Early in her career, Kyoko Kagawa worked in various film genres, specializing in the roles of innocent and sincere girls. She established her expertise at portraying this type of character in such roles as the kindhearted daughter in Mikio Naruse’s Okasan, as the youngest and most sensitive daughter in Ozu’s Tokyo monogatari, and as the student who tragically dies defending her native Okinawa in Tadashi Imai’s Himeyuri no to. Throughout her early performances, Kagawa demonstrated an acting style that was very natural, pragmatic, and realistic.
Kenji Mizoguchi expanded her capacity for believable suffering by giving her lead roles as the enslaved daughter who sacrifices her life for her brother in Sansho dayu and as a wife who elopes with her husband’s employer in the Kabuki-inspired Chikamatsu monogatari. In the latter role especially, Kagawa showed the tenacity required to survive the physical conflicts of human emotions. Her depiction of the dramatic changes a woman undergoes… read more