Innocence meets jaded experience in pre-war Japan in this classic comedy-drama from director Yasujiro Shimazu. Reiko is a lovely young dancer who gets her first big break when she joins the Asakusa Opera Company, a theater set in one of the city's most notorious sin strips. Reiko, who is a virgin, gets a crash course in the various forms of vice that surround the theater, and several members of the company take it upon themselves to protect her from the temptations placed before her, including a well-meaning older actor and the show's leading lady, who is married to the director and has seen a bit of everything during her years in show business. Reiko has caught the eye of Handa, a handsome and wealthy young businessman, and even though she's dazzled by him, her colleagues think he's a lothario eager to seduce and abandon her. Asakusa No Tomoshibi (aka The Lights Of Asakusa) came relatively late in the career of Shimazu, who was noted for his modern, naturalistic style and frequent focus on young adults in Japan's middle class; his career was halted by stomach cancer, which claimed his life in 1945.
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