The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) National Film Archive of Japan
The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) National Film Archive of Japan
The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) National Film Archive of Japan

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

The Masseurs and a Woman

Hiroshi Shimizu | Japan | 1938 | Unclassified (15+)

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Two wisecracking blind masseurs, a mysterious woman on the run, a travelling salesman and his nephew are brought together by happenstance at a remote mountain resort in Shimizu’s disarmingly funny film. As a love triangle develops – and a spate of bath-house thefts is investigated – this elegantly meandering exploration of love and loneliness weaves in and out of interconnected stories, offering shifting perspectives on human connection in pre-war Japan.

35mm print courtesy of the Japan Foundation

Format: 35mm, Black & White
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
Source: National Film Archive of Japan
Courtesy: National Film Archive of Japan
Duration: 66 mins



66 mins


Unclassified (15+)


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Also screening on Wed 13 July

About the program

Making his directorial debut in 1924 at the age of 21, Hiroshi Shimizu (1903–1966) went on to make over 160 films in a career contemporaneous with widely acknowledged masters Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi, in whose critical shadows he often, undeservedly, resided. The warmth and lightness of his work has always been highly praised but, as Alexander Jacoby notes, he shares with Jean Renoir the double-edged nature of such plaudits: “Those few critics who have written about Shimizu’s work tend to make him sound less interesting than he is.”

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Director Hiroshi Shimizu

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