The fishing fleet goes out, it comes back, but it doesn't make enough money, and owner Chishû Ryû's partners can't take the loss any more. They want him to sell out, but it would leave him millions of yen in debt. He has an offer to fiannce it if he will marry his younger daughter, Michiyo Kogure to the lender's son. His older daughter, widowed Yôko Katsuragi also feels the stirring of affection. One of women whose property is backing Ryû's loans wants her property back. His partners turn out to be gangsters. The Fishing Ministry has decided there are too many ships, and the price offered drops in half.
It's a mess, and Ryû has a bigger, more emotional, more active role than any I've seen him in before.
For writer-director Keisuke Kinoshita, this movie is way out of his comfort zone, and the vast number of characters and subplots that connect it together are not solved with his usual panache. However, it is clear that while the men -- ship-owners, fishermen, gangsters, shop-owners, ministry bureaucrats -- may be the ones running about, doing things, it is the women who use the secrets of a lifetime to actually get things done, to war with each other, and ultimately solve their own plots and many of those of the men by revealing secrets. It's not one of Kinoshita's best; in the end, it's a potboiler, with his usual attention to characters. Good enough.
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