Home Diary

1938   Director: Shimizu Hiroshi


Full movie

#Uehara Ken as Tsuji (Umeko's husband)

#Kuwano Michiko as Umeko (Tsuji's wife, who worked as barmaid)

#Saburi Shin as Fujii, who changed his surname to Ubukata after he married Ubukata Shinako

#Takasugi Sanae as Ubukata Shinako (wife of Fujii, that is, Ubukata's wife)

#Miyake Kuniko as Kikue, Fujii's former lover

Story; (based on the novel by Yoshiya Nobuko)

A young couple walking in a field. The man, Fujii, was in university uniform. Fujii said the woman, Kikue, "I am sorry, really. My family bankrupted due to my brother's failure in stock market. But I cannot give up my study now that is only a year to go." Kunie said nothing, Fujii snapped, "I know this is my egoism after all. I am disgusting man!"

Kunie sat in the grass and said, "Do not mention it anymore. We have agreed already."

"Thank you. Did you bring that?" "Yes"

The two took out their love letters and burned them.

"One consolation is, we could keep ourselves clean, that is my self-esteem." Fujii said. It means their relation was platonic love.

Later we know that Fujii accepted an offer of arrangement marriage as son-in-law of the Ubukatas and got financial support from the Ubukatas.


Next couple; Tsuji, Fujii's close friend, and Umeko. Umeko was a barmaid, and their relationship was strongly opposed by his father, who was a doctor. Umeko asked Tsuji's decision on their marriage. "You are afraid of your parents." Against Umeko's accusation, Tsuji told Umeko. "I have made up my mind on marriage. What I am worrying is, how to support ourselves." Umeko said she could earn money by working hard, but Tsuji would never accept such thing -- a man is supported by a wife who is working as barmaid -- that is a shame! Then Umeko offered another choice. She remembered his remark that he was offered a job in information  department of Manchurian Railway as photo technician, photo was his hobby.

"But it is Dalian, China. Do you really want to go?"

"I will go anywhere with you." When Umeko finished her words, suddenly Fujii entered the room.

  Umeko stood up "Oh, hello Mr. Fujii, goodbye!" and left the room immediately. Watching her leave, Fujii said Tsuji, "She is not good to you. Think carefully."

However, against his advise, Tsuji and Umeko went Dalian and several years passed.


 Fujii, now married and changed his surname to Ubukata.

 In a morning his wife Shinako asked her husband before leave. "What would you like for dinner today?" She really wanted to please her husband. "That is not man's business. It's up to you." From such small talk, we can see they were happily lived. As he was about to leave for work an old housemaid stopped him, "You got a letter, sir."

It was from Tsuji. Shinako said, "From Mr. Tsuji? - who was the person in the rumor of the love affair?"

"Yes, he is. Selfish man. He will come back Japan soon, and asked me to find a house for his family. So I count on you for this issue."

He didn't say much but he was pleased for his old friend's return. He passed the letter to Shinako.


Later in his laboratory (he became a successful researcher after university), he got a visitor, it was Tsuji who arrived earlier than his letter and wanted to assure the house. He didn't want to disturb Ubukata so asked about the house and next moment he started to leave, Ubukata stopped him.

"Are you going to leave so soon? NO, it is not the way of old friendship. Let's have a drink and let me know your about."


Ubukata's house; in the kitchen Shinako was struggling for new recipe with the old housemaid, then a boy (commonly in liquor shop nearby which installed telephone) came in and gave a message from the husband.

"Madam, your Mister's message - he will dine with Mr. Tsuji so he will back home late."

Disappointed, Shinako complained, "Why he didn't invite his friend to our house? OK. We two eat these dishes."


Ubukata and Tsuji was dining in a Japanese restaurant. Ubukata apologized his unfavorable advise against Umeko, Tsuji said, "Don't say that. It was a long time ago. I know you don't understand love much."

"Don't be silly. I know what is love."

Tsuji didn't know the relation between Ubukata and Kikue.

He called Ubukata Fujii, and Ubukata corrected him "You said again! I am not Fujii but Ubukata. That is a problem of son-in-law."

Tsuji felt that he was a loser but at least he was successful in his job as a technician and researcher of negative of photo, Ubukata was pleased his friend's success and encouraged him.


Shinako found a house for Tsuji's family and in the night Ubukata and Shinako visited the house. Shinako was a little bit awkward because she thought Umeko was modern and advanced type of women, comparing with Umeko, Shinako was very naive.

At the Tsuji house Umeko behaved insolence, tried to smoke cigarette. Umeko asked his husband to give her matches Tsuji pulled a long face and  threw the matches.  Shinako took the matches and lit up for Umeko's  cigarette.


After Ubukata couple left Tsuji reproached Umeko "Why did you smoke in front of them?"

"I have been smoking in front of anyone. Why should I quit for them?" Umeko snapped.


On the way back home Ubukata reproached Shinako, "Why did you light her cigarette?"

"Because, I thought I had to do something to lighten up the mood."


Umeko took along Shinako to movie theater. Shinako enjoyed a lot but at the same time she was not at ease, because she went out without telling her husband. She was going to phone her husband that she was in Shinjuku. Umeko teased Shinako,

"What a baby you are! Do you need your husband's permission each time? Your life looks boring. "

"No, no, it is not so. Just I feel safe if he knows where I am."

Then Umeko found two women in the lobby. It was Kikue and her sister Yaeko. Umeko was a customer of Kikue's beauty shop in Dalian, China. Kikue opened her shop in Japan recently. Umeko introduced Kikue to Shinako, who gave Shinako a name card of her shop expecting new customer.


Meanwhile Ubukata called Tsuji to come his working place at once. Ubukata wanted him to meet someone, who was Tsuji's mother, stepmother. Due to her position as stepmother she was reserved and secretly support the stepson who enraged his father because of unfavorable marriage with Shinako. Ubukata and the mother discussed and they planed to reunite the father and son. Tsuji was reluctant at first, "I am a bad son, I have no face to meet my father." but the mother soothed him. Finally Tsuji decided to visit his father with his son Shokichi, a grandchild to his father. Still Tsuji was reluctant because he was persuaded not to take Umeko in the first meeting, that was a tactic, Ubukata insisted.


At Kikue's shop; Umeko asked Kikue if she was married, Yaeko, Kikue's sister, answered instead of her sister. "My sister is very naive, having no interest in men, after she lost him." According Yaeko's story Umeko found that Fujii, Kikue's lost love, was Ubukata and told them Shinako was Ubukata's wife. Kikue was surprised to hear that but denied the relation with Fujii simply and clearly.


On the way home Ubukata and Tsuji met Shinako, Ubukata said Shinako they would need her help and discuss about it later. It is good news, Ubukata assured his wife.

Before left for their homes Shinako said Tsuji that she and Umeko went Shinjuku together today and Umeko went to a beauty shop and would be back late today.  Ubukata was surprised Shinako and Umeko were getting along so quickly. "You two must have wives' agreement." He said jokingly.

"Umeko-san is not so insincere as she looks." Shinako protected Umeko.

"Next, you might start smoking." the husband concluded.


At Tsuji's home; Tsuji felt uncomfortable for visiting his father behind Umeko. He looked a photo which presumably he himself took - in the photo Umeko looked so beautiful. He mumbled to the photo, "Be patient, Ume."


At home as Shinako helped the husband in exchange his suits to kimono, asked him "Are you still angry?" "No, I am not." Ubukata denied.

"I know you are, " Shinako  added jokingly "OK, I confess one more thing. We went to movie also. Sorry."

"Well, well," Ubukata smiled wryly.

"I am sorry." Shinako said again cheerfully.

Then the husband realized the name card of Kikue on the table. It reminded his old lover, but he was not sure if it was she or not. But as Shinako described the feature of Kikue he was convinced.

Ubukata told Shinako that he lodged Kikue and Yaeko's house in student time and he played shogi (Japanese chess) often with the sisters' father. Shinako told him Umeko visited her beauty shop today. 


Next morning, in the residential area of the beauty shop Kikue tried to wake up Yaeko. "Get up Yaeko! It is 8 o'clock already. Girls (employees) will come soon."

The doorbell rang. "Oh, they came so early." Yaeko hurriedly climbed down the steps and opened the door where she found Ubukata.

"Sister, he came! Are you going to meet him? Or should I talk to him?"

"I will see him. I have no reason to avoid him."


"It's a long time not to see. " Ubukata said.

After a long pause, Kikue said.

"What brought you here?"

"I heard you met my wife."

Ubukata was told that Kikue's father died. He stood up and expressed his condolence. After the father's death Kikue and Yaeko  went Dalian where they worked at a beauty shop operated by their acquaintance.

Ubukata; "I feel good, you are doing very well. "

Kikue; "That's why you could come here? Because I manage myself?"

Ubukata; "Don't talk like that. "

Kikue; "Oh? Then you say you don't come here to silence me to your wife and Mrs. Tsuji?"

Ubukata; "No, I wanted to see you anyway, and if you need help I'd like to do so. "

Kikue refused to take any help but Ubukata offered her a plan of new place for the shop which was located Ginza where his friend opened his pharmacy and his building needed new tenants on the second and the third floor. Beauty shop was one of his option. Ubukata said Kikue he would introduce Kikue to the friend. Kikue hesitated but Yaeko jumped in delight, "A shop in Ginza! How wonderful!"

Girls arrived. Before leave Ubukata said Kikue, "Maybe my wife will visit you."

Kikue smiled. "Please do. And don't worry I will never say a thing."


Ubukata visited the pharmacy, operated by his friend Kubo, who was busy in opening his shop, which looked very successful. Kubo was pleased Ubukata's offer of beauty shop and they went to a cafe for further discussion. 

While they were talking Umeko entered the cafe.

Ubukata tried to avoid her but she found him at once. Kubo urged Ubukata to introduce him to her. They started to talk about new tenant of his building. Umeko said she knew a good beauty shop. Ubukata grimaced, but Kubo liked new option. It turned out that Umeko's recommendation was Kikue's shop. So the two recommended the same shop, Kubo made up his mind.


On the way back home, Umeko asked Ubukata,

"You are so quick. How do you explain about Kikue-san?"

"My old friend. That's all. And this is the fact."

Umeko implied Ubukata and Kikue's old relation, but Ubukata said definitely,

"I am happy now and you also are going to be happy. Please don't say anything more than the fact, don't make a matter complicated."

"Yes, I hope we will have better life."

"Yes, you will." Ubukata assured her.

She continued,

"This looks like an exchange condition, but please listen. Mr. Kubo said he needs another tenant on the third floor, didn't he? Will you ask him to rent the floor for my husband? I want him to have his own photo studio. I want show his parents he is doing good.  If you help me, I promise not to say stupid things. Please."

"OK. It is not bad idea. I will consider."



The day of visiting Tsuji's father. Shinako was asked by her husband to keep Umeko with her for the day.

"I pray you and your father become reconciled." Shinako said Tsuji before they left.

"Thank you. And please take care of Umeko." Tsuji replied.


Soon after Umeko entered Ubukata's house from the backdoor.

"I waited them to leave. If Shokichi saw me he must cry so I hid myself."

"OK. You are my guide today, aren't you?"

"No, you are my sitter. Well, let me see, where should we go today?"

To Umeko, Shinako said she wanted to visit Kikue's beauty shop. Umeko laughed and agreed.


At the beauty shop; behind Shinako who was making her hair, Umeko and Yaeko chatted in whisper.

"Ignorance is bless." "I pity her."

What Umeko did not know was, that day her husband and her son visited the grandfather.

"My husband and Mr. Ubukata lived in Hachioji in childhood, so Mr. Ubukata pulled my husband to visit their family graveyard. " It was the strategy between the two husbands and Shinako.

Yaeko said Kikue accepted Kubo's offer finally, so the four Kikue, Yaeko, Umeko and Shinako, decided to visit the new shop place.


At Tsuji clinic, Tsuji's house in Hachioji;

Tsuji's father was a strict man. But he welcomed his son and grandson, especially the grandson made him happy. The two men agreed they must stop the current unpleasant situation. 

When old Tsuji hugged the grandson he found the boy had fever.


Kubo's building. Surrounded by four beautiful ladies good-natured, woman lover Kubo was very happy. Umeko wanted to concluded her issue of photo studio for her husband. Kubo was already heard it from Ubukata. It seems working very well.


Tsuji's house; Shokichi was in bed. Tsuji's father found the child had long time digestive trouble. He accused parents, especially mother who didn't notice the problem.

Ubukata came after he visited graveyard and his elder brother's house. Tsuji's father wanted to talk with him alone.

The father thanked Ubukata for his efforts to make an opportunity for family reunion, then said.

"Shuzo-kun (Ubukata's first name), I want to know your true opinion. Do you think there is a possibility to separate my son Ichiro (first name) from the woman who lived with him? Of course I will pay her some."

"I am sorry, sir. But I cannot say anything." Ubukata said.

"OK. Then I ask in other way. If the woman joined our family, can she behave as a good wife of honorable family? Do you think she is acceptable woman to me?"

"I cannot judge anyone. This is too much burden for me. I am sorry."

"OK. I don't ask you anymore. I know she is not a woman you can recommend."

"No, sir. I didn't say so."

"I see."


Tsuji's home; Umeko waited her husband and son. Shinako came in. Shinako told Umeko her son Shokichi got ill and luckily Ichiro's father was a doctor so they stayed the grandfather's house for a while. Shinako invited Umeko to Ubukata's house that night, but Umeko refused.

"Now I understand. If Shokichi is sick why they don't call me? You had a plot for this, all of you. Shikichi will not come back again."

Umeko was upset. Shinako denied, but Umeko continued,

"If you don't know, it is Shuzo-san's idea. He hate me, especially because I know his secret. He and Kikue-san was in love. He abandoned her in order to get education fund by marrying rich family's daughter. He is such disgusting man."

Shinako was shocked. Umeko continued further,

"You are guilty also. You made two women unhappy. One is Kikue-san. One is me. After Tsuji met you he began to want me be better wife like you."

Shinako rushed out. Umeko started to cry.


At Ubukata's home; Shuzo expected Shinako would come back with Umeko, but Shinako was alone, just standing before him.

"I had terrible time. Umeko-san accused me to help your plan that you tried to separate her son from her."

"She is such kind of person, always suspicious."

Shinako continued,

"Tell me the truth about you and Kikue-san. I heard everything."

Shinako did not withdraw, Shuzo faced Shinako,

"She is just an acquaintance, that's all. Can't you believe your own husband? Are you going to listen a person who is in desperation?

Listen, what I care is a happiness of you and me, nothing else. Don't be absurd. You can trust only your own husband, me. If you want, you can go and ask Kikue-san."

Confused, Shinako cried.


Tsuji (father)'s house; Ichiro sat beside his son's sick bed when he got a call from Shuzo.

Shuzo told Ichiro that Umeko left home, Ichiro hurriedly returned home. At home Shinako showed a letter which Umeko wrote. In which Umeko said that she is useless person so it's better to go somewhere and disappear.

Shinako felt guilty, Ichiro said,

"It is not your fault. You have done for us hoping we'll be better. Ume hates losing and she has suspicions nature. She has done this mindlessly. She took photos of Shokichi from our family album. I will try to find her."


Tsuji (father)'s house; Shokichi was getting well and want to go out. Tsuji (father) was satisfied, he thought Ichiro gave up about Umeko

Ichiro was going to his company after long holiday, Shokichi saw his father off.  Behind the shadow Umeko was watching.

After Ichiro disappeared Umeko called Shokichi, who ran to his mother, the maid followed him. Umeko introduced herself to the maid and asked her to give an hour to spend with her son. The maid was at a loss, then the grandmother appeared. Umeko asked the grandmother to give time with her son.

"I will not kidnap him. Please."

The grandmother said,

"Please come our house where you can see him."

"Can I cross your threshold?"

"Don't be silly. Please come."


Tsuji (father)'s house; The father listened Umeko's visit from his wife and said, "Good. Operation, a big operation is needed."

He faced Umeko and said she has no right to her son, because it was she who left her husband and son.

"I lost myself for a moment." Umeko excused painfully.

"Mother should never leave her child whatever happened."

His remark got her, but she could not give up, the father order her to leave.

"Get out of here! "

"No! sir,"

Finally, Umeko stood up and challenged the father,

"Your people are so stupid? Do you believe the child is Ichiro's?  I am a bitch, as you think. So only I know who is his father."

The father was shocked, Umeko continued,

"Nobody wants to raise stranger's child, isn't it? So give me back the child. I will take him."

"Whoever he is, I cannot give the child into your hand, get out!"

The father shouted.


On the mountain road, Umeko was walking alone, crying.


At Ubukata's house; Ubukata and Kubo played shogi (Japanese chess).

Kubo said the beauty shop would open soon and invited the couple on the opening day. But Shinako said she would not attend because she did not like to see Kikue. Kubo wanted to know the reason -- it related with his business, if a potential customer had a complain he had to check. Then Tsuji came in. Ubukata introduced Kubo to Tsuji.

Tsuji said he could not find Umeko yet and asked Shinako to give his house's key, he needed autumn clothes for Shokichi - Shinako went to his home with him.

The two men Ubukata and Kubo continued to play chess, Kubo expressed his sympathy for Tsuji. Kubo knew his wife left him and asked Shuzo jokingly, "By the way, are your home all right? Be careful, your wife knew everything, you and Kikue-san."

Ubukata was not disturbed, "I know you heard from her sister Yaeko. She is so talkative. I really sorry for Kikue-san now."


Tsuji and Shinako walking to Tsuji's house;

Tsuji told Shinako she should not blame her husband and he too,  would forgive and accept Umeko after all these things. Shinako determined she must be good to her husband -- Tsuji said, yes, you must be good to your husband.


Ubukata's house;

Kubo asked Shuzo again,

"Was it really true, there was nothing between you and Kikue-san? Are you sure?"

And Kubo confessed that he was thinking to propose marriage to Kikue, but he could not ask her yet. Ubukata told Kubo's intension to Shinako and decided to visit Kikue at once.


Tsuji's house; Tsuji packed Shokichi's clothing. He was whistling -- the conversation with Shinako made his heart light, yes I would accept Umeko as she is.


At Kikue's beauty shop; Ubukata told Kubo's marriage offer to Kikue and he added, "I think this is very good occasion, besides there is a groundless rumor about you and me. I want to clear this matter."

To the remark of Ubukata, Kikue quickly uttered,

"No, not such thing."

Her quick response seemed convinced Shinako.

Then Yaeko announced sudden visitor, Tsuji.


Tsuji told them Umeko committed suicide and Tsuji, Shinako, and Ubukata took a taxi which waited outside.

Before leave Shuzo whispered Kikue, "Thank you for keeping lie. It is painful but good for everyone's happiness."

"I also pray your happiness."

Kikue whispered back.


At a hospital; Umeko in bed. A policeman asked the doctor her condition, the doctor said not sure yet.


In the taxi;

Ubukata; "It's terrible."

Tsuji; "Yes. But luckily she was hospitalized at a forest sanatorium.


At the hospital; the three arrived. Tsuji rushed over Umeko's bed, "I don't want to lose her, please help her." He asked Ubukata as a doctor.

The hospital doctor gave a letter to Shinako, which was written by Umeko. It reads;

"I was bad mother and stupid. In Hachioji I blurted out that Shokichi was not Tsuji Ichiro's child, because I wanted him back. But he is really Ichiro's son. I swear it with my death.

Mrs. Shinako, you are good person, I trust you sincerely. Please make Shokichi happy. This is the last request of Ume who is going to die.

I pray the happiness for all of you who have futures. Ume

To Mrs. Shinako


On the mountain road; Shuzo and Shinako are talking in walk, they are pleased everything goes well and Ubukata admitted his opinion about Umeko was wrong.


<Maya's critic>

Probably even Japanese, especially to young generation, this movie is not so easy to follow. The moral and the tradition of those times are quite different from today and the expression of each character's mind is performed in subtle way.

Even the first names of Fujii, later Ubukata and Tsuji were not known in the first part of the story.

Shuzo and Kikue were in love but they did not have any sexual relationship, if they did Fujii would marry her at any cost. Kikue knew his nature and accepted his realistic decision. She said to him, "Be good to your wife.",

"Thank you."

Fujii appreciated her kind remarks. Kikue added, "Is she beautiful?"

"I don't know. I have not met her yet."

It was not so uncommon in those days, sometimes a newly wedding couple did not see each other until the wedding day.

Anyway Fujii married Ubukata Shinako and changed his surname to Ubukata. In the story the author often made Umeko say, youshi (joins wife's family by marriage) is not manly.

Yet, the author Yoshiya Nobuko described Shuzo as idealized man - he controlled himself against sexual temptation, nevertheless he felt some responsibility on Kikue. At the beauty shop he asked Kikue, "Asking such thing might be my arrogance, but did you go Dalian because of me? "

Kikue denied, "No, not at all. It is because our father died, and I got an offer to work there."

The author described Kikue as independent woman, and Kubo, who proposed to Kikue admired her as career woman also.

In the movie, you might notice that the women wore kimono and western dress equally, they enjoyed both styles very well. Men, too, and in case of men they felt relaxed in kimono at home particularly.

Women knew very well how kimono and western dress attracted men in different occasions.


About the author, Yoshiya Nobuko (1896 - 1973);

Her romantic novels fascinated young girls in Taisho and Showa eras.  Many of her works were made into movies.

She lived with her partner Chiyo more than 50 years long. In the family register Chiyo was described as  adopted daughter of Nobuko, but it is said they were lesbian.

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