Osaka Elegy

Mizoguchi Kenji (溝口 健二): Osaka Elegy (浪華悲歌, Naniwa ereji), 1938

Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Osaka Elegy” (1936) depicts the fate of a moga (Japanese for “modern girl”). Ayako becomes the mistress of her boss to pay off family debts. The short sequence shows the boss visiting his mistress, for whom he has rented an apartment in a modernist building with lots of chrome and glass. Ayoko is bored and resigned as she greets her lover. She helps him out of his suit, the “Western” uniform of businessmen, and into his kimono.