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still from The Moon Has Risen (Kinuyo Tanaka, JP 1955)

The Moon Has Risen

Kinuyo Tanaka / JP, 1955 / 102 min.

Eye screens four forgotten Kinuyo Tanaka films. She was a groundbreaking Japanese director in a studio system that actively discouraged female directors. In The Moon Has Risen various young men attempt to woo a widower’s three daughters.

poster The Moon Has Risen (Kinuyo Tanaka, JP 1955)
For her second film, Tanaka directed a script by legendarycollaborator and mentor Yasujiro Ozu. Though informed by Ozu’s singular take on familial relationships, The Moon Has Risenalso possesses Tanaka’s lively and elegant comedic sensibility in its depiction of a widower (Chishu Ryu) who lives with his three daughters (Hisako Yamane, Yoko Sugi, and Mie Kitahara). As several young men court the women, their father is forced to confront—with amusing bewilderment—Japanese society’s rapidly evolving mores.

4K restoration

About Kinuyo Tanaka

A pioneering woman in a studio system that actively discouraged female directors, Kinuyo Tanaka made six groundbreaking features over the course of a decade, dismissing the passivity assigned to most female protagonists of the era and creating a small, radical oeuvre of progressive heroines. Though she has long been renowned as an iconic actor, having starred in films by directors such as Yasujiro Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, and Mikio Naruse, Tanaka’s own work as a filmmaker has been conspicuously absent from most studies of Japanese cinema.

The half dozen films that Tanaka made as a director possess significant sociopolitical themes as told from, and informed by, a female perspective. In these films, women avoid becoming objects of the male gaze even though they desire men, and they refuse to conform to restrictive social roles (e.g., the “perfect wife”) as they seek independence and individual agency.

With insight and compassion, Tanaka critiques the social conditions and forces that shape her heroines’ struggles: the reduction of a woman to passive romantic partner (The Moon Has Risen, 1955), taboos surrounding mortality and the female body (Forever a Woman, 1955), colonial politics (The Wandering Princess, 1960), and religious persecution and forbidden love (Love Under the Crucifix, 1962).

This is part of



Kinuyo Tanaka

Production year




Original title

Tsuki wa noborinu


102 min.







Part of

Restored & Unseen

At last, a chance to see that Italian classic that’s been on the list for so long? Or relish that wonderful restoration of Blue Movie, the Netherlands’ most talked-about nude film of the seventies, when the Bijlmer district was still a sexual paradise? Restored & Unseen is a biweekly programme featuring classics and recent restorations, with introductions by experts.

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still from The Moon Has Risen (Kinuyo Tanaka, JP 1955)
still from The Moon Has Risen (Kinuyo Tanaka, JP 1955)

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