Sumie Tanaka Edit Profile
Graduated from Tokyo Girls Higher Normal School (1932)
Sumie Tanaka worked as a playwright and dramatist for the Bungakuza theatre company, a theatre that staged Shingeki. She wrote popular drama and enjoyed a higher reputation than that of her husband's, Chikao Tanaka who directed her first multi-act play, Spring, Autumn (Haru, aki, 1939). She got her start at the Kidō stage and participated in the playwright workshops run by Kunio Kishida and Kan Kikuchi. In her works, Sumie Tanaka often depicted the life of middle-class families based on her own experience of it. These one-act plays include: A Shimmering (Kagero, 1934), Akiko's Face (Akiko no kao, 1936), and The Bereaved Family (Izokutachi, 1937).
Sumie Tanaka also wrote several plays for the actress Yaeko Mizutani such as A Wicked Woman and Eyes and Walls (Akujo to me to kabe, 1948), Gratia, Lady Hosokawa (Garashia, Hosokawa fujin, 1959), and The White Peacock (Shirokujaku, 1967).
Sumie Tanaka started working in the film industry after the war and was most active during the 1950s, a period considered to be the Golden Age of Japanese cinema. She had a long collaboration with director Mikio Naruse and Kinuyo Tanaka, the first major female director in Japan, for who she wrote several scripts.
Sumie Tanaka wrote for other directors as well, such as Kōzaburō Yoshimura with whom she wrote Night River (1956) and Night Butterflies (1957), and the director Shin Saburi with whom she wrote Until Flowers Bloom in the Heart (1955) and Night Seagull (1957).
She stopped writing for the film industry during the 1960s when she decided to move onto writing for television and became an essayist. She only produced four movies after 1961.
Kirishitan hikugai no ato o tazunete
- Kirishitan hikugai no ato o tazunete
(The film is based on three short stories by female author...)1954
- Late Chrysanthemums
After the war was over, Sumie Tanaka and her family were baptized into Catholicism.
She was married to playwright and dramatist Chikao Tanaka.
- Chikao Tanaka