by Chris MaGee
There is a whole pantheon of classic Japanese actresses who are continually praised by both critics and fans alike -- Setsuko Hara, Hideko Takamine, Kinuyo Tanaka and Machiko Kyo to name a few, but what about someone like Kyoko Kagawa? The name doesn't immediately set off bells of recognition? Well, it should given that Kagawa's credits include such landmark films as "Tokyo Story", "Sansho the Bailiff" and "High and Low". More often than not Kagawa would play strong supporting roles in films like these, but for every supporting role their were lead roles in lesser known films, or films that are less well known in North America like Hiroshi Inagaki's "Osaka Castle Story" and Shue Matsubayashi's "Hikage no Musume". It now looks like the work of Kyoko Kagawa will get the full attention it deserves though.
The organizers of the 24th annual Tokyo International Film Festival have announced that they have programmed a retrospective entitled Kyoko Kagawa and the Masters that will run from October 22nd to the 30th at the Roppongi Hills. Only one title has been announced for this retrospective thus far, Kenji Mizoguchi's "A Story From Chikamatsu", but as the title of the programme suggests we should be seeing Kagawa's collaborations with such film luminaries as Yasujiro Ozu, Akira Kurosawa and Mikio Naruse. "I believe that many of the great films to be exhibited at the 24th TIFF will have strong healing power for the Japanese victims of the earthquake and tsunami," said Kagawa in a statement on the programme honouring her work, "This retrospective is a wonderful honor for me and one that I truly appreciate."
You can check out additional details on Kyoko Kagawa and the Masters at the Tokyo International Film Festival website here, and our thanks go to our own Nicholas Vroman for bringing this to our attention. We leave you with the trailer for one of Kagawa's best known films, Yasujiro Ozu's "Tokyo Story".