top of page

Some Disabled Women in Kurosawa


Content warning for antifeminism/ableism in these films.


Redbeard (1965)


This film features one disabled woman and (arguably) one disabled girl, as well as swarms of physicians. The arrogant young doctor in Redbeard has studied Dutch medicine.


The woman is referred to as “the Mantis” by a minor character, and, indeed, she...


The girl is a Dostoevsky borrowing (or so I'm told -- I haven’t read Humiliated and Insulted).


The Bad Sleep Well (1960)


The young wife’s physical disability is very important in this film.



Do Other Kurosawa Films Feature Disabled Characters?


Rashomon (no)

Dodes’ka den (yes, lots)

One Wonderful Sunday (no)

Scandal (no)

Stray Dog (no)

Drunken Angel (tuberculosis)

The Idiot (yes, lots)

Ikiru (illness)

Seven Samurai (no)

The Hidden Fortress (faking deaf/mute)

The Lower Depths (yes)

Throne of Blood (no)

Yojimbo (no -- well, maybe the brother?)

Sanjuro (no)

High and Low (no)

Dersu Uzala (no)

Sanshiro Sugata Part 1 (no)

Sanshiro Sugata Part 2 (yes -- seizure disorder)

The Most Beautiful (no)

The Men Who Tread the Tiger’s Tail (don’t know yet)

No Regrets for Our Youth (no)

I Live in Fear (yes -- anxiety, mental illness)

Madadayo (no)

The Quiet Duel (don’t know yet)

Ran (don’t know yet)

Dreams (don’t know yet)

Kagemusha (don’t know yet)

Rhapsody in August (don’t know yet)



Recent Posts

See All

Internet Journal Journal

I like a lot of what I read in online literary journals. I also find it harder to read poetry and stories on the screen than on the printed page. I don’t find it impossible to read on the screen; it’s

Alexander the ______ (Donnelly, Newlove, Liem)

Miscited (see the note at the end): Donnelly, Timothy. The Problem of the Many. Wave Books (2022). Liem, T. Obits. Coach House (2015). Newlove, John. The Night the Dog Smiled. ECW (1984). I happened o

“The Baptism” by E. Bishop: Images?

Bishop, Elizabeth. Prose. Ed Lloyd Schwartz. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The short story “The Baptism” by Elizabeth Bishop seems to want a second iteration as visual art. Most prose with good word-imag

bottom of page