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This Film presents the "Yamanaka Tokiwa" picture scroll said to be the work of Iwasei Matabei, an artist who lived in the 16th–17th centuries. The scroll tells the then-famous puppet theater story of two members of a samurai family, Ushiwaka-maru and his mother, Lady Tokiwa. Ushiwaka-maru is the infant name of Minomoto Yoshitsune, a 12th-century, who is one of the most beloved historical characters in Japan. Lady Tokiwa sets off on a journey to see her son, who lives in northern Japan, quite far from her Kyoto home. On the way, she is cruelly attacked and murdered by bandits in Yamanaka town. Then the ghost of the resentful Lady Tokiwa appears before her son. Thus learning the tragic end of his mother, Ushiwaka-maru slays the entire gang of bandits to avenge her. The film revives the world of the "Yamanaka Tokiwa" picture scroll through pictures and words, with the newly composed joruri music (ballad and shamisen instrumental accompaniment) composed for the film.

Production: Jiyu Kobo Co. Ltd.

Screenplay, editor: Haneda Sumiko

Cinematographer: Soda Kikumatsu, Wakabayashi Hiromitsu

Soundtrack: Tsuruzawa Seiji (shamisen), Semba Kiyohiko (Percussion)

Joruri singer: Toyotake Rosetayu

Cast: Kataoka Kyoko

Narrator: Kita Michie

Format/screen ratio: 35mm, 1:1.37, Color

Running time: 100 min., 24 frames/sec.

Language: Japanese

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur