“Sincere love” is fashionable among the young people in Japan today. The reason lies in the anxiety for their unsteady future which is neither clear nor credible. In this bleak world, the last hope left in Pandra’s box may be pure, sincere love. They hunger for something that will touch their heartstrings and move them to tears. And this story of innocent young lovers contains the universal theme that will satisfy their subconscious desire for the world they only dream of.
Based on one of the last novels by Yukio Mishima, Japan’s representative novelist whose works have been widely known throughout the world and brought to the screen many times, it depicts how the germ of love in the hearts of a young handsome lord and a pretty girl who is his childhood friend grows into passionate love, as they place themselves in the hands of destiny. The youth tries to gain true love fighting the destiny while the girl dedicates herself to love by accepting the fate. Their love ends fruitless, but they must have surely gained in their clasped hands the brilliant moments of supreme love which the young people of our time unanimously crave.
Although it ends up a tragedy, watching the last scene of falling cherry blossoms, each viewer will search his memory for his own eternal love.
Born to the families of aristocrats, Kiyoaki Matsugae and Satoko Ayakura, have known each other as good friends since they were little children. As they grow up, Satoko gradually realizes that her adoration of the young lord has turned to love. Though faintly aware of her fondness for him, Kiyoaki, too, tries to impart his affection to her, but to no avail, due to lack of romantic experiences. He is so very young, so very innocent.
One snowy winter morning, however, Kiyoaki and Satoko go out in a carriage for viewing snowscape. In the falling snow, they gaze into each other’s eyes for the first time, and, as nature guides them, they go into each other’s embrace, his lips meeting hers. It is a beautiful scene of pure love that is deemed to last forever.
In the meantime, Satoko is proposed by a prince related to the Imperial Household. Since her father, Count Ayakura, is in financial difficulties, he earnestly urges her to accept his proposal, hoping her marriage to the prince will save his house from the otherwise inevitable downfall. Satoko desperately tries to meet Kiyoaki to make sure of his love, but he simply turns his cold back to her because of a certain misunderstanding on his part. He even shuts down his communication with her. In despair, she agrees to marry the prince.
Satoko’s engagement with the prince is irrevocable. It is only then that Kiyoaki finds himself deeply in love with her. Seeking her forgiveness, he desires to restore her dedicational love. Though she once gives him up, passion rekindles in her heart and she runs into his embrace. But their love is “forbidden” now. Driven by passion, they rush out on the way of no return. They meet in secret and share some moments of happiness until at last a tragedy falls on the young lovers…
- YUKISADA Isao
- Original Story
- MISHIMA Yukio
- ICHIKAWA Minami
- ITO Chihiro
- Release Date in Japan
- Running time