- 1. or THE RITE OF LOVE AND DEATH
- 2. Based on the Short Story
"PATRIOTISM" by YUKIO MISHIMA
- 3. Produced, Directed, Acted and Written by
- 4. Associate Producer
- 5. Associate Director
- 6. Director of Photography
- 7. Lieutenant Takeyama
- 8. Reiko, His Wife
- 9. In February 1936,
Tokyo was placed under martial law
- 10. following a coup d'état executed
by a group of young military officers.
- 11. They maintained that they were
far more loyal to the emperor
- 12. than the corrupt cabinet members
- 13. Lieutenant Takeyama was
a member of this secret society,
- 14. but it was decided that he should not
participate in the coup d'état.
- 15. The others did not want
to implicate him,
- 16. because they knew how much he loved
Reiko, his beautiful young bride.
- 17. It seemed at first
that the coup had been successful,
- 18. but in a few days people began
to look on it as a minor uprising
- 19. soon to be quelled
by an imperial injunction.
- 20. Lieutenant Takeyama was still
a member of the palace guard.
- 21. The time when he would have to fight
against his comrades-in-arms,
- 22. to execute his closest friends
as rebels, was drawing near.
- 23. The Rite of Love and Death
takes place on the Japanese Noh stage.
- 24. Reiko, the lieutenant's wife,
has seen in her husband's face
- 25. his resolution to die
as he leaves for the palace
- 26. on the snowy morning
following the coup d'état.
- 27. If he should fail to return alive,
she is determined to follow him in death.
- 28. As she gathers the keepsakes she will
leave behind for her parents and friends,
- 29. she calls up tender memories
of her husband's love...
- 30. THE LIEUTENANT'S RETURN
- 31. Then, at midnight,
the snow still falling,
- 32. Lieutenant Takeyama
suddenly appears at the door.
- 33. The guard has been changed, and he
explains that he is free until the morning,
- 34. when he must go to kill
- 35. "But I just can't do it!
- 36. Takeyama, a dedicated soldier,
- 37. cannot bear the thought
of killing his close friends
- 38. if he wishes to remain loyal
to the emperor.
- 39. The contradiction appalls him.
- 40. As the descendant of a samurai family,
the only honorable course left him
- 41. is to die by morning,
to commit hara-kiri.
- 42. "I know how you feel,"
Reiko says quietly.
- 43. "And I will follow you
wherever you go."
- 44. Takeyama is overjoyed.
- 45. "Thank you. We'll go together
to another world then.
- 46. But please let me die first,
and then you follow. I mustn't fail."
- 47. Their involuntary smiles reflect
an unfathomable mutual trust.
- 48. Death is no longer terrifying.
- 49. Reiko feels as she did
on her wedding night.
- 50. This is pure and passionate
as a ritual conducted before the gods.
- 51. They are able
for the first time in their lives
- 52. to reveal unabashedly
their most secret desires and passions.
- 53. First the lieutenant
and then Reiko,
- 54. who has lost all her shyness
in the face of death,
- 55. bids loving farewell to every
smallest detail of the other's flesh.
- 56. "LONG LIVE THE IMPERIAL FORCES!"
- 57. REIKO'S SUICIDE
- 58. THE END