Tales of Chivalrous Women - Chivalrous Geisha – 1969
Japanese title - ''Nihon jokyo-den: kyokaku geisha"
Our third film in our series of films starring Takakura Ken is classic from 1969 . Here Takakaura Ken co-stars alongside Japanese female legend Fuiji Junko.
Chivalrous Geisha is the first in a series of films which Takakura Ken made with Fuji Junko sharing the limelight.
This is one of the rare films to find of which Takakura Ken made many. But with perseverance I managed to track down a company which where selling subtitled prints of these early Takakura Ken films ( normally you can only find these in Japanese with no subs if your lucky) , a real find in m opinion.
Getting back to the actual film , the film film opens introducing a Geisha girl named Shinji ( Fuji Junko) who works in the red light district of a Meiji era town of Hakakto.
Shinji works within a group of Geisha at the Tokita Geisha House. Known as the Geisha Bandits they more or less rob there guests of all their money before they can leave,but it's all done in a friendly manner...
When a Meiji era officer of the Imperial army gropes Shinji she strikes back by smacking him with a bottle. Though this puts her in trouble it actually gains her some respect.
Now Hakakta is coal mining community with many mines run by different owners ,though a local rich man has been buying up mines to corner the market.
The man in question is Osuga who also frequents the Tokita Geisha house , Tokita who has a thing for Shinji often puts on big parties for his friends which often result in pandemonium as Osuga throws money everywhere.
When a group of miners from the Shimada mine come to the geisha house , Shinji entertains them even though they really don't have the required funds for the service. It's here that where introduced to Shimada (Takakura Ken) who come to the Geisha house to find his men and take them back to the mine.
Shinji becomes interested in Shimada who runs his mine in a bid to be the best mine whilst maintaining a good working environment.
Where as Osuga runs his mines like slave ships with workers doing over long hours with no safety precautions just to get the job done as quick as possible.
Osuga wants to gain the Shimada mine but he has no offer that will entice Shimada. Also Shinji' grows a infatuation with Shimada which in turn puts out the nose of Osuga who Shinji plays up to to get what she needs.
Of course this all leads to a confrontation between the mines , and when another mine owner is pressured by Osuga and his men it leads to more problems which sees the Geisha's go on strike.
Which is quite a big thing as in this time they where the only real entertainment for men outside of their working lives.
Chivalrous Geisha is one of those brooding films which leads up to a big climax, Takakura Ken plays the peaceful caring man who is pushed to his limits when breaking point unleashes his fury.
Fuji Junko is brilliant and mesmerising as the Geisha Shinji, she really is very beautiful and you will watch the screen intensely ( if your a man) when ever she is on screen.
Chivalrous Geisha is a fine film and a must see for fans of the late Takakura Ken and Fuji Junko ( real name Sumiko Fuji) , from Fuji's elegant dances to the sword wielding action of Takakura Ken your have little time to think about anything else.
The film print which is a DVD is of good quality , though I found some of the night scenes a little to black in places and as Shimada has one of his fights at night by a river I found it hard to pick out some of the action .
But for most part colours where vibrant and brash with slightly film grain look, it really felt like I was sitting in a cinema in the late sixties watching a real classic.
Now this is a subtitled print I have viewed , one I got from a supplier in the USA. The subtitles have been transcoded over the original film really well and the translation is very good .
The DVD comes with the original trailer and a photo gallery of Black and White stills from the film.
I was very surprised to find this and other films in the series available to buy with Subtitles in English. As many will know that finding Japanese films ,especially the classics subtitled can be quite hard.
We review all our films on a projection screen with Projector and a surround sound system so we may get the best possible from the DVD/Bluray/VHS .
And we can rightly say that this DVD did not let us down even though it is from a specialist retailer of hard to find films in the USA.
Review Date – March 7th 2015
Reviewed By : Sertes Nake
Directed By - Yamashita Kosaku
Starring - Fuji Junko ( Sumiko Fuji)
Produced by - Toei Film
Release Year - 1969
Running Time - 95 minutes
Language - Japanese
English Subtitles - Only through Specialist DVD retailers
Fuji Junko as Shinji
Takakura Ken as Shimada