About the film
The Ghost Cat and the Mysterious Shamisen
Release Date: November 02, 1938
|Writers||:||Shōtarō Saijō, Shōtarō Saijō|
A quintessential example of the period "ghost cat" (bakeneko or kaibyo) movie, this was one of at least six such titles released by the studio Shinko Kinema between 1937-40 featuring Japan's first scream queen, Sumiko Suzuki. Here she plays Mitsue, the possessive onna-kabuki actress betrothed to apprentice shamisen player Seijiro. When one day Okiyo, a beautiful young girl of samurai class, is led to Seijiro's house by his lost cat Kuro, she becomes besotted with him. Dark jealous passions are invoked in Mitsue, which are intensified when Seijiro gifts Okiyo his precious shamisen. The cat is the first to suffer at the end of Mitsue's hairpin, but returns from the grave to assist Okiyo's younger sister Onui avenge her sister's murder.