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The Japanese Wife

Movie poster for The Japanese Wife.
Directed by Aparna Sen
Written by Kunal Basu (story)
Aparna Sen (screenplay)
Starring Rahul Bose
Raima Sen
Moushumi Chatterjee
Chigusa Takaku
Music by Sagar Desai
Editing by Raviranjan Maitra
Distributed by Saregama Films
Release date(s) January 2010[1]
Running time 105 minutes
Country India India
Language English, Japanese, Bengali

The Japanese Wife is a forthcoming Indian film directed by the acclaimed Bengali film director Aparna Sen. It stars Rahul Bose, Raima Sen and Moushumi Chatterjee, and Japanese actress Chigusa Takaku in the title role. It is in English, Bengali and Japanese.[2] This film was originally scheduled for release in October 2008.[3]

The story revolves around a young village school teacher (Rahul Bose) marrying his Japanese pen friend (Chigusa Takaku) over letters and remaining true and loyal to her throughout his life, while actually never meeting her.



Snehmoy (Rahul Bose) and Miyage (Chigusa Takaku) are pen friends who exchange wedding vows through letters. Fifteen years pass but they never meet. Yet the bond of marriage is strong between them. This unusual relationship comes under a cloud when a young widow, Sandhya (Raima Sen), comes to stay with Snehmoy along with her eight-year-old son (Rudranil Ghosh). Snehmoy and the little boy bond and the arithmetic teacher discovers the joy of palpable bonds and fatherhood. There develops an inexplicable thread of understanding with Sandhya too.



The production of the film started in April 2007.This is the first time Aparna Sen has made a film based on someone else's story. This movie is based on the title story of The Japanese Wife and Other Stories by Anglo-Indian author Kunal Basu, who writes from Oxford.This film was earlier titled as The Kite, but later changed to the name of the original story title.[4]

The shooting locations are Kolkata, Sundarbans and the Japanese cities of Yokohama and Tsukuba, Ibaraki.[5]



Aparna Sen had seen Rahul Bose's work in English, August and Split Wide Open and felt that he was a good, controlled and intelligent actor. In an interview Aparna states that her choice of him for three of her films in a row is because she "can deconstruct him completely and mould him differently in any which way I can. Few actors have this kind of malleability".[6]

Aparna Sen's daughter Konkona Sen Sharma was the first choice for the role now played by Raima Sen.[7] For her role, her name is not mentioned in the original short story, but Aparna Sen named her "Sondhya". Aparna told the Hindustan Times that "Raima as Sondhya shared perfect onscreen chemistry with Rahul. Both are shy and refined and suited the characters well".[8]

For casting Chigusa Takaku in the title role, Aparna said "We had hired an agency and chose her after auditioning 12 girls. She is a sensitive woman and an intuitive actress. Hence, she got a feel of the character quickly enough.[8] She didn’t know any English. We had to converse with her through her translator who was always on the sets."[9]


  1. ^ "Rahul Bose cleans up his act". Times of India. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 6 November 2009.  
  2. ^ "Hindustan Times". Aparna Sen Next film.'s+hands+are+full/. Retrieved 24 March 2007.  
  3. ^ "Hindustan Times". The Japanese wife hits theatres in October. Retrieved 30 January 2008.  
  4. ^ "". The Japanese Wife launched. Retrieved 11 January 2008.  
  5. ^ "The China Post". New film probes Indian-Japanese romance. Retrieved 1 May 2007.  
  6. ^ "Sunday Tribune India". Touching account of love. Retrieved 10 June 2007.  
  7. ^ "Bollywood Humgama". Konkona opts out of her mother's film. Retrieved 12 March 2007.  
  8. ^ a b "Hindistan Times". Madhusree Chatterjee's Interview of Aparna Sen. Retrieved 29 January 2008.  
  9. ^ "Screen India". Searching the Japanese Wife. Retrieved 6 June 2007.  

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