Shindo’s “Hymn” is one of many adaptions of Tanizaki’s classical novella ‘Shunkinsho’ (‘A Portrait of Shunkin’, 1933). The story tells of the adoration of Sasuke for his mistress, the blind samisen-teacher Shunkin, who treats him imperiously and subjects him to cruel beatings. After an unknown intruder probably one of her pupils, who seeks revenge for her cruel behaviour, pours boiling water on the sleeping Shunkin’s face, Sasuke blinds himself in order not to behold her disfigurement. Sasuke’s sacrifice, made in response to Shunkin’s tacit wish, seals their life-long relationship.
Director: Kaneto Shindô. AKA 讃歌 / Hymn
Stars: Tokuko Watanabe, Jiro Kawarazaki, Nobuko Otowa, Tetsuji Takechi, Kotoe Hatsui, Taiji Tonoyama, Daijirô Harada, Rokko Toura, Daigo Kusano, Daisuke Wakamiya, Kakuko Motoyama.