Women Make Waves International Film Festival


Forever a Woman

TANAKA Kinuyo 1955 Japan b/w 110min Japanese DCP
Based on the biography The Eternal Breasts by tanka poet NAKAJO Fumiko, TANAKA’s third film is usually considered her truly personal work and her directorial masterpiece. This drama about breast cancer centers on a divorced mother who moves back to her mother’s house. There she regularly attends a poetry circle and falls in love once more. With its frank depiction of sickness, desire, and sexuality, the film evinces an audacity that surprises to this day. The screenplay was penned by TANAKA Sumie, further consolidating the “films for women, by women” outlook that TANAKA Kinuyo strived to advance.



The formidable acting career of TANAKA Kinuyo has long overshadowed her pioneering status as a filmmaker. Between 1953 and 1962, she directed six feature films, tackling unexplored topics such as breast cancer and women's sexuality. As an actress and a filmmaker, TANAKA's works embody the cultural changes of Japanese society and examine the intersections between women’s authorship and gender discourses in modern Japan.


1953 Love Letter 
1955 The Moon Has Risen 
1955 Forever a Woman 
1960 The Wandering Princess 
1961 Girl of the Night
1962 Love Under the Crucifix 

Director: TANAKA Kinuyo
Screenwriter: SAITO Ryosuke, OZU Yasujiro
Chief Producer: HAYASHIMOTO Hiroyoshi
Executive Producer: KOI Eisei
Cinematographer: MINE Shigeyoshi
Editor: KONDO Mitsuo
Production Designer: KIMURA Takeo
Sound Recording: KAMIYA Masakazu
Music: SAITO Takanobu
Assistant Director: SAITO Buichi
Planning: Directors Guild of Japan

NIKKATSU Corporation