Mika complicates the narrative of traditional wife and mother in that she is in state of limbo by being pregnant while also holding equal weight and power in the relationship as Daigo. Early on from the film it is established that Daigo perceives Mika as his equal in addition to being his wife and when she discovers her pregnancy, Mika’s future motherhood does not take up her entire identity as a woman but rather adds another layer to it, making her a multi-faced...
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... necessary to create depth and a strong, essential narrative. While the film does the work of deconstructing the bias against women in film, the view is left to absorb these characters and appreciate them as the strong figures they are without reducing them to or denying them of their womanhood. This turn towards modern feminism represents a trend of post-war Japanese film towards globalization and anticipating the role of international film festivals in the films demographic. While Takita sets up the film against the universally accessible themes of death, honor and questions of womanhood, he also teases the specifics out with predominantly Japanese cultural references. The end product is a film that resonates with everyone, but rings particularly true to Japanese culture, while nodding its head to the changing nature of Japanese womanhood and all that encompasses.
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