Yoshiwara (film)

For the silent film, see Yoshiwara (1920 film).
Directed by Max Ophüls
Produced by Samuel Epstein
Herman Millakowsky
Written by Maurice Dekobra (novel)
Arnold Lipp
Wolfgang Wilhelm
Max Ophüls
Starring Pierre Richard-Willm
Sessue Hayakawa
Michiko Tanaka
Roland Toutain
Music by Paul Dessau
Cinematography Eugen Schüfftan
Edited by Pierre Méguérian
Milo Film
Distributed by Compagnie Cinématographique de France
Release dates
22 October 1937
Running time
102 minutes
Country France
Language French

Yoshiwara is a 1937 French drama film directed by Max Ophüls and starring Pierre Richard-Willm, Sessue Hayakawa and Michiko Tanaka. It is based on a novel by Maurice Dekobra. The film is set in the Yoshiwara, the red-light district of Tokyo, in the nineteenth century. It depicts a love triangle between a high-class prostitute, a Russian naval officer and a rickshaw man.[1]


The film was Ophüls' greatest pre-war French financial success.[2] Yoshiwara proved controversial in Japan where the government objected to the depiction of Japanese brothels and banned it. There was a negative reaction against the two Japanese actors who had starred in the film, and they were labelled as traitors.[3]



  1. Seigle p.10-11
  2. Bacher p.37
  3. Seigle p.10-11


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