The girl in Rumor

 Director: Naruse Mikio


Full Movie

#Chiba Sachiko as Kunie, eldest daughter
#Mihashi Koh as Kenkichi, Kunie's father
#Shiomi Yo as Keisaku, the grandfather of the daughters and father-in-law of Kenkichi
#Umezono Tatsuko as Kimiko, the second daughter
#Itoh Tomoko as Oyou, mistress of Kenkichi
#Fujiwara Kamatari as uncle of the daughters, brother of Kenkichi (or his wife)

Kenkichi, a widower, was operating a sake shop which was succeeded from his wife's father. His eldest daughter Kunie supported him after her mother's death. The time was changing and the traditional style of the shop was not successful. Along the street a number of shops were closed and new shops opened, "What shop will come next?" the neighbors exchanged such remarks day and day.

  The second daughter Kimiko was a modern girl who enjoyed her life cheerfully like as her grandfather, who retired his job and spent his time in his hobbies, leaving all the business trouble in his son-in-law's hands. Yet Keisaku knew the time was changing and their shop was not able to manage the change in the business. Poverty demoralizes. It was him who first recognized something wrong in their products -- the taste of sake became slightly different, but he said nothing.

One day, Kunie's uncle brought her an offer of marriage. Kunie was almost past marriageable age. The family of the Sato, would-be-husband, was very rich and Kunie began to accept the offer that would help her father's business. In addition, she knew her father Kenkichi had a long time lover Oyou, who was running a small pub restaurant and visiting her pub was the only pleasure in the daily life of Kenkichi. If Kunie married and left the house, Oyou could join the family easily. It was the idea of Kunie, an old-fashioned girl who always cared people around her first, before herself.

Oyou, who was also old-fashioned woman suspected that Kunie was sacrificing herself in order to receive Oyou in the family that made her feel guilty, but Kunie said definitely "No, not at all. It is my decision for my happiness."

Kunie asked Kimiko to come with her for the day of omiai, marriage arrangement. " OK", Kimiko said, "then you must pay me." That's the way of Kimiko, who could coax her uncle sweetly as well.

Ironically enough, Sato, the would-be-husband, liked Kimiko more than Kunie, and the two began to date secretly. The uncle and father had been agreed that they would not tell Kunie for a while that Sato wanted Kimiko, not Kunie. However, one day  Kunie coincidently found the two were dating. Kunie was shocked but said nothing to her sister. Instead, she told Kimiko they must receive Oyou as new mother. Kimiko snapped "No, I don't like it. I cannot call her mother."

Kunie told her idea to grandfather Keisaku, who accepted it at once. Keisaku also told Kunie his worry about the change of sake's taste. Later Kunie questioned her father about the taste of sake, father denied but Kunie was not convinced. 

On the day of Kimiko's birthday party, Kenkichi found Kimiko's secret date and became furious. That day Oyou was invited to the party at which Kenkichi was planning to announce that Oyou would become a member of the family. Kimiko refused to accept Oyou, then Kenkichi revealed that Oyou was Kimiko's biological mother. Shocked, Kimiko tried to leave home, just then, policemen entered the shop. The quality of sake did not satisfy the regulation, someone might have informed police.

Kenkichi apologized his father-in-law, but Keisaku said, "It's OK. That's the way it goes. It will be better after all."

The old style, selling sake by measure, was getting obsolete, it was a time when the shop owners had to consider new system. The neighbors chatted, "What's next?"

<Maya's critic>

Japanese movies demand a lot of guess work, especially human relationships. We don't know how long time ago Kenkichi's wife died, but he and Oyou's affair must have started long before the death of the wife. The wife knew their relationship and Oyou gave birth to a daughter, Kimiko. Knowing the fact, the Kenkichi's wife, that is,  Kunie's mother, adopted Kimiko as her own daughter.  She loved Kimiko as well as Kunie, that's why Kimiko had such carefree nature.

In old Japanese movies two types of woman were often appeared in comparison. One is modern and selfish, and one is old-fashioned devoting type.  Usually the spectators' empathy is in the devoting, self-sacrificing type. The more the selfish girl behaves selfish, the more the empathy becomes stronger and at the same time the spectators begin vexing, irritating. When the irritation reached to the peak, which was tactfully led by the director, the fact was revealed that Kimiko's real mother was Oyou. The spectators got a catharsis.

Oyou's restaurant must be financed by Kenkichi when the business was successful. In the middle of the story Oyou was going to sell the restaurant, she said the agent of real estate that she needed some money immediately. She didn't tell why she needed money, but we can guess easily that she was going to use the money for Kenkichi, for his business, or preparation of daughter's marriage.

Kenkichi asked her "Are you sure?", Oyou said "I am sure. Please do not worry about me. I will buy a small house, I can take care of myself." She never asked Kenkichi to marry her. If Kunie did not offer the chance to Oyou, Oyou would accepted her position as mistress for ever.

The actress who played Kunie became Mrs. Naruse, the director's wife.

Don't you want to express your Website, YouTube Channel and so on, in Japanese?