MY ASAKUSA: Coming of Age in Prewar Tokyo. A Memoir, by Sadako Sawamura, translated by Norman E. Stafford and Yasuhiro Kawamura, with an author’s note and a foreword by Taichi Yamada. Boston/Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2000, 270 pp., $16.95

Sadako Sawamura was one of Japan’s leading character actresses. Though she often performed on stage, she is best remembered for her movie roles — Naruse’s 1954 “Late Chrysanthemums,” Ozu’s 1960 “Late Autumn.” Plain yet cultivated, she specialized in traditional roles — the older geisha, the worldly aunt, the “okamisan” at the elegant eatery.

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