Seijun Suzuki

Story of a Prostitute

Story of a Prostitute

Volunteering as a "comfort woman" on the Manchurian front, where she is expected to service hundreds of soldiers, Harumi is commandeered by the brutal Lieutenant Narita but falls for the sensitive Mikami, Narita's direct subordinate. Seijun Suzuki's Story of a Prostitute is a tragic love story as well as a rule-bending take on a popular Taijiro Tamura novel, challenging military and fraternal codes of honor, as seen through Harumi's eyes.

Film Info

  • Seijun Suzuki
  • Japan
  • 1965
  • 96 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.35:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #299

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Exclusive new video interviews with director Seijun Suzuki, production designer Takeo Kimura, and film critic Tadao Sato
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: a new essay by film critic David Chute

New cover by Neil Kellerhouse

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Exclusive new video interviews with director Seijun Suzuki, production designer Takeo Kimura, and film critic Tadao Sato
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: a new essay by film critic David Chute

New cover by Neil Kellerhouse

Story of a Prostitute
Cast
Tamio Kawachi
Private Mikami
Yumiko Nogawa
Harumi
Isao Tamagawa
Lieutenant Narita
Shoichi Ozawa
Sergeant Akiyama
Tomiko Ishikawa
Yuriko
Kazuko Imai
Sachiko
Megumi Wakaba
Sakae
Kayo Matsuo
Midori
Kentaro Kaji
Uno
Credits
Director
Seijun Suzuki
Screenplay
Hajime Takaiwa
Based on a story by
Taijiro Tamura
Producer
Kaneo Iwai
Cinematography
Kazue Nagatsuka
Production design
Takeo Kimura
Lighting
Masahiro Takamatsu
Editing
Akira Suzuki
Music
Naozumi Yamamoto
Assistant director
Masami Kuzuu

From The Current

A Salute to Seijun Suzuki
A Salute to Seijun Suzuki

Cinema lost one of its most venerated maestros of excess last week with the passing of director Seijun Suzuki, whose signature films from the 1960s exploded the conventions of the Japanese studio system. While honing his craft in dozens of films cran…

On Film / Short Takes
Feb 24, 2017
Story of a Prostitute

The first shot of the protagonist in Story of a Prostitute will look oddly familiar to fans of Japanese action films: an isolated, kimono-clad figure striding across a barren, almost volcanic landscape. It harks back to the conventional introductory …

By David Chute


Jul 26, 2005

Explore

Seijun Suzuki

Director

According to critic Manohla Dargis, “To experience a film by Japanese B-movie visionary Seijun Suzuki is to experience Japanese cinema in all its frenzied, voluptuous excess.” Suzuki played chaos like jazz in his movies, from the anything-goes yakuza thrillers Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill to the daring postwar dramas of human frailty Gate of Flesh and Story of a Prostitute to the twisted coming-of-age story Fighting Elegy; he never concerned himself with moderation, cramming boundless invention into his beautifully composed frames, both color and black-and-white. Suzuki first pursued film after returning home to Tokyo from service in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II and failing university entrance exams. Following an unsatisfying stint as an assistant director at Shochiku, Suzuki was lured in 1954 to the recently reopened Nikkatsu studio, which was hiring fresh talent to appeal to a new kind of youth audience. He flourished there for years, with such films as Take Aim at the Police Van and especially Youth of the Beast, a commercial breakthrough for him. Yet his bosses became more and more opposed to his increasingly surreal visual stylings and lack of attention to narrative coherence, and after he made Branded to Kill, which a superior deemed “incomprehensible,” they unceremoniously (and illegally) revoked his contract. Of course, as any true Suzuki fan (and they are legion) knows, the incomprehensibility is part of the fun, and today his sixties works are considered some of the most essential of the Japanese New Wave.