Profile of Setsuko Hara

Birth name: l@`
Date of birth (location)F17 June,1920. Yokohama, Kanagawa-ken, Japan
Debut@: 1935 gDo not Hesitate, Young Folksh Directed by
Tetsu Taguchi (Japanese Title:hTamerau Nakare Wakodo yoh)
Last filmF1962 "Chushingura" Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki
She worked 28years and appeared more than 100 films.@

One of the biggest, the most memorable, and the most beautiful actress in Japan. She is called gEternal Virginh and her presence is now god like legend. Maybe because she suddenly and mysteriously quit her job without a notice in 1962; when she was still beautiful and in the stardom. And never showed up in the public eyes since then, and having a seclusion life in a temple located at Kamakura, which is an ancient city, for almost 40 years.

@@She even disconnect with her old friends. And yes, she never married. Maybe she is the last holy legend that Japan has. Her beautiful and traditional Japanese womanfs image as she showed in Ozufs gTokyo Storyh will remain forever in our minds.          

@@Her first big break was gThe Samuraifs daughterh [or gAtarashiki Tsuchih (The new soil)] which was the first Japanese-German collaboration film in 1937. [Directed by Arnold Frank, famous for German Mountains film, and Mansaku Itami] Arnold Frank actually nominated her after he saw her at the filming site of gKochiyama Sosyunh directed by Sadao Yamanaka. At that time, she was thought to be a girl who has a European taste beauty, which is interesting because later she will represent the opposite---traditional Japanese woman.

@@Since then, she started her starhood until her retirement. But her peak started after the World War 2; when she starts to represent the new democratic atmosphere. She became the icon of the new erafs free woman. It was also ironic because she used to be the goddess of the militarism in the war time.

@@So her public image continuously changed, always fitting and reflecting the social state of the time. And Ozufs series of works with her, starting from gLate Springh (1949), made her into legend. Her beauty, purity gave life to the traditional Japanese womanfs image gYamato Nadeshikoh and remembered forever. 

Her collaboration with the 4@Giants  

With Yasujirou Ozu

1949 gLate Springh (gBan-syunh)
1951 gEarly Summerh (gBakusyu-g)
1953 gTokyo Storyh (gTokyo Monogatarih)
1957 gTokyo Twilighth (Tokyo Bosyoku)
1960 gLate Autumnh (Akibiyori)
1961 gLast Summerh (Kohayagawa-ke no Aki)

With Akira Kurosawa

1946 gNo regrets for our youthh (Waga Seisyun ni Kui nashi)
1951 gIdioth (Hakuchi)

With Naruse Mikio

1951 gRepasth (Meshi)
1954 gSound of the Mountainh (Yama no oto)
1956 gSudden Rainh (Shu-u)
1960 hDaughters, Wives, and a Motherh (Musume, Tsuma, Haha)  


@@Mikio Naruse often called one of the 4 giants in Japanese Directors; others should be Yasujiro Ozu, Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi.

Naruse should be more in Japanese Cinema study but most of his works are not@available in US which may be due to the copy rights problem and I often find his relatively@un-important works such as g When a woman ascends the stairsh(1960) and gLate Chrysanthemums g(1954) at Blockbasters ,hTower Recordsh, and gHollywood videoh. Sometimes you can find gMotherh (1952) too, but his masterpieces are Floating Clouds (1955), gRepasth(1951) and so on. .    

@@Naruse is remembered for making Setsuko Hara as a tired normal wife, on the other hand, Akira Kurosawa as passionate femme fatale and Ozu as a saint virgin. Setsuko Hara was fortunate working with these Japanese golden era's great directers and bringing her talent out in many variation.

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