Yoichi Higashi

Higashi Yoichi

  • Name: Higashi Yoichi
  • Native name: 東陽一
  • Also Known as: ひがし よいち
  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Gender: Male
  • Born: November 14, 1934
  • Age: 89
Known in the West mainly for one film, Village of Dreams (E no naka no boku no mura, 1996), Higashi has in fact produced an oeuvre of consistent intelligence and unobtrusive political commitment along liberal and progressive lines. His feature debut, People of the Okinawa Islands (Okinawa rettō, 1969), was hailed by Joan Mellen as “aesthetically the single finest example of the new documentary [then] emerging in Japan.” Using a hidden camera to record forbidden footage of American installations, Higashi produced a critical examination of the continuing U.S. military presence on Okinawa at the time of its reversion to Japanese rule. His next film and first fiction feature, Gentle Japanese (Yasashii Nipponjin, 1971), also dealt with the legacy of the Okinawan experience in World War II; it recounted the political awakening of a young man who, as a baby at the time of the defeat, had survived a mass suicide on the island. In Satori (Nihon yōkaiden: Satori, 1973), Higashi used a supernatural story to examine the anxieties of modern Japanese.
Higashi’s most critically acclaimed film in Japan was Third (Sādo, 1978), a powerful semi-documentary study of the life of a juvenile murderer in a reformatory, scripted by Shūji Terayama. The extreme understatement of Toshiyuki Nagashima’s lead performance, and the precision with which the camera picked out details in the bare prison environment, gave some scenes a near-Bressonian austerity. After this, Higashi switched his focus to women protagonists in a sequence of subtly feminist films. NoMoreEasyGoing (Mōhōzuewatsukanai, 1979) was a melodrama about a college student who, torn between two unsatisfactory lovers, finally learns that she must live without them both. Natsuko (Shiki:Natsuko, 1980) subtly chronicled a 20-year-old woman’s quest for personal and professional fulfilment, while Manon (1981), vaguely inspired by the Abbé Prévost’s novel, followed the protagonist’s relationships with numerous men. SecondLove (Sekandorabu, 1983) was about a woman trying to deal with the unmotivated jealousy of her insecure, younger second husband. These films were noted for their unusually strong heroines. In contrast, TheRape (Zareipu, 1982) and Metamorphosis (Keshin, 1986) dealt with the oppression of women in a patriarchal society.
During the nineties, Higashi adapted Sue Sumii’s epic novel, The River without a Bridge (Hashi no nai kawa, 1992), set in the Meiji and Taisho periods, about discrimination against the burakumin underclass. The same theme was touched on obliquely in Village of Dreams, a delicate account of the childhood of twin brothers in rural Shikoku during the late forties. Despite its hints of social criticism, the ultra-picturesque settings and elements of magic realism (the group of witches perching in the trees to comment on events) slightly over-sweetened the tone, but the film was atmospheric and affecting. In The Crying Wind (Fūon, 2004), Higashi used the same magical realist approach in a return to the Okinawa setting of his earliest features. The adult stories, in which now elderly protagonists come to terms with their memories of wartime traumas, were somewhat glib, but Higashi again showed his skill at dramatizing the intense emotional lives of children. My Grandpa (Watashi no guranpa, 2003) focused on a slightly older child, tracing the experiences of a 14-year-old girl ostracized at school after the discovery that her grandfather is a murderer. Again, this film revealed Higashi’s consistent sympathy for the outsider. Although his work is arguably more interesting in subject matter than in style, he commands respect for his intelligence and integrity.

(Source: A Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors) Edit Biography
Director
Year Title Type Rating
2004 The Crying Wind
Movie
5.5
1988 The Pursuit of Happiness
Movie
6.4
1984 Wangan Douro
Movie
2.0
1982 Jealousy Game
Movie
6.0
1981 Love Letter
Movie
6.4
1980 Four Seasons: Natsuko
Movie
6.4
1979 No More Easy Life
Movie
7.1
1978 A Boy Called Third Base
Movie
6.0
Screenwriter & Director
Year Title Type Rating
2016 Someone's Xylophone
Movie
6.1
2010 Wandering Home
Movie
6.5
2010 Nasu Natsuko no Atsui Natsu
Movie
2.0
2010 Watashi no Chokyo Nikki
Movie
4.0
2003 My Grandpa
Movie
7.4
2000 The Crossing
Movie
5.1
1996 Village of Dreams
Movie
7.8
1992 The River With No Bridge
Movie
5.0
1981 Manon
Movie
2.0
Movie
Year Title Role Rating
2020 Genzaichi wa idzu ku nari ya eiga kantoku Higashi Yoichi
Japanese Movie, 2020,
(Main Role)
Main Role
0.0
Trending Articles
Jo Bo Ah to reportedly become Kim Soo Hyun's first love in a new K-drama
News - May 16, 2024

Jo Bo Ah will reportedly join the upcoming Disney+ K-drama Knock Off which Kim Soo Hyun is also in talks.

K-drama actor Uhm Ki Joon announces marriage
News - May 13, 2024

K-drama actor Uhm Ki Joon is confirmed to get married this year.

Don Lee Reveals His Wife Supported Him When He was Poor
News - May 17, 2024

The action star recalls his tough past

Yoo Ah In Suffers from Depression, Had Suicidal Thoughts
News - May 14, 2024

Actor Yoo Ah In's doctor speaks

Premiere date of "Resident Playbook" postponed to next year
News - May 16, 2024

The upcoming tvN K-drama Resident Playbook will possibly not air this year.

5 Unknown Facts About "Queen of Tears"
News - May 8, 2024

Read on to get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes process of the K-drama

Higashi Yoichi

Yoichi Higashi
0 Followers
0 Hearts

Details

  • First Name: Yoichi
  • Family Name: Higashi
  • Native name: 東陽一
  • Also Known as: ひがし よいち
  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Gender: Male
  • Born: November 14, 1934
  • Age: 89

Weekly MyDramaList Support Goal

0%
Help Support MyDramaList

Top Contributors

7 edits
4 edits

Popular Lists

Related lists from users