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Adolescence Part II (1953)
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Toho/Monochrome・ Standard/89 min.
Released July 1, 1953
Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka
Director Ishiro Honda
Screenplay Toshiro Ide
Haruo Umeda
Director of Photography Tadashi Iimura
Art Direction Tatsuo Kita
Lighting Shocichi Yokoi
Sound Masanobu Miyazaki
Music Yasushi Akutagawa

"Desires for the Spirit of Youth"
Words from the director - Ishiro Honda  (From the press sheet of "Adolescemnce II"):

"In "Adolescece", the question of what sort of psychological influence an environment can make was explored.  In this film, I wanted to depict the internal thoughts of a young pubescent girl through one particular incident:  how much of an impact that one word from a heartless adult can have on an immature soul, and how the youth is troubled by such words.

I would also like to sharply point out the egotism of an adult who resolves unforeseen circumstances only with their self-righteous mindset, concerned about their own public image. I'd also like to strongly state that the real sense of resolution was made solely by the good common sense of this child.

Because adolescence / pubescense for sure is the biggest happiness in life…"

(Commentary)

This youth film was planned a sequel to “Adolescence” (Shishunki - 1952), which was directed by Seiji Maruyama, who along with Honda was a disciple of Kajiro Yamamoto.

The film takes place in a small town among the mountains.  Reiko, a prefectural assembly member's daughter...Keita, son of a Shinto priest...Tamae, who lives with her mother who runs a small bar in town...these three good high school friends create a reading group to study philosophy, but the school forces them to dissolve the group.  Furthermore, the fact that Keita and Reiko went up to the mountains alone was misinterpreted and rumors were spread around town.  In order to resolve this scandal, both parents and the school principal decide to make the two get engaged.  However, this causes Reiko and Keita to suffer even more…

This is an emotional work which shows youth, rational and with utter sincerity, facing off against the logic of adults who control the situation according to their selfish expectation and speculation as well as the irrational dynamics of society which tries to eliminate those who do not fit the norm. There are no sensational scenes like those on the film posters nor promotional photographs.  Although this film is in black and white, it is beautifully made where you can sense the vibrant color palettes of the ears of rice and the greens of trees.

The cast is comprised of Keiju Kobayashi, who plays the straightforward teacher, young Akira Kubo, Iyoshi Ishii (a.k.a. Sandayu Dokumamushi), and Toyoaki Suzuki, who is also in Godzilla.  Appearances by a group of Toho support actors such as young Toki Shiozawa, Senkichi Omura and Junichiro Mukai make an enjoyable attraction for Honda film fans.

The acting performance of the newcomer Keiko Miya, a high school drama club student who was selected in an open audition, is also very impressive.  The script was revised in accordance to her performance, creating a very Honda-esque double heroine composition.  It is also worth mentioning that this strengthened the chick-flick factor of this work.
Snapshot from the set of Kyoko Aoyama (who plays Reiko) with the director
Publicity still of Akira Kubo, who plays the main character Keita, and Kyoko Aoyama
Capturing the natural beauty of Koufu, on location
CAST     Kyoko Aoyama
Akira Kubo
Hisao Toake
Fumiko Honma
Keiko Miya
Tatsuyoshi Ehara
Keiju Kobayashi
Katao Kawasaki
Yuriko Hanabusa
Sachio Sakai
Yuko Togawa
Toyoaki Suzuki
Akira Sera
Tsuruko Umano
Iyoshi Ishii
Sumio Uetono
Emiko Haino
Kieko Sawamura
Toki Shiozawa
Yō Shiomi
Fuyuki Murakami
Ren Yamamoto
Chieko Nakakita
Sakae Ozawa [Eitaro Ozawa]
Sachiko Murase
Honda directing Kyoko Aoyama. Behind is Keiko Miya, who plays the part of Tamae
Kyoko Aoyama and Keiko Miya (left) who also co-star in Honda's "Wakai-ki" and Senkichi Taniguchi's "Shiosai"
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