Among Tanaka’s personal favorites, the first of many adaptations of Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s classic novel A Portrait of Shunkin casts the 25-year-old actress as a blind music teacher, Okoto, living affluently in Osaka during the Meiji era. She rejects nearly every male suitor, but her servant Sasuke (Kōkichi Takada), who escorts her to lessons, takes his growing adoration for her to bizarre lengths. Employing a sharply confined, period-specific space and a sync soundtrack of koto-shamisen music, Shimazu transforms the source text’s masochistic romance into something more like a chaste melodrama, while Tanaka’s magnetic, astonishingly modern performance instigates the film’s palpably tense climax. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film Archive of Japan.