4K Digital Restoration
Masayuki Mori, Yoshiko Kuga, Jukichi Uno, Kyoko Kagawa,
Tanaka’s impressive directorial debut—made with support and encouragement from mentors Mikio Naruse and Yasujiro Ozu—was based on a popular novel by Fumio Niwa and set just after the end of the American occupation of Japan. Love Letter focuses on a repatriated naval officer, Reikichi (Masayuki Mori), secretly searching for his lost first love in Tokyo. Reikichi finds work with a friend who writes letters for Japanese women asking for support from their American GI boyfriends. Through the prejudiced eyes of the male protagonist, Tanaka shows the stigma suffered by women compelled to engage in transactional affairs.