Silver Lion, Venice 1953
Best foreign film
Tales of a Pale and Mysterious Moon After the Rain
From two tales in Ugetsu Monogatari from 1776 by Ueda Akinari
The imagination of modern man is stimulated by the contact with the 18th century writer Ueda Akinari and his mysterious tales in
This story has been derived from these imaginations.
During the civil war
Early spring at the northern seashore of Lake Biwa in the Omi province
-What is that?
-They are probably executing Shibata's spies.
-I have to sell before the war starts.
-Will you be able to sell the goods in Nagahama?
Yes, the city fortress flourishes ever since Shibata's forces arrived.
-I can't come with you, can I?
-No, not with all marauding warriors.
And then you have to take care of little Genichi.
What a magnificent Samurai you will be!
Such grandiose plans! Fool!
Without grandiose plans one can not come far. "Plans as big as the ocean!"
You who can't even handle a spear or a sword!
-It can only end in misery!
-Tell me that when I have succeeded!
The warrior god shall fulfil my dreams!
-Genjuro, take me with you.
-Forget these foolish plans!
-I'll pull the wagon for you.
What a dreamer! He thinks the future is waiting for him in Nagahama.
He's impossible. - Goodbye, Miyagi.
Not knowing ones place!
Not only Tobei, but Genjuro as well!
Money earned in bad times are as easy gone as won.
The more you earn, the greedier you get.
Above all, we must now prepare ourselves for the war.
Tell that to Genjuro when he gets home.
Thank you very much.
-What is it with you?
-Did you get that much for the goods?
Just feel it! I came straight home to show them for you.
Now at last you realize what trading is all about.
What about Tobei?
He noticed a samurai in the crowd and was impossible to stop.
Take me on as vassal! I will serve you faithfully until death.
-A beggar as vassal?
-First, get yourself an armour!
-Armour and spear! Get lost!
-Do I become a samurai if I have that?
-Are you still here?
-Get yourself armour and spear!
Oh, nice! Aren't you happy now?
It's like new years eve and midsummer at the same time!
For many years, I have wanted to buy you a kimono. But I couldn't afford it.
At last I could! What do you think? You look happy...
It's not because of the kimono, but for the kindness of your heart that I'm happy.
I do not wish for anything more than to always have you by my side.
Dried fish, oil, dried sea cucumber, rice cakes...
Thanks to the money! Without it, life becomes hard and wishes vain.
Well, now daddy must work.
And make even more money.
I'm going to burn as much pottery as I can.
The last pottery we burnt gave us a whole three silver coins.
Give it up now, we don't need more money.
Shibata's troups might even be here tomorrow, and by then we can't...
On the contrary. It was because of the war that I could make such a good profit!
That doesn't mean it will turn out well the next time. If something should happen to you...
Don't worry unnecessarily. - Ohama?
Don't worry, no samurai would hire a peasant dressed in rags!
He will be home soon.
Please, come in and get something warm.
Fool! Awake at last?
You look like a beggar!
The greatest fool in the village!
Give it a good spin!
Away with the kid! We won't have time if we don't hurry.
You are in my way, please seat yourself over there.
-Mommy, the breast.
Just a few turns more!
You are so impatient, completely changed.
If we only could work together in peace and quiet-
and live happily together all three. Yes, that is the only thing I ask for.
-You have really worked hard now.
-Yes, because I have some plans.
In Nagahama we will get a lot of money.
-You will share it?
-Of course, you'll get a third.
Imagine just to hold that money!
I have never seen those two work that hard!
They have filled the oven with all they could by strength and nerve.
But how would they react if something should go wrong?
Me and my husband and the little could have it nice together-
-but men are impossible when they deal with risky business.
My husband, who was so orderly!
The war makes people change totally.
But isn't it good to make money...
What is that?
The rumour was right. Shibata's troups are here!
-Do you see anything, Tobei?
-Yes. The villagers are fleeing in all directions.
-We can't close the owen now!
-They are planning to put us in forced labour.
Hurry up and flee!
Shibata's troups are here!
They plunder our houses for rice and property!
All men are put into forced labour!
-They are like wolves!
-Couldn't they have waited one night?
Hurry, hurry! It is dangerous to dawdle.
There wont be any money for me if they destroy the oven.
You could never get your life back!
Hurry up and get finished!
Pack some food for the mountains.
So it is here you are hiding, rascal!
Samurai, without my husband we wont survive! Help!
Don't stand in my way!
Dinner is ready.
We'll eat immediately.
-Where is Tobei?
-He is impossible.
-Have you seen my husband?
-It has calmed down alot.
-Yes, the guns have almost all become silent.
It is dangerous to go down now. Let's wait until the samurai are gone.
-It's better to wait!
-Don't talk rubbish!
Please, don't go! Forget about the oven! What if they capture you?
-It must not die down!
-You can light the oven later.
-Quiet! I can't just abandon it!
Damn, the fire has gone out.
Too late, it has died down.
-There might be someone hiding there.
-You take a look!
-What? Only pottery!
Look! They are done! What luck!
-They are done!
-Burnt and ready.
-Are they done?
-Yes, and very nice too.
-So, are we going to Nagahama then?
-No, we take a boat across the lake.
Ohama's father was a sailor.
-You'll get to handle the boat.
Let's take the other way to the beach.
-Will we find a boat then?
-There are plenty of deserted boats there.
Be careful, the fog is thick.
Genichi, isn't the lake beautiful?
We can calm down now.
It's good we took the way over the sea. We would probably be dead by now if we had gone over the mountains.
Tomorrow morning we will arrive at Omizo-
-the fortified city of general Niwa. It flourishes even more than Nagahama.
You and I will be wealthy, and Miyagi and Ohama become rich wives.
-I will build a magazine.
-I will buy armour.
A boat ghost!
I'm not a ghost.
I'm a sailor from Kaizu.
I was on a trip to Azuchi with my goods, when I was boarded by pirates.
Wherever you are going, look out for the pirates.
If they see you-
-then both your lives and your cargo is in danger. Not to speak about the women!
May his soul rest in peace!
Let's return! This was probably an appeal for us not to continue.
-Let's continue without the women.
-I have to keep an eye on Tobei!
-Women get kidnapped!
-If you continue, I'll come with you.
You have to take care of Genichi.
-Ohama, turn back! Hurry up!
We will come back as soon as we have sold everything. It probably won't take more than ten days.
Be careful, and don't make any resistance if the pirates show up.
You may not take the big road. Instead, take the same way back, behind the mountains.
Keep away from the village for now. It will be hard, but try to hold on.
Tobei and Ohama, make sure everything goes well.
-Don't worry, we are back soon.
-Take good care of Genichi.
-You will see alot of silver coins!
I hope you will do fine!
-That vase, please.
-This one, yes.
And then the jar and the sake cups.
And the rice bowls, the plates and the pots.
The rice bowls, the plates and then the pots.
Can you deliver the goods to Kutsuki's palace by the mountain?
-You will get your payment then.
-The Daimyo is on his way!
-Samurai from the fortress!
-You shall not look!
-With an armour, I can become a samurai.
-What a waste of money!
Let me go! Next time we meet, you will see a magnificent samurai.
She's gone... An armour!
-Do I look like a samurai?
-Yes, a grand samurai.
-But a spear...
-Give me one!
One silver coin.
Its for you.
Look at me! I guess you are satisfied when I have gotten into trouble!
And very happy that you can be a samurai! Tobei, you idiot!
Tobei, you fool.
Can you keep watch over the goods until my partners come back?
-Are you going to buy one?
-It depends on the price.
-They are too fine for your wife.
I have a lot of money.
We thought that maybe he had troubles finding the way.
Please step inside.
I think I shall return back...
Lady Wakasa is waiting. Please step inside.
Lady Wakasa, is it the noble lady?
Yes, the daughter of the late Kutsuki Saemon. Hurry up now, don't be shy.
You must be Mister Genjuro from northern Omi?
How can you know my name?
I couldn't believe my eyes, when I saw your porcelain on the market.
The shimmering blue glaze, as if it were introduced with crystals.
My father used to teach me-
-and I have a certain skill to judge items.
I wanted to meet you and know how you are able to create such beautiful things.
Perhaps it is a secret not for outsiders?
No, it's not a secret-
-but I have many years experience of glazing and correct treatment of the clay.
The fruit of experience is beauty.
Yes, only a master could probably create such beautiful things.
But these are mine!
I wanted to try drinking sake from your pots.
Such a joy for you, dear pots, that you caught the eyes of the noble lady.
As a peasant, this is extra work for me-
-but I feel for my creations as if they were my own children-
-and I'm happy if there is a person who care to look at them.
But that a beautiful lady like you, in this fantastic palace-
-favour to touch them with your hands, that is an unbelievable joy.
Oh no, that an impoverished person like me touch them-
-can only make your masterpieces cry. Please.
Never before has my work looked this beatiful.
The value of both people and things change by the location.
The bowls and plates are confused being here in this noble palace.
Your skill must not be buried in a poor remote spot on the countryside.
You must think of refining your talent even more.
How should I accomplish that?
Swear lady Wakasa everlasting love and get married immediately.
What a happy voice!
It is the voice of my dead father.
Because of Oda Nobunaga-
-the detested Odu Nobunaga, the whole house of Kutsuki was obliterated.
Only the young lady was left. And me, her nurse.
The spirit of the former Daimoy is still in this palace.
When the young lady dances, he sings like this.
Doesn't he have a lovely voice?
He's enjoying the marriage of the young lady.
Everytime I hear his voice...
-It's too early to wake up.
-What has happened?
You babble. Just as if you have forgotten everything.
So, one is awake?
Now, take your husband by the hand and take him for a bath.
Don't count on my help anymore.
You distrust me.
You think I'm a demon, don't you?
But you belong to me now.
From now on, you are going to live for me.
Even if you were a demon, I would never let you go.
I didn't know life could be so beautiful!
Like in paradise or heaven!
Is there any food?
Quick! Hold on!
Hurry! Here are some rice cakes.
-I will never forget this.
-Take the back door. To the left over there.
Its food for the baby.
Decapitate me after my suicide.
I have it! The head of the general!
-Have you found the head of the general?
-No, not found...
I pierced him with my spear.
Could the sheltered Fuwa Katsuhige fall by the hand of an unknown foot soldier?
Anyway you shall be rewarded for your heroic deed. What do you wish?
-A horse, armour and soldiers.
-That you will get.
-A real man!
-What clan does he belong to?
-The slayer of the hero Fuwa Katsushige.
-Mister Tobei, the foremost of heroes.
Behold and learn from him!
Beautiful girls yearn for samurai!
The finest rice wine and snacks. Welcome!
None can pass through here!
Look, so many beautiful girls!
Chief, let's rest at the inn.
No, I'm on my way home to show myself for a certain person.
-We have to celebrate your deed.
-The whole crew is looking forward to it.
-Niwa's vassal, Tobei from Nakanogo rests. -Arrange tables!
See it as a great honour!
Clear the way for Mister Tobei!
-Who is that Tobei?
-He's over there.
A man of deeds!
Let me drink with you and share your success!
How did you accomplish to kill such a great hero?
-We want to know.
-And benefit from it in the future.
It was nothing.
First of all, a head, meaning knowledge.
Then an arm, meaning strength. And then art of war, meaning deeds.
And then to take advantage of the occasion in flight, like a hawk.
With an overview like the great chinese tacticts nothing can go wrong.
-A clear head! Got it?
Tactics: The Koshu school. Firearms: Karamaru school. Spear: Otsubo school.
Then we have fortification, how to build fortresses.
After that the art of defence with offensive and defensive V-formations...
-Running away without paying! What a bastard!
-I don't pay harlots! - Let go!
Are you serious?
I'm satisfied with this!
Look how grand you are!
Your dreams have come true and you have become a magnificent samurai.
While you have been making a career your way I have been making a career in my own way.
Nicely dressed, wearing make up and slightly drunk, I sleep with different men every night.
Haven't I succeeded?
You must be happy now? For the sake of your career, I'm forced to endure the worst.
If only you can succeed, it doesn't matter if I am fallen woman.
Tonight I'm going to celebrate your deeds by taking you on as my customer!
Just buy me, a fallen woman!
Ohama, I don't care about the success as long as you are by my side!
Liar! You didn't care about how I would make it as long as you could become a samurai!
I thought you would praise me if I succeeded.
I didn't know this had happened to you.
Now I am a dirty woman.
It's all your fault.
Are you able to wipe me clean? If not, there's nothing else for me to do but to die.
Of course I can. Absolutely!
I was thinking of killing myself, but first I wanted to see you one more time.
Oh, I hate myself because I couldn't kill myself.
This one... and that one.
It doesn't quite suffice. Couldn't you lower the price just a bit?
In that case, I'll take back this one.
I want that one. Come to the Kutsuki palace and I will pay you the rest.
-The Kutsuki palace?
-Yes, by the mountain.
You'll get it all, the money and everything. Just leave.
-That is terrible!
-May I look closer at your face.
We can't stay here talking. Follow me.
Your face is marked by death.
Has something strange happened to you?
-No, not really.
-Do you have a home?
Don't you have wife and children?
If there is anyone depending on you, don't be late to get home!
You are a dead man if you continue to run around like this. Hurry up and get home!
-Because else you will die.
I live happily together with the young lady in the Kutsuki palace.
-She's a ghost
You have sought forbidden love.
Don't you love your wife and your child? Are you going to sacrifice them too?
Do as you wish, but I can't just let you be haunted by death.
I shall liberate you from the ghost. Come!
You will wake up from the dream when you realize how horrible the ghost is.
Such lovely jewels!
What a joy!
How considerate of you!
You took such a long time coming home that I became worried.
You don't seem happy. What has happened?
What has happened?
You may not go outside again.
Since the family disappeared-
-we have been the victims of disrespect and slander.
What a miserable world!
Genjuro, I don't wanna let you go anywhere.
Let us leave this palace and return to my kingdom.
Genjuro, you are my husband for life, surely you will come with me.
Please, forgive me.
I have lied.
I have both a wife and a child.
I have left them alone at home during the ravaging war.
-Forget about that, dear.
-Let me go home.
No, you may not return.
So.. Now follow me to my kingdom.
Now! Right now!
-He has something on his body!
Genjuro, did you... Did you?
Remove what you have on your skin!
-Why getting married if you were married?
-How could I make such a mistake?
A man can make a mistake once, but not a woman.
-Please, forgive me. Let me return home.
-No, we won't let you go.
Remove those buddhistic curses! Or else we will never forgive you!
How could you do such a terrible thing to me?
I was hoping to be by your side for all eternity.
For all eternity...
Her highness left the living without ever experiencing the sweetness of love.
When I saw her sad guise-
-I wanted to let her, at least once, enjoy female happiness.
I brought with me her highness-
-and we wandered down here.
My wish was granted and we met such a nice person like you-
-and you swore each other eternal love.
And now, when she at last has found joy, you speak about returning home...
Then you can never see each other ever again.
If you let her happiness vanish-
-wouldn't you feel guilt and regret?
Genjuro, give up all those silly thoughts-
-and stay by her side forever!
-It is this man.
-What is it?
-You have stolen the treasure of the temple!
-I haven't stolen it!
-The sword disappeared a month ago.
-It belonged to the Kutsuki family.
-The Kutsuki family?
Are you awake? These are the ruins of the palace of the Kutsuki family.
-Don't try to dodge the question!
-Where in the palace did you find the sword?
I would have put you in jail if it hadn't been burnt down during the war.
-Miyagi, I was delayed.
-Welcome home, dear husband.
I guess you have been worried.
What a relief you came home safe.
I want to hold him.
-Genichi, it's daddy.
I hold you now.
I wanted to bring with me nicer gifts, this is all.
I did a terrible mistake.
You got home safe.
You were right, I was too stubborn.
Let's not talk about this anymore.
You must be tired. The rice wine is ready.
And the stove is ready.
What a sweet rice wine!
It's so quiet.
Genichi, I'm putting you to bed.
I've not had one peaceful day.
Home, home, home at last.
Hello, anybody there? Open up!
Anybody there? Open up!
-The village master!
-You have come home?
Thank you for all your troubles during my absence.
There he is, the boy! I was so worried for where he might have gone.
-He understood you had come home.
Genjuro, are you dreaming?
Miyagi was killed by a soldier.
Just imagine how happy she would have been now if she was still alive!
May she rest in peace.
I have been taking care of the boy ever since Miyagi died.
There was a great fuss yesterday, when he suddenly disappeared.
Blood is thicker than water, but how did he know you were back?
You're a real fool, and you realized that only when your fortune turned.
The war twisted our heads.
I don't want to have suffered for nothing. Cheer up.
Why did you die?
Miyagi, why did you die?
I'm not dead. I'm by your side.
Your illusions are gone now.
You are home again and you are once again yourself.
Work is waiting.
What a beautiful shape!
To help you spin the wheel is the best thing I know.
I want to see how the pot looks like when you have burnt it.
The wood is chopped, and the angry soldiers are gone.
Make the finest pots!
Think. So much has happened.
At last, now when you are the husband I have always dreamed of...
...I no longer belong to the living.
Such is life I guess.
Aren't you tired? Take a little rest.
It taste good. Eat it while it's warm. - Hurry, before it gets cold.