It appears that writings of the early Meiji era (around 1870s) of Japan were littered with popularised tales of dokufu or “poison women”; women who were violent criminals, thieves and murderers. A lot of the tales were based on real people and then the tales were mainly exaggerated through popular fiction, kabuki theatre and much later in films.
One of the most famous was Takahashi Oden who, in real life, was known to have poisoned her leprosy-riddled husband and stabbed … (read more)
Kwaidan came out of left-field for me. I’ve not studied film academically, and although I’m a fan of Japanese film, I’ve not seen anywhere near as much as some of my compatriots here. Nonetheless, I’ve heard about Kwaidan — usually mentioned on places like the Mobius forums in the textual equivalent of reverential tones. So, I stuck my hand up for it when a copy arrived for review, and I’m glad I did.
Kwaidan is a collection of four short … (read more)