Wasabi Stories vol.130: “Don’t run away but endure, and you’ll find a way out”


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“Don’t run away but endure, and you’ll find a way out

Today’s story teller is an actress, [W:Ayako Wakao], whom story I have shared here previously titled “Once you decided, don’t change it because…”.


This time, she talked about the films she played roles in the past.

“Being an actress for more than fifty years, I have some films that will never be filmed the same again and I can call ‘my treasure’. Because I suffered hardships for the treasures, they stay in my memory forever.”



Her treasures were directed by Kenji Mizoguchi.

Her first film with Mizoguchi was “Gion Bayashi” in 1953.

She was about 20 years old and the director told her “Just be the character to act” and let her do however she felt like to do, which she said, was easy.

But when they filmed “Akasen Chitai (aka Street of Shame)”, it was totally different.

Her role was a prostitute who leads a man by the nose but she didn’t to know what it was like at all.

Although she couldn’t act well, the director didn’t get upset but he wouldn’t start the cameras unless her acting getting shaped.

Meanwhile, she had to keep senior actors waiting for a long time.

Wakao told about her feeling at the time.


“It was so painful that I really wanted to die.”


Everything she did was denied and she was in a tight corner during shooting.


Wakao’s word,

“Having been through that many hardships, I experienced like my view clearlyopening up. I could act like my feeling loosened. I made sure that after suffering extreme hardship, you find your way out somewhere.”


The NIKKEI Nov/12/2009  by Ayako Wakao (actress)



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