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Yoko
What Does the Runaway Girl Show?
Date:26, May, 2020
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Hello. Today I'm mentioning about Yoko, a Japanese X-rated film released in 1966 March. 1966! Do you remember? And were you there? I wasn't because I was born in 1984. The film was directed by Furuhata Yasuo who passed away in 2019. He made his director debut with the movie. In his latter career, he had often used Takakura Ken for his films. But Ken didn't join the debut film Yoko.

Midori Mako (1944-) starred for the film. She played Yoko, a Japanese teenage runaway girl. She left home, wandered in Tokyo aimlessly. Some man took her to his house, and played with her like a doll. She looked so fascinating that appeared many men who liked to do it with her. Naturally, the sex life didn't console her emptiness at all. She enjoyed listening to jazz, taking some sleeping pills. It looks she got reckless. But nothing satisfied her. After all, she gave up living in Japan and decided to make a voyage.

She maybe looks like a stereotype of reckless youngster that you often see. They long to go somewhere else, but there's no place for them. Nothing ideal is found. Some go reckless, others give up their longing and adjust themselves to reality with a sigh. Yoko might be one of them. And I suppose some will not feel good with this film.

Why did Furuhata Yasuo desire to film such a runaway girl? And how come he made his debut as a director with it? Furuhata was born in 1934, and entered the Toei company in 1957. Televisions weren't spread yet in Japan of 1950's, many people went to theaters for watching films. Above all, historical dramas were popular. So Furuhata got orders to film historical dramas as soon as he joined Toei. But he longed to film modern ones, refused the orders. It means he desired to film a contemporary. And he debuted with Yoko in 1966. What is it? Yoko must have been a contemporary to Furuhata in 1966.

In 1960's, Japan basked in rapid economic growth. Many say so. And I don't know what it was really because I wasn't born yet. However, I consider most cannot be happy no matter how high economy grows up. It seems like the film shows so. Why does Yoko look so unhappy though she was in rapid economic growth? Why is she unable to find out where she should be after all? And why did Furuhata film such a runaway girl as a contemporary?

I don't tend to deny our past. And I'm not denying economy itself. But I believe economy is not the absolute being. The developed nations (including Japan) are still almost held by the spell which says we have to grow up economically. And Yoko is still a film worth seeing.

about Yoko

・Directed by Furuhata Yasuo
・Written by Konami Fumio & Ono Ryunosuke
・Music by Yagi Masao
・Distributed by Toei
・Released on March 19, 1966
・Running Time: 85 minutes





 

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