A journalist interviews an old woman who was forced into prostitution, just like many other Japanese women working in Asia outside of Japan during the first half of the 20th century. She worked in a Malaysian brothel called Sandakan 8.
Asako lives in Osaka. She falls in love with Baku, a free-spirit. One day, Baku suddenly disappears. Two years later, Asako now lives in Tokyo and meets Ryohei. He looks just like Baku, but has a completely different personality.
Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.
Kitagawa is an engineer charged with construction of a gigantic tunnel through the Japan Alps for the transportation of equipment in the building of the massive Kurobe Dam. The tunnel ... See full summary »
Kei Kumai, Japan's greatest director, is, sadly, virtually unknown in the United States. I have seen four of his films: Sandakan 8, Death Of A Tea Master, Shinobugawa, and Deep River. They are all amazing and wonderful, but to me the greatest is Shinobugawa. It is the story of a young man and a young woman who, despite suffering and tragedy, find their way to each other. Kumai tells the story with such sensitivity and intelligence and emotion that I was moved to the very depths of my soul. The music by Teizo Matsumura is perfect. It is a great tragedy that not one of Kei Kumai's movies is available on video. I can only hope that this great man's genius will soon be recognized and his films will be made available.
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