An Inlet of Muddy Water (1953) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Story 1 : "The Thirteenth Night". Seki turns up at her parents' house in the dead of night, where she breaks down and says she cannot continue to live with her husband, a rich man to whom the family is indebted. After a tearful and long discussion, they convince her to return. On the way home, the rickshaw driver turns out to be an old school friend, and they reminisce about the old days. .... Story 2 : "The Last Day Of The Year". Mine is a hard-working maid in the house of a miserly, slave-driving old woman who is burdened by a wastrel son, who pesters the old woman and her new husband for money to pay off gambling debts. Mine's uncle is her only surviving relative, and the man who raised her, who is very ill and needs money to repay a loanshark. Mine promises to borrow the money from her employer but, although the old woman initially agrees, she breaks that promise on the due date, New Year's Eve. Can honest Mine resist the temptation to steal ? ..... Story 3: "An Inlet of Muddy Water". The trials and tribulations of a group of young to middle-aged whores. All the women in this particular bawdy house look up to and admire the stunning O-Riki. But O-Riki is nevertheless troubled. Gen, a shabby coolie, hangs around and pesters her, despite having a long-suffering wife and a young son, who calls O-Riki "The Demon". One night, desperate for clients, several of the girls lunge at and literally drag some passers-by inside. One of these men is cultured and gentlemanly, and becomes O-Riki's regular client. She looks forward to his visits and hopes he will marry her. Meanwhile, Gen's wife alternates between solicitousness and harassment, and home life becomes tough.

  • Three stories about suffered women in the Meiji era. Story 1: Jusan'ya/The Thirteenth Night - A young woman abandons her family, encounters a man she fancied in her adolescence, and leaves him without neither of them declaring their mutual love. Story 2: Otsugomori/On the Last Day of the Year - Forced by poverty and family needs, a maid is forced to take money from her employers, but her fault is covered by the fact the employers' only son has taken so much more money that her two yen are not found out. Story 3: Nigorie/Troubled Waters - In the red light district, a man falls into decay and poverty, and ultimately loses his honor and life for the love of geisha.

  • Three short tales from stories by Ichiyo Higuchi. In one, a young woman is degraded by her family after an arranged marriage. Another deals with the troubles heaped upon a young servant by her family and the wealthy people who employ her. Yet another tells of a prostitute and her hopes of finding a new, respectable life.


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