I will be taking my class to Kamakura on Thursday, so I ventured down there with my family yesterday to check on a few things. My old colleague at Yokohama National University, Professor Yamada, kindly met us at Kita Kamakura Station and we ventured around in the intense heat. 

Being "eiga mania" in some respects, I usually visit the graves of old film people when I travel to such places to thank them for the great movies they gave us. Yesterday was no exception, and we got off at Kita Kamakura precisely to start with Engakuji. Most people know that is where the grave of Ozu Yasujiro is, but there are a lot of others interred there as well. Ozu's grave is on the right halfway up the side of the hill after the stairs to the Okane and before you reach the Somu Honbu. But Kinoshita Keisuke's is about 4 meters away from Ozu's, right where the stairs reach that level. In a separate section, inside the Shoreiin, there are also the graves of the actors Tanaka Kinuyo and Sada Keiji. This temple is usually closed and we had to get special permission to enter. Tanaka's grave, complete with a bronze bust of her, was erected by her cousin, Kobayashi Masaki (director of Kwaidan, Harakiri, etc.), and has his posthumous name inscribed on it even though it seems his main grave is in Shimonoseki (perhaps they divided his ashes?). Sada's grave is just a few feet away from Tanaka's and inscribed with his family name: Nakai (his son, Nakai Kiichi, is very active as an actor). 

We ventured to other spots as well, but we made a point of going to Myoryuji near Kamakura Station, which has a monument erected to Maruyama Sadao, the shingeki and film actor whose troupe was unluckily in Hiroshima when the bomb dropped. Shindo Kaneto made a film about that tragedy entitled Sakura-tai chiru (1988). A couple of years ago at Yale we showed Kimura Sotoji's great prewar version of Muro Saisei's Ani imoto (1936) which stars Maruyama. Although Maruyama's body was apparently lost in the confusion after the bomb, and thus the monument is not really a grave, I wanted to pay my respects to a great actor. 

For lunch, we stopped at Kinema-do, a small eatery/bar run by an old book collector and film fan right off Wakamiya Odori. The food was not the best in the world (though my son liked the Kinema-don), but it was full of great old film books and posters and the music of Ishihara Yujiro. The books are for sale, and he runs a web shop as well. 

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