Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

The Good Wife of Tokyo

  • Rating: ****
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $295.00
  • Date: Copyright 1992. Released 1993.
  • Descriptors: Women - Japanese. Japan - Social conditions
  • Production Information: Live action. Produced by Kim Longinotto, Claire Hunt. Directed by Kim Longinotto, Claire Hunt. Color. Also available in 3/4 inch, 16 mm. English, Japanese. Subtitled. 52 min.
  • Available from: Women Make Movies 462 Broadway, 5th Floor New York, NY 10013 (212)925-0606
  • Cataloging: 305.8'956 Women - Japan||Japan - Social conditions||Feminism - Japan
  • Print Entry #: 4:1223
  • Reviewer: Jan Stilson

    This video is full of surprises. I expected a quiet piece on Japanese women but was brightly awakened to the changes taking place across generational lines among Japanese females. The story line centers around Kazuko Hohki, a young singer and member of the contemporary rock group the "Frank Chickens." Kazuko has come home to marry her English lover of 10 years. The marriage is to please Kazuko's mother, a preacher in the House of Development. Although the couple did not feel it was necessary to marry, they caved in to her mother's traditional values.

    The video is bright, and the sequences of the Frank Chickens are quite entertaining. Various small groups of women speak about their marriages, their druthers if they had never married, and their desires for freedom from their present marriages. One is brought to grips with the conflicts and emotions of generations of women who entered into marriages without love because it was arranged or expected by parents. The conversations are direct, poignant, and moving.

    The father in the story is portrayed in a sad fashion. He is displaced in his own home by his wife's church group - mostly women - which comes to meet there daily. He is retired and seems tired. He hides in his own home, and one wonders how Japanese males cope with all the desire for freedom among the females. Misleading images of young executives sleeping on the commuter train do not explain that Japanese male office employees often work 100 hours a week because their companies expect it. No wonder they sleep on the train! But, sadly, the video portrays the sleeping executives as merely listless.

    This is an educational work that is entertaining and thought provoking. Recommended for public and academic libraries where modern foreign cultures are studied.

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