Kwaidan (Kaidan)

December 19, 2003
past event image
Film past event

1964, 167 min., color, 35mm. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Directed by Masaki Kobayashi. Written by Yoko Mizuki, based on stories by Yakumo Koizumi (Lafcadio Hearn). Cinematography by Yoshio Miyajima. Music by Toru Takemitsu. Black Hair (Kurokami) with Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe and Rentaro Mikuni; The Woman of the Snow (Yuki-onna) with Tatsuya Nakadai and Keiko Kishi; Hoichi, the Earless (Miminashi Hoichi no hanashi) with Katsuo Nakamura, Tetsuro Tamba and Takashi Shimura; and In a Cup of Tea (Chawan no naka) with Kan’emon Nakamura, Haruko Sugimura, Ganjiro Nakamura. Print courtesy of The Japan Foundation with permission from Janus Films, Cowboy Pictures and Toho.
A compilation of four episodes from Yakumo Koizumi (Lafcadio Hearn)’s ghost stories, directed by Masaki Kobayashi. In Black Hair, a poor samurai divorces his loving wife to marry for position. He realizes his foolishness and returns to her, only to discover that he has slept with her corpse. In The Woman of the Snow (Yuki-onna), a lowly woodcutter is sworn to secrecy after seeing a friend killed by a strange woman’s cold breath. Years later he breaks his promise and loses his wife. Hoichi, the Earless (Miminashi Hoichi no hanashi) is the tale of a blind biwa player who discovers he has been singing to the spirits. Buddhist priests paint his body with holy texts to protect him from ghosts, but neglect to paint his ears. In In A Cup of Tea (Chawan no naka), a samurai sees another man’s face in his tea cup, then drinks the tea. The next night he meets the man’s spirit.

Tickets: $10, Japan Society members, seniors & students, $5.

  • Friday, December 19, 2003
  • 6:30 pm