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)



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