Last night I finally watched Hana no Ato (After the Flowers). It’s a Japanese period film starring Keiko Kitagawa. It’s based on a short story by Shuhei Fujisawa, whose work was the basis for similar movies such as Twilight Samurai.
I was planning on getting it on DVD as soon as a version with English subtitles was released, but it never came out, so after waiting for over a year and a half I got a fan-subbed version.
Keiko plays Ito, who is the daughter of a clan official. Without any sons, he has trained Ito in swordsmanship. One day Ito meets a lower ranking samurai, Magoshiro, who asks for a sparring match. During the match they make a connection. However, Ito’s future husband has already been decided and she tries to quench her feelings.
This might sound like a very romantic story, but it’s not typically romantic as much as a story of respect and quiet admiration. I don’t want to spoil the story more than that.