Memories of Matsuko

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Memories of Matsuko
Memories of Matsuko poster.jpg
The Japanese movie poster.
Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima
Produced by Yasuhiro Mase, Yuji ishida
Written by Muneki Yamada (novel)
Tetsuya Nakashima
Starring Nakatani Miki
Music by Gabriele Roberto
Cinematography Masakazu Ato
Edited by Yoshiyuki Koike
Distributed by TBS
Release dates
  • May 27, 2006 (2006-05-27)
Running time
130 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Box office $9,578,449[1]

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[2]


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 early 1970s, Matsuko was a popular school teacher. However, 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.


  • Miki Nakatani – Matsuko Kawajiri (川尻 松子 Kawajiri Matsuko) (Child actor: Kana Okunoya)
  • Eita – Sho Kawajiri (川尻 笙 Kawajiri Shō)
  • Teruyuki Kagawa – Norio Kawajiri (川尻 紀夫 Kawajiri Norio)
  • Mikako Ichikawa – Kumi Kawajiri (川尻 久美 Kawajiri Kumi)
  • Yusuke Iseya – Youichi Ryu (龍 洋一 Ryū Yōichi)
  • Akira Emoto – Kozo Kawajiri (川尻 恒造 Kawajiri Kōzō)
  • Asuka Kurosawa – Megumi Sawamura (沢村 めぐみ Sawamura Megumi)
  • Shosuke Tanihara – Shunji Saeki (佐伯 俊二 Saeki Shunji)
  • Kankuro Kudo – Tetsuya Yamekawa
  • Bonnie Pink – Ayano (綾乃)
  • Gekidan Hitori – Takeo Okano (岡野 健夫 Okano Takeo)
  • Sora Aoi


Home media[edit]

The film has been released in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray by Third Window Films.[3]


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

2006 Japanese Professional Award Winner – Best Actress [1]


  1. ^ "Memories of Matsuko". Boxofficemojo. Retrieved March 04, 2012.
  2. ^ Asian Cinema – While on the Road (2007). "NYAFF Audience Award and Final Comments". Asian Cinema – While on the Road. Retrieved January 8, 2008. 
  3. ^

External links[edit]