looking into lonely lives
by Douglas Messerli
Hiroshi Shimizu (writer and director) 按摩と女 Anma to onna (The Masseurs and a Woman) / 1938
Hiroshi Shimizu's 1938 comedy, The Masseurs and a Woman, is fairly simple in terms of its narrative structure, which is basically a loosely built picuresque in which events shift as the blind masseurs, all working at a series of northern Japanese inns, are called from room to room. In Japan during this period, most masseurs were blind, which helped maintain the women customer’s modesty. And much is made of their blindness throughout.