Is it possible that the difference between the two wives, “mine” and “my friend’s”, could depend on the yellow or red color of the clothes they wear?

Chronic excess of alcohol no doubt makes life bearable but at the same time it can make distinguishing between people more and more difficult. Even the sexual reflex (the very reaction on the sexual object) becomes approximate – blurry and foggy. Or, doesn’t it? May be, the point here is to rather resourcefully find the excuse (alcoholic delirium) for indulging in a “healthy” versatility of sexual life.

For close neighbors, workmates and friends Masuda and Kawaguchi their perception of the identities of their wives became dis-focused and – dependent on the yellow or the red color of their wives’ skirts, pants and blouses and/or even of the doors leading to them and walls (of the two neighboring constructions where our families dwelled).

Stylistically, Kurosawa represents our friends Masuo (Masuda – the yellow guy) and Hatsu (Kawaguchi – the red one) as two fools on the circus arena. But we are not suppose to underestimate their hidden intelligence. In a way they’re lucky, with reliable job providing them with steady money for a roof, alcohol, food and waffle wives. For many people the situation is much less funny, but in both cases human beings are reduced to basic survival and some very elementary compensations/distractions.

Exposition – two neighboring married couples

Masuo Masuda (Hisashi Igawa) – to the right, often visit his neighbors – Hatsu (Kunie Tanaka) and his wife Yoshie. Usually Masuo comes with his wife (as habitual gesture of friendship between two couples), but this time he came alone and full of complains about his wife – about her indifference and rudeness. His friend Hatsu (in the center), supported by Yoshie (to the left), promised to help – to have a serious “talk” with Masuo’s wife.

After Masuo left Hatsu and Yoshie felt somehow bored in their monotonous red room. Look at Yoshie’s gaze. To where is she looking at? Probably, at what she could prefer not to look – their miserable life in their tiny room of dirty-red color.

Yoshie’s yawn looks a little bit artificial – she, probably, intents to show her husband that she is tired and wants to sleep.

Inter-marital maneuverings put coefficient of happiness up

Something strange started to happen with Masuo. After complaining about his wife to his friends he started to feel a strange attraction to the red color walls behind which Hatsu and Joshie lived.

Sometimes (pre- or post-drinking) Masuo was wondering why he, who is dressed in color yellow and lives in a place with yellow walls was coming towards the red house. Then he felt confused, didn’t know what to do and often left the place without knowing what’s going on.

Eventually the situation somehow cleared in Masuo’s mind – he knocked on the door and met inside a natural and unambiguous hospitality. Is redness more erotic than yellowness?

The situation very quickly slipped to the matter of the two human hearts. According to Masuo, his heart wasn’t beating at all, but Yoshie insisted that his heart was ok and even moving with its beats her hand.


Nobody knows how many days passed since the bodies of our clowns-friends Masuo and Hatsu began to wander about the world detached from their identities. Here we see that somebody with a familiar confidence opened the door, and Tatsu, Masuo’s wife and Hatsu’s girlfriend, not without difficulties recognized the habitually drunk red-panted Hatsu, who was surprised to see with her his best friend Masuo lying on the floor. To explain to viewers what happened we have to mention that exactly in the same day but earlier Masuo during his working hours was offered a generous dose of Whiskey instead of usual sake, a drink which somehow made him able to do what he wasn’t for a while – with a magic exactitude to find his home (through matching yellow color of the walls with the color of his shirt).

Hatsu was surprised that Tatsu called his buddy Masuo her husband. But friendship is above everything. It unites identities, aspirations, dreams. If my buddy is a husband, I am a husband too. I can be two husbands in one.

For a while the lady of the yellow house wasn’t sure – who exactly are these two bodies, whom they belong to and why they are in her place.

It was a moment when Tatsu (yellow clothes wife) felt that she is dealing here with one creature having two bodies. And she, somehow, enjoyed the feeling.

And these two bodies, no doubt enjoyed their belonging to one identity in two colors. Men of delirious souls need sober women. Long live the souls delirious with friendship! Long live sober women delirious enough to forgive men their deliriums. Life continues. Hatsu will soon return to his red wife in their red place. And they will start again to visit their friends in their yellow color dwelling.

Posted on May 26, 2012 – Akira Kurosawa’s “Dodes’kaden” (1970) As Anthropological “Map” of Human Psychological Condition (Kurosawa’s Contemplation on the Living Art of Archetypal Crystallization) by Acting-Out Politics

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