in the post-war era.

Yes, we should not give up hopes and look to the future, never look back the past.

Then we will make things better than the present.

 

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