The private collections of longtime Japan resident and expert on modern Japanese culture Donald Richie capture the personalities of certain Japanese peoplesome famous, some unknownwith insight and humor.
This extraordinary collection of individual portraits is perhaps the first book about the Japanese to view them entirely unhindered by the various theories about thempeople as complicated, as simple, as inscrutable, and as understandable as anyone else.
In these fiftyfour pieces there are both the famousMishima, Kawabata, Mifune, Kurosawaand the unknown: the wouldbe geisha, the exboxer turned gangster, the scheming bar madame and the old man dying alone. Here is the notorious Sada Abe, who mutilated her dead lover and whose story was filmed in Oshima's The Realm of the Senses
And here is Oshima himself, dead drunk and making perfect sense; here is the actress who played Abe, exiled in Rome. Here too is the delivery boy who kills himself for love, the girl who loved a Korean, and the actress, a public idol, who suddenly and permanently disappeared from view.