Harikomi involves a veteran policeman (Seiji Miyaguchi) and a junior associate (Minoru Ohki) trying to capture a malefactor during an oppressively hot summer. Their fugitive has fled Tokyo, leaving no real trail. For lack of any better options, the two officers travel to the town in Kyushu in which the criminal’s former girlfriend (Hideko Takmine) lives. Once in Kyushu, they rent a room in an inn across the street from Takamine’s home. While watching Takamine’s day to day life, they grow increasing sympathetic of her plight — she is married to a rather boorish banker and has demanding children. Eventually, because this lead has proved unpromising, the senior detective returns to Tokyo. However one day, Takamine gets a letter that changes her demeanor and eventually she sets off on a journey alone (except for Ohki tailing her). She finally does rendezvous with her former lover, still unaware of his legal problems. As they go together to a resort inn, Ohki gathers local reinforcements… —rozmon.blogspot.com
Yoshitaro Nomura, Japanese film director (b. April 23, 1919, Tokyo, Japan—d. April 8, 2005, Tokyo), pioneered the film noir genre in Japanese cinema. The son of film director Hotei Nomura, Yoshitaro Nomura signed with the Shochiku film studio when he was 22 years old and made his directorial debut with Hato (Pigeon) in 1953. Though he made samurai dramas and musicals, he was best known for his film noirs, including his masterpiece Suna no utsuwa (1974; Castle of Sand), a thriller that follows the investigation of a murdered police officer; it was considered among the finest films ever made in Japan. —Britannica
“Listen, I’m sorry that I urinated on you. You’ll forgive me, won’t you?” According to Takamine, that’s how she broke the ice when she met now-director Nomura Yoshitarô after nearly thirty years. Takamine made her debut, in 1929 at the age of five, in Mother, a huge box-office success, which was directed by Nomura's father, Hôtei, who used to entertain Deko-chan by having her play with his then 10-year-old son, who obviously got more than what he bargained for. Nomura, primarily a genre stylist best known for his noirish crime dramas (often based on the socially conscious fiction of Matsumoto Seichô), who started his career at Shochiku in the early '50 as an assistant to Kurosawa on The Idiot (though he mostly studied under Kawashima Yûzô, and later mentored, among others, Yamada Yôji), went to quite a bit of trouble to secure Takamine's services, the biggest, most expensive Japanese female star at the time. It's not a particular great role, especially for an actor of her caliber, but her presence alone elevates the character, and, consequently, the film itself, which turned out to be a break out success for Nomura. And despite the usually great Mayuzumi Toshirô's over-emphatic score, not-so-subtly underlining this otherwise leisurely paced film's true genre purpose, Nomura is perceptive enough to imbue the film with a tang of social relevance, not only through the writing but also by capturing Takamine's Sadako as she goes about her daily routine from a point-of-view that is at times different from those of his detective protagonists across the street, thus turning her into a symbol, perhaps one of the failure of women's movements during the post-Occupation period (not coincidentally, Sadako's urban counterpart, the girlfriend of the younger detective, is also caught in a difficult, no-win situation). During her retro in Tokyo in 1989, Takamine made a special request to see this film, causing the schedule to jump ahead. It's not hard to see why.