Kinuyo TANAKA 田中絹代

Eternal Breasts


Nippon Retro   ² 

Fumiko is unhappily married and vents her frustrations in her poetry. After getting a divorce, she is diagnosed with breast cancer and condemned to a life in hospital. There, she finds solace in an affair with a journalist. Through haunting imagery, THE ETERNAL BREASTS tells of a woman who only in the face of death is able to find herself. Inspired by the life of poet Fumiko NAKAJO, Sumie TANAKA’s script tackles several taboo topics of its time.

Chibusa yo eien nare

Japan 1955

110 minutes


Sumie TANAKA based on a book by Akira WAKATSUKI

Kumenobu FUJIOKA

Takanobu 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.