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Night Drum 1958

Following a yearlong attendance upon his shogun in Edo, samurai Hikokuro makes a long-awaited return to his home and doting wife, Dane. Initially greeted by the effusive welcome of his family, spiteful whispers also reach his ear about an adulterous affair carried on, in his long absence, between his wife and a famous drummer. With Hikokuro’s honor imperiled by rumor, his family insists on a formal investigation into the veracity of the gossip. Through the combined testimony of many witnesses, a tale unwinds around the visits of a traveling musician hired to tutor the family heir, the spurned attentions of the man who started the rumor, and the ultimate truth behind the accusations. The conclusion of events prove as much an indictment of bushidō as it is of the reluctant parties involved. Adapted from a 1706 play by Chikamatsu Monzaemon and based on a true case.

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