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Hibari’s Favorite 2
Apr. 26, 1960Japan63 Min.
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Young girl Kichiza searches for her missing brother and the person responsible for the death of her parents.
In Benten kozo (Hibari ohako Benten kozo, Toei, 1960) Hibari Misora co-stars with Kotaro Satomi, Tomisaburo Wakayama, & Cheizo Kataoka, an impressive superb cast. Benten is the Goddess of Mercy who bares a sword for dragon-slaying, & Kozo means Kid or Boy, so the title literally means “Goddess Boy.”
She is cast as a combination wakashu (young man, frequently implying homosexual youth) & onnagata (female impersonator) named Kikunosuke, Kiku for short. Kiku is capable of going back & forth between genders, in one moment speaking like a highborn young lady, in the next like a street ruffian, with tattooed shoulders to prove his street credentials.
Orphaned Kiku was raised at a Buddhist temple & learned theatrical arts & martial arts as a child, which were used to put on stage productions to raise money for the temple, but also to display young lads who were essentially for sale to the highest bidder. As the film opens, Kiku is on a stage performing a Noh “red lion” dance, & a potential customer is at that moment sending money over to the priest’s seating.
He is falsely accused of murdering Lady Okugata, to whom he was being pimped by a vile priest at the corrupt temple, a priest who took in orphans then when they’re about to come of age sells them to the temple’s wealthiest donors.
Original title ひばり十八番 お嬢吉三
IMDb Rating 6.8 5 votes