The Long Darkness (Shinobugawa)

Shinobugawa was at the popular forefront of what critic Tadao Sato has called the “furusato” movement in Japanese cinema, a movement described by Joan Mellen (“The Waves At Genji's Door”) as a “quest for morality from among the ancients” (see also Koichi Saito's Tsugaru Folksong).

“Shinobugawa” is the name of a restaurant where Tetsuro, a student, meets Shino. Both have led lives of extreme hardship: Shino's family left Tokyo for the provinces during the Second World War, leaving her behind to earn a living for the family. Tetsuro is the youngest of six children, two of whom have killed themselves, and others of whom have sacrificed their futures so that Tetsuro might have an education. Their relationship renews hope in Tetsuro and Shino. Upon the request of Shino's dying father, they decide to marry, and travel to the provinces for a simple New Year's family reunion.

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