Gion Bayashi 祇園囃子
Continuing onto the oldies of Japan that I said I would be discussing. First we had a look back to 1985 with ‘Taifu Club’. We then went a bit back into time 13 years earlier (1972) with ‘Tabi no Omosa’. I found yet another which is really old, well, by our standard that is.
It is ‘Gion Bayashi’ – A 1953 drama movie about a girl who wishes to be a Maiko/Geisha after her mother’s passing and moves to an old acquaintance of her mother’s to learn the ways of a Maiko. The film was directed by Kenji Mizoguchi and the story was set in post-war Japan – Not the best of times. The movie was old school black and white but the version I watched was touched up a bit so it was very watchable.
The reason I wanted to talk about these movies was to show how even back then yuri was already a thing. But while in the other two movies the scenes were mature, in this movie we got the yuri most of us are used to that isn’t in a pron title. It was so light and could easily be dismissed which is why this won’t be the typical movie post. It is going to be very short (serious this time) because I am only going to explain this one scene. Actually this movie is one that is worth the title of this blog. You would not see it unless you were looking for it which is why the yuri-goggles are needed for this one.
To tell the truth I wasn’t expecting anything! I went in looking for some nice family bonds and that was all but I instead got something much more. It was subtle but when it clicked my emotions went into over-drive. With all the talk of Geisha not being allowed to fall in love with their clients but there being some kind of rule of having a patron that was like their husband even though they weren’t married, with the men being in love with the main girls too made yuri almost impossible. And so I wasn’t expecting it.