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Introduction by Lili Hinstin on March 20
For her sixth and final film behind the camera, Tanaka embarked on making a jidai-geki, or period drama, a genre considered difficult by the studios and challenging to seasoned filmmakers. Set in 16th-century Japan, this doomed romance follows two lovers—one the daughter of a famous tea master and the other a married, devout Christian samurai—come to ruin for their forbidden mutual attraction. With the look of a costume blockbuster like those of Japan’s Golden Age, Love Under the Crucifix (Miss Ogin in its Japanese original title) flamboyantly depicts a heroine who declares to the man she loves: “I come here as a woman who has decided to take control of her destiny.” Though distributed by Shochiku, the film was produced independently by Ninjin Kurabu (“The Carrot Club”), a film company founded by the actresses Yoshiko Kuga, Keiko Kishi, and Ineko Arima (the young star of Ozu’s Equinox Flower, cast here in the lead role), who sought to enable better working conditions for actors within the studio system. Restored in 4K by Shochiku Co., Ltd. A Janus Films release.