Kinuyo TANAKA 田中絹代

Love Letters


Nippon Retro   ² 

After World War II, Reikichi hopes to reconnect with his old love Michiko, but when he finally finds her, he learns about her affair with an American GI and reproaches her for it. Struck by his headiness, his brother and his best friend try to make Reikichi see past his pride. Written by Keisuke KINOSHITA, TANAKA’s directorial debut is a melancholic romance, whose intimate narrative poignantly mirrors the conflicted society of post-war Japan.


Japan 1953

97 minutes


Keisuke KINOSHITA based on a novel by Fumio NIWA

Hiroshi SUZUKI

Ichiro SAITO

About Kinuyo TANAKA

Kinuyo TANAKA (1909–1977) was one of the greatest movie stars of the classic studio era of Japanese cinema and appeared in over 250 films. Her acting roles earned her numerous awards. Since 1985 an award for lifetime achievements is given out annually in her name to a chosen actress at the prestigious Mainichi Film Awards. However, TANAKA was not just successful in front of the camera, but also behind it. She was only the second female director in Japanese film history (after Tazuko SAKANE) – and the first successful one. With her debut feature LOVE LETTERS (1953), she was already invited to compete at the Cannes Film Festival. In her films, she addressed the role of women in Japanese society and put a spotlight on female protagonists and female narrative perspectives.