Die Tochter des Samurai – The Daughter of the Samurai
The 1937 film Die Tochter des Samurai (The Daughter of the Samurai) was written, produced and directed by famed silent and sound film pioneer and director, Dr. Arnold Fanck. It was the very first (and only) co–production between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. The film received good reviews and was well–acted by a fine cast. Top Japanese actors were cast– such as Sessue Hayakawa – who became prominent after WWII and to most English-speaking film–goers would be remembered as Colonel Saito in The Bridge on the River Kwai. The Japanese female lead was played by the young Setsuko Hara, best known perhaps to Westerners for her lead in Tokyo Story decades later. But Fanck, apparently not altogether happy with the reception of the film, self–published his own 118 page glossy book (shown below) in March, 1938. His title of the book was The Daughter of the Samurai – A Film in the Echo of the German Press.
Announcement in the film studio publication TERRA ILLUSTIERTE - Nr. 3 / of 17.3.1937 :
BELOW: The film's German title was originally announced not as The Daughter of the Samurai, but rather as Brave Little Mitsuko:
BELOW, Arnold Fanck and Setsuko Hara at the time of the film's German premiere.
The film's plot, as summarised by Wikipedia:
Yamato Teruo (Isamu Kosugi) returns to Japan after spending six years at an agricultural college in Germany. Teruo is the adopted son of an old samurai family, and is expected to marry the eldest daughter, Mitsuko (Setsuko Hara). However, Teruo has become infected with the idea of Western individualism during his stay in Europe, and refuses to bow to the demands of society. Instead, he confounds his future father-in-law Yamato Iwao (Sessue Hayakawa) by announcing that he intends to marry a German journalist, Gerda Storm (Ruth Eweler), whom he met on the ship back to Japan. Gerda, however, is a blond, chaste, Aryan woman, and will not agree to a mixed-race relationship. She attempts to convince him of his duty to the Japanese race and traditions and to reconcile him with his family.
Meanwhile, Mitsuko, feeling dishonored by Teruo's rejection, attempts to commit suicide by throwing herself into a volcano. She is rescued at the last second by Teruo, and the couple is romantically reunited. Sometime later, the young couple and their baby are now living in Manchukuo, the "New Earth", working on a farm under the benevolent gaze of a vigilant soldier guarding against the ever-present threat of Bolshevism.
Our Collection contains:
The original German film poster
The German Werberatschlag (Cinema owner’s promotion guide -- missing some pages of dot matrix advertising and one text page.) -shown below
The Gauflmstelle handbill advertising the film
A second advertising brochure from Terra Filmkunst -shown below
A small number of lobby cards and press photographs
Arnold Fanck’s self-published 1938 book Die Tochter des Samurai – Ein Film in Echoder Deutschen Presse, Berlin
Cinema Year Book of Japan 1936–1937, Tokyo, with Fanck’s speech to the Japan Motion Picture Foundation on October 31,1936 at the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, published in English; with additional contents relating to the film.
The Illustrierter Film–Kurier cinema programme
The Das Programm von Heute cinema programme
Below, pages from the ultra-rare cinema owner's promotion guide (Werberatschlag). Our copy is incomplete and missing most of the perforated tear-out pages of dot matrix graphic designs meant for use by the cinema owners to place adverts in their local newspapers. We scanned here all existing pages:
In our Poster Gallery we show one of the two original posters for this film, which could be the only existing original poster sheet in any collection worldwide. The poster shown at left below is the one we own: