Sansho Dayu / Gion Bayashi

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Kenji Mizoguchi

We are based in South London near Croydon, UK, and if preferred this item can be picked up by appointment. Just e-mail here. I also welcome the old fashioned cheque and po as it is cheaper to process and all orders are sent off same day as cheque received.


    Actors: Kinuyo Tanaka, Michiyo Kogure, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Ayako Wakao
    Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
    Format: PAL
    Language: English
    Region: Region 2 (UK & Europe)
    Number of discs: 2
    Classification: PG

    Studio: Eureka Entertainment Ltd
    DVD Release Date: 19 Nov 2007
    Run Time: 210 minutes

Gion Bayashi

Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953

Gion Bayashi is a drama set in the world of the geisha, contrasting two different types of geisha Eiko (Wakao Ayako), a sixteen-year old orphan who wishes to be taken in and trained, and Miyoharu (Kogure Michiyo), an older, more experienced geisha, who agrees to mentor the younger woman living under the same roof in difficult personal circumstances. A fascinating insight into the lives of geisha in 1950s Japan.

The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Mizoguchi’s films for the first time on home video in the UK Gion Bayashi is only available as a twinpack with Sansho Dayu.

Sansho Dayu

Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954

Based on an ancient legend, as recounted by celebrated author Mori Ogai (in his short story of the same name, written in 1915), and adapted by Japanese director Mizoguchi Kenji, Sansho Dayu is both distinctively Japanese and as deeply affecting as a Greek tragedy. Described in its opening title as “one of the oldest and most tragic in Japan’s history”, Mizoguchi depicts an unforgettably sad story of social injustice, family love, personal sacrifice, and fateful tragedy.

Set in Heian era (11th century) Japan, it follows an aristocratic woman, Tamaki (played by Tanaka Kinuyo, who also stars in Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu Monogatari), and her two children, Zushio (Hanayagi Yoshiaki) and Anju (Kagawa Kyoko), who are separated by feudal tyranny from Tamaki’s husband. When the children are kidnapped and sold into slavery to the eponymous “Sansho” (Shindo Eitaro), the lives of each of the family members follow very different paths each course uniquely, and insufferably, tragic.

Famed for its period reconstructions and powerful imagery, often through the director’s trademark long takes, Sansho Dayu is one of the most critically revered of all of Mizoguchi’s films, and a classic of world cinema, often cropping up in lists of the greatest films ever made. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present together with the lesser known Mizoguchi feature film Gion Bayashi, produced the year before Sansho Dayu, and presented here on DVD in the UK for the very first time this landmark film of exquisite tone and purity of emotion.

  • 2 x disc special edition containing new transfers of both Gion Bayashi and Sansho Dayu
  • Lavish 96-page book featuring archival imagery; articles by Robin Wood (film critic and author) and Mark Le Fanu (author of Mizoguchi and Japan); and a full reprint of an acclaimed translation of Mori Ogai’s original 1915 story on which Sansho Dayu is based.
  • Video discussions about both Sansho Dayu and Gion Bayashi by acclaimed Japanese film expert/critic, festival programmer, and filmmaker Tony Rayns.
  • Original theatrical trailers.

    Japan | 210 min.
    1.33:1 OAR
    black & white

  • Price: 39.99
    UK Sterling (new)(includes UK postage & packaging)

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