Memories of Matsuko

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Memories of Matsuko
Memories of Matsuko poster.jpg
Japanese film poster
Directed byTetsuya Nakashima
Produced by
  • Yuji Ishida
  • Hidemi Satami[1]
Screenplay byTetsuya Nakashima[1]
Based onA novel
by Muneki Yamada[1]
Music byGabriele Roberto[1]
CinematographyMasakazu Ato[1]
Edited byYoshiyuki Koike[1]
  • Amuse Soft Entertainment
  • Kiraware Matusko no issho
  • Tokyo Broadcasting Committee
Distributed byToho
Release date
  • 27 May 2006 (2006-05-27)
Running time
130 minutes[1]
Box office$9,578,449[2]

Memories of Matsuko (嫌われ松子の一生, Kiraware Matsuko no Isshō, "Life of despised Matsuko") is a 2006 Japanese film written and directed by Tetsuya Nakashima. It is based on a Japanese novel by Muneki Yamada.

It has not yet received North American distribution, though in its North American premiere at the 2007 New York Asian Film Festival, the film received the Audience Award with an average rating of 9.2[3]


The story begins with Sho cleaning out the remaining belongings of his recently deceased aunt Matsuko. Sho gradually learns many details of his aunt's life, and it is through his investigations that the audience learns the story of Matsuko's past.

In the 1970 - 1971, Matsuko was a popular junior high school teacher in Ōkawa, Fukuoka. However, she was sexually harassed by vice-principal, and when one of her students (Ryu) committed a theft, and Matsuko took the blame for him, this had terrible consequences for her life.

The film also reveals some details of Matsuko's earlier life, including a troubled childhood, when she struggled to gain the attention of her father. Matsuko's father's affection was mostly dominated by her chronically ill sister, which created an imbalanced rivalry where Matsuko's needs were less likely to be met.

Matsuko's relationships with men were generally troubled as well. She moved from relationship to relationship with men who gave her some inkling of affection, though it was often accompanied by abuse. She often found herself abandoned by the men she loved, who couldn't cope with her neediness. She continued to pursue her dreams of perfect love, even as her life spiraled down, and she found herself working as a prostitute, and even imprisoned.

When Matsuko met later in life with Ryu, whom she saved from the charges relating to his theft, she found that he held affection and admiration for her. She saw in him another chance for true love. But Ryu, by this time, was deeply entrenched in a criminal life. He decided that it would be best for him to disappear from her life, to protect her from the risks of life with a gangster. This final abandonment was disastrous for Matsuko, who never knew to what extent she affected the lives of the men who loved her. In July 9 2001, Matsuko was beaten to death by a gang of junior high school students in a park near Kita-Senju Station.



Initial Release[edit]

Memories of Matsuko was distributed theatrically in Japan on May 26 2006 by Toho.[1] The film won Miki Nakatani the award for Best Actress (along with her work in Lof and Christmas on July 24th) and Best Actress at the Mainichi Film Concours and Japanese Academy Awards.[1] The film also won Best Editing and Best Music Score at the Japanese Academy Awards.[1]

Home media[edit]

The film has been released in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray by Third Window Films.[4]


2007 The Asian Film Awards - Best Actress Miki Nakatani, Best visual effect, Masahide Yanagawase, Best arts direct, Towako Kuwashima

2007 Japanese Academy Award Winner - Best Actress, Best Music, Best Editing

2006 Japanese Professional Award Winner - Best Actress [1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Galbraith IV 2008, p. 442.
  2. ^ "Memories of Matsuko". Boxofficemojo. Retrieved March 04, 2012.
  3. ^ Asian Cinema – While on the Road (2007). "NYAFF Audience Award and Final Comments". Asian Cinema – While on the Road. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
  4. ^


External links[edit]