Kaze no naka no mendori

Black and White . 84 minutes

Shochiku Ofuna Studio

Written By

Ozu Yasujiro
Saito Ryosuke


Atsuta Yuharu

Music By

Ito Senji


Tanaka Kinuyo (Amamiya Tokiko)
Sano Shuji (Amamiya Shuichi)
Murate Chieko (Ida Akiko)
Ryu Chishu (Satake Kazuihiro)
Sakamoto Takeshi (Sakai Hikozo)
Takamatsu Eiko (Tsune)
Mizukami Reiko (Noma Orie)
Ayatani Chiyoko (Onoda Fusako)


While Shuichi is away at the front, his wife Tokiko prostitutes herself for one night to pay for thier son's hospital bills. On the first night of his return, she divulges her secret and he fires into a rarge. He vistis the brothel where Tokiko worked and meets anothers younger prositute. When he learns that she does it to support her family, he helps her find a job. However, he is still unable to forgive Tokiko, and pushes her down the stairs. It is only when he sees her suffering that he embraces her and resolves to start afresh.

Thoughts from Ozu
After completing Record of a Tenement Gentleman I wrote the script for The Moon Has Risen but due to all sorts of problems, it still hasn't been completed. Is the script not up to scratch? Regarding one's works, it's inevitable that some might be failures. It doesn't hurt if one can benefit from these failures. Unfortunately, one could not say that for this particular flop.

he 41st film, shot from May to September 1948. Saito Ryosuke, the co-writer of the screenplay, and the leading actor Sano Shuji should actually have more credits in Ozu's films. In 1942, Saito collaborated in the screenplay of Far Away Country of My Parents (Haruka nari fubo kuni), and also in the production of the documentary on the the Indian National Army, On to Delhi (On tsu Delhi). After his return to Japan, Ozu again teamed up with him for the screenplay of The Moon Has Risen (Tsuki wa noborinu, Kinuyo Tanaka filmed this scenario in 1955), written in the autumn of 1947. However, only A Hen in the Wind was actually made into a film by Ozu. The actor Sano was intended for the leading role of Far Away Country of My Parents and The Moon Has Also Risen, but as a result, the only films of Ozu with Sano in an important role were There Was a Father and A Hen in the Wind. Saito and Sano were the subjects of Ozu's unrealized projects, his phantom films of the 1940s. Ozu's postwar development from Record of a Tenement Gentleman to the screenplay for The Moon Has Risen and to A Man in the Wind is a wandering caused by his loss of "Tokyo". To reproduce the pre-war "uptown mansion" atmosphere for The Moon Has Risen, it was necessary to use the old capital Nara, since it had escaped the devastation of war. The harmony and stability there gave Ozu food for thought. In Tokyo's reality, this kind of world could not be seen and not be cultivated any more, as it had become clear already with Record of a Tenement Gentleman. The heroine of A Hen in the Wind lives in a rented room upstairs in a house in shitamachi, but this is not her native land. Having lost her home, she is cornered in despair while following Ozu's motifs in her wandering about in a Tokyo that is characterized by properties of a colonized modernism under the occupation, such as posters of foreign films, cans and Penicillin boxes, and by the scenery of the eastern part of Tokyo shitamachi and the outskirts, such as gas tanks and the washing on the line. Her ethical sufferings are in the form of a tragic precedent in actual social conditions, maybe also reflecting Ozu's wanderings and losses. In this sense, A Hen in the Wind can be considered as a peculiar, highly interesting "failure" in Ozu's filmography. For this film, Ozu was criticized by the screenplay-writer Noda Kogo. After a long interruption, their cooperation started again with the following film, but nobody could foresee that it would be lifelong.

Personal Thoughts and Comments
Though Ozu regarded this film as a failure, it remains among his most emotionally impacting films. Made just two years after the war and during the American occupation, A Hen in the Wind may be the most violent and disturbing film Ozu ever made. However, early traces of his postwar mastery style become evident (notably including compositions, and editing). A Hen in the Wind was the last film Ozu made without co-writer Kogo Noda. Fighting restrictions from the American occupation of Japan, Ozu poetically captures a postwar Japan that is equally tragic and hopeful. Perhaps the driving force of the films heavy emotional impact is from the performance of the great Kinuyo Tanaka, here playing a mother that must turn to prostitution in order to pay medical bills for her sick child, while her husband is away at war. The final images are particularly moving as after we see the couple embrace, Ozu follows with a serious of expressive shots concluding with a similar image that opened the film (there are slight poetic differences between the two).

Film Images

"Pillow Shots"
A clip from from A Hen in the Wind
dvd (R3)