This simple human-interest/love story belies the cinematic triumph of its creation. Although shown in 1981 at Japan House in New York, the film dates from 1943 and so was obviously first released in Japan during WWII. Its director, Hiroshi Inagaki remade the same story in 1958 with Toshiro Mifune in the starring role. In both versions of the story, somewhat less sentimental in the first try, the setting is the early 20th c. An unlettered but inwardly noble rickshaw man (Tsumasaburo Bando) has his heart-strings pulled by a little boy whose father, Captain Yoshioka, has been killed in the line of duty. As Muhomatsu (the rickshaw man) gradually assumes the role of surrogate father to the child, he begins to fall in love with the mother (Keiko Sonoi). The mother, however, is far above the illiterate Muhomatsu and their disparate social status offers no encouragement for the realization of his deepest feelings.
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