At its most basic, the story tells of a young scholar who falls in love with a beautiful woman, unaware that she is a white snake who has taken on human form. A monk intervenes in order to save the scholar’s soul and casts the white snake into a deep well at the Leifeng Pagoda.
Over the centuries the story has evolved from horror story to romance with the scholar and the white snake-woman genuinely in love with one another, but such a relationship is forbidden by the laws of Heaven. There have also been variations on the telling of the story: like the scholar adopting the white snake as a pet while still a schoolboy; or himself being banished from Heaven and becoming a mere human on Earth.
An added character is a green snake who has also been turned into a woman and serves as the white snake-woman’s soul sister and confidante. —Wikipedia
Shirō Toyoda (豊田 四郎 Toyoda Shirō, born 3 January 1906, Kyoto, Japan – 13 November 1977, Tokyo, Japan) was a Japanese film director. Born in Kyoto, Toyoda moved to Tokyo in his teens and began studying under the pioneering film director Eizō Tanaka. He joined Shōchiku’s Kamata studio in 1924 and worked as an assistant director under Yasujirō Shimazu. He debuted as a director in 1929 and moved to the independent Tokyo Hassei studio in 1935, where he scored a hit with Young People and gained a reputation for directing literary adaptations with a humanistic touch. After a slump during World War II, he became one of the top directors at Toho (into which Tokyo Hassei had merged during the war), famed for his adaptations of literary works by such giants as Yasunari Kawabata, Kafū Nagai, Naoya Shiga, Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, Masuji Ibuse, and Ango Sakaguchi. He was particularly known for portraying weak men and strong women with a humorous touch, such as in films like Meoto zenzai (1955). His career… read more