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Fumiko, who ended her unhappy marriage with Shigeru, returns to her maiden home with her two children. Fumiko’s childhood friend Kinuko’s boyfriend Taku returns home from afar. In celebration, a Tanka party is held at the home of Yamagami of Hokkai Times. There, Fumiko recites few poems as recommended, and receives the highest of praises. The words of encouragement spoken by Taku while he was taking her home that night brighten Fumiko’s spirit.
It might just be my impressions on them, but Fumiko, the main character, (played by TSUKIOKA Yumeji) in a way looks like director TANAKA Kinuyo. The look is not that of a young TANAKA Kinuyo who portrayed the socalled ‘traditional Japanese beauty’ and actively performed the roles of the heroine for master male directors such as SHIMIZU Hiroshi and OZU Yasujiro. The look is that of a middle-aged TANAKA Kinuyo who performed the roles of an elderly character that experienced all sorts of ups and downs, and who proudly directed her films even through the commotions created by the media and the ‘disturbances’ carried out by MIZOGUCHI Kenji. Actually, TANAKA Kinuyo makes an appearance in The Eternal Breasts as a cameo. At that moment, the boundary between the two actresses, between the actress and the director, and between the film and the reality disappears and an overwhelming feeling that cannot be easily explained appears through the similarity between the two. So to speak, The Eternal Breasts is a work that unfolds from this similarity, which acts as the pivot. For example, there is no need to say that the poems written by Fumiko reflect her weary, wild and dependent life, and that the shape of the mountain tops shown in the film’s opening and closing obviously overlaps with Fumiko’s breasts. However, the film does not stop at simply matching the similarities. This work, which would live on “forever”, arouses sympathy by unfolding each element as issues on female body, sense of life and femininity. (LEE Yumi)
TANAKA KinuyoTANAKA Kinuyo
Born in 1910 in Shimonoseki, Japan. She became a leading actress appearing in OZU Yasujiro\'s I Graduated, But... in 1929. She had a close working relationship with director MIZOGUCHI Kenji, having parts in 15 of his films. As the second woman film director in Japanese film history, she directed her debut featrure Love Letter in 1953, and five more films.