|Aizen Katsura (1938)|
The year was 1938.
For film lovers, it is the year of BRINGING UP BABY, ALEXANDER NEVSKY and THE LADY VANISHES. At the same time, it was anticipating the great year of 1939. In Japan, however, it was the year with few notable works. Sadao Yamanaka was drafted to military the previous year and died in China in September of 1938. Yasujiro Ozu was also drafted. Mikio Naruse and Kenji Mizoguchi were struggling with minor works.
But Japanese movie-going public at the time saw the most phenomenal film of the prewar era this year. In terms of popularity, no prewar Japanese film would beat this film. Directed by Hiromasa Nomura, starred Kinuyo Tanaka and Ken Uehara, it was the box-office record at the time, and the sequels were hurriedly prepared. The film was AIZEN KATSURA.