Based on a play by Hisashi Inoue, it focuses on the sufferings of the survivors of Hiroshima. The film takes place during 4 days in the summer of 1948, as the ghost of her father visits Mitsué (Rié Miyama). He had somehow learned that she has fallen in love, and tries to convince her to start her new life. But Mitsué obstinately refuses his warm and humorous encouragements : « People were killed in my place. I do not have the right to find happiness », she says.
Kabuki is one of Japan's typical theater genres, and it is still very popular today. It was created in the 17th century by a woman. As its popularity grew, it quickly became an entirely male art. Music plays a vital role in Kabuki. It sets the time and place of event; it expressed the actors' sentiments, for example. There are two types of plays in Kabuki: epic plays which recount the feats and deeds of the samurai class, and a more popular repertoire recounting the lives of the peasant and merchant classes. As for the Jiuta-Mai, it is the classical chamber music style of Japan. Before the 17th century, the voice was predominant, but afterward, in particular during the Edo period, the instrumental part became longer, taking a place thus far occupied by the voice. The Jiuta ensemble, also called Sankyoku (meaning "three instruments"), is composed of the shamisen, the koto, and the shakuhachi. This high-quality CD offers three excerpts from different Kabuki plays (of three different styles) and two works from the Jiuta-Mai repertoire. All these pieces are more than 200 hundred years old.
Mitsu (Sakai Miki) meets Yoshioka (Watabe Atsuro) on Christmas and spends the night with him. But their happiness comes to an end quickly when Mitsu is dignosed with leprosy, and needs to be transferred to a sanitarium. Yoshioka dares not visit her. Fortunately, the pitiable Mitsu receives the warmest greeting from the people in the sanitarium. She decides to stay even after finding out her diagnosis was mistaken. She realizes her own identity there as Yoshioka eventually hurries to the sanitarium for her.