All posts tagged: gender roles

Aristocrats feature image


Hanako and Miki come from different walks of life. While Hanako has enjoyed a privileged upbringing and a luxurious lifestyle, filled with social functions among Tokyo’s wealthy elite, Miki has had to blaze her own path, coming to the capital from a small town and building a career in event planning. Yet, neither woman can be said to be completely free from troubles; Hanako’s familial pressures to marry and follow standards of behaviour are equalled by Miki’s financial problems which force her to drop out of a prestigious university. When their paths are set on a collision course over the affections of aristocratic lawyer Koichiro, both realise that there may be another path available to them. (Institute of Contemporary Arts) Sode Yukiko Screenwriter and director Sode Yukiko has made three features since 2008. Her debut Mime-Mime premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival. She directed her second feature in 2015, Good Stripes, which examined Japan’s modern practice of couples committing to marriage only after there’s a pregnancy. In 2020 she made her third feature, Aristocrats. Drawing on Yamauchi Mariko’s novel …

Wasted Eggs Feature Image

Wasted Eggs

Junko is nearly 30, nearing the customary “best before” age of Japanese society, and is feeling stronger pressure from those around her. Without a significant other or even a particular wish to have children anytime soon, she decides to become an egg donor; and not just for the free Hawaii trip that would be the prize if her candidacy is successful. At a counsellng session, she meets her niece Aki who has similar plans. Together, they soon see how competitive social and evolutionary rules can mess up the best human relationships, particularly when such rules are mixed with the fossilized attitudes of a society which is frantically hanging on to traditions. At the age of 32 when she completed Wasted Eggs, Kawasaki Ryo is almost certainly drawing on real experiences and feelings for a society that continues to pressure women to marry and raise children, and unfortunately many Japanese women still consider to be the epitome of femininity. The decision between having a career or having a family still beleaguers contemporary Japanese women, including filmmakers like …

Kuma Elohim Feature

Kuma Elohim

Married couple Ayumu (Furuya Konosuke) and Ema (Murakami Yukino) live on a planet different from Earth. Almost all of the inhabitants of this planet, including Ayumi and Ema, were sent here by the religious group Hanukka Hill from an Earth in danger of depleting its oxygen.On this planet administered by Haukka Hill, childbirth is fervently advocated as it is said to be the most precious thing. People who have grown old become “sacrifices” and are cast away. Ayumu and Ema are without children. For them, their child is an infant doll. Ayumu continues to worry and anguish their inability to conceive a child is his fault. The actions finally taken by the troubled Ayumu will raise questions about family, blood relations, and the prosperity of a species. Director Sakata Takahiro graduated from the Nihon University College of Art’s Cinema program following in the footsteps of some of Japan cinema’s leading directors such as Ishii Gakuryu, Tominaga Masanori, and Irie Yu who also were educated there. The 23-year-old “troublemaker” appears to have a penchant for tackling …