A Womb to Let (1968) - full transcript

A wife with a fertility problem wants to use her sister's womb to have children, but her sister is enjoying her boyfriend and sexual freedom. The husband is a commanding chauvinist and this soon turns out to be an uninteresting study on authority, patriarchy and conservatism vs. free love and youth culture.

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1968 -- Wakamatsu Productions


Planning and Production: KOJI WAKAMATSU


Cinematography: HIDEO ITO


Asami Kado

Kohei Tsuzaki
Sachiko Ijichi

Ko Matsuura
Kenji Fukuma
Misa Ando
Kiyoshi Kinami

Hiroshi Jo
Yoshio Hayakawa
Jun Akiho
Ayako Kidowaki
Kyoko Yayoi

Reiko Koyanagi
Midori Asa
Yuto Sato
Masajuro Miki
Tsuyoshi Oda
Shigeru Yamazaki

Special Appearance by:
Ken Yoshizawa


- Disinfectant.
- Yes, doctor.

You know I'm only doing this
because I trust you.

Don't worry, everything is going
exactly according to plan.

I love you.

Same as the last time I examined her,
your wife shows no signs of pregnancy.

I understand your wife's
desire to have children,

but I'm afraid there's nothing
more I can do for you at this stage.

In fact, I can't help but wonder
if the problem lies in your sex life.

- I understand.
- Thank you.

- Thank you very much, doctor.
- Don't mention it. Take care.

- Excuse me, I must be going now.
- Of course.

What a nuisance.


If what the doctor says is true...

- It's not your fault.
- What?

Don't worry.

I'll think of something.

It's like we share the same body.

The same body?

I love you.

The same body...

This thought always occurs to me
when I make my morning rounds.

"What kind of person lives here?
I wonder what they're like."

But I can usually get an idea
from the look of the house

or the name on the door.

What kind of man? What kind of woman?

That man and woman,

and the look on their faces
when they wake up in the morning.

And at night,
when they're alone...

I wonder what they're thinking
about while they have sex.

Why worry about other people?

I guess it's not important...

It isn't!

Everywhere you go, couples are
having sex and making families.

Here, there, and everywhere.

I think you're a little neurotic.

You know...

After running for so long,
all I can see is those houses.

I start to forget there are actually
people living inside those houses.

I think that...

people think so much about
houses, homes, and families,

that they forget to think about
themselves, or even their own bodies.

Are you going to school tomorrow?

Yeah, I have classes in the afternoon.

That's my sister and her husband.

- Hey, I'm home.
- We weren't expecting you!

You brought a friend?

Oh, you haven't met?
This is Minao.

- This is my sister.
- Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you. I'm Iori.

I'll be going...

Why don't you stay awhile?

Right, Yumiko?

- Can you stay?
- Sure...

- Please follow me.
- Thank you.

- I'm back.
- Welcome home.

Bring us some tea.

So, you and Yumiko
live in the same building?

That's right.

Minao works for the school newspaper.
So I just happened to run into him...

What about your family?

My mother lives back in my hometown.

That's right, your father died
when you were young, didn't he?

That's right.

Do you like your job?

Not really. Work is for making money,
it doesn't matter if you like it or not.

I agree.

Do you go home often?

No, I've been here for six years
and haven't traveled home once.

Now if you'll excuse me,
I have to go to work.

Of course.

So that's your boyfriend?

Well, it doesn't
look like anything serious.

It was nice meeting you.

He might be just what we're looking for.

And he's from the same town as Yusaku.

Come warm me up.

Yes, dear.

I wonder if Yumiko's had sex with him.


We should probably find out.

Find out what?

About Yumiko and that Minao kid.

Yes, dear.


Hey, Minao! Hey!

Y- yes, sir?

You've got a guest,
same girl as always.

Oh, sorry about her.

Were you sleeping?

No, I wasn't.
How are you feeling?

- Any classes today?
- Yeah, but not until later.

Would you say we're in a relationship?

Do you think we're in love?

Wow, you got serious all of a sudden.

But we already tested
the idea that love equals sex.

I can't do it anymore,
as of today. Is that okay?

On your period?

Don't say it like that... My sister
asked me the same thing this morning.

What did you say?

I said that all available evidence
supports the theory that love equals sex.

We're not just playing games,
we must be in love.

What are you doing?

Answer me seriously!
Don't make fun of me.

I gave you an honest answer.
What more do you want?

Did you have intercourse?

- Sex?
- Yes.

We've never just had sex.

I'm not an adult yet,
so there's no need to sell my body.

Sell your body?

I asked if you had sex!

Isn't that how it goes?

Sex is something you give away or sell.

Isn't that how you think?
That's not what it's like for us.

Just answer my question.

Did you have intercourse?

I did not have "intercourse."

But I guess that was a lie,
if you think about it literally.

I guess I just convinced myself
that what we have isn't "sex."

You think so?

Maybe I should move out after all?

Yesterday was the first time I'd been
to your place, but I didn't get good vibes.

It's not a good environment.

It's a beautiful house,
and I'm sure it's expensive.

But it's like I saw a new side of you.

Your sister and her husband
are so out of touch,

yet stubborn at the same time.

They're just attached to the house.
There's nothing worse than that.

You mean
there's no physical connection?

That's right.

I don't know
what they're thinking...

but they're not really living,
I mean with their body and spirit.

That's why,
don't take this the wrong way,

but I could tell that you've
inherited some of that mentality.

Stop it, I already know that.

That's why I spend most of my time
at school or with my friends.

I just stay at home so my sister
can show that she loves me.

I accept her money,
but I'm still my own person.

Can you honestly say that you're working
to support yourself, like I am?

I try not to think about it.

I'm still young...

Oh, it's you!

Stay where you are.



That's enough.

I still can't feel anything.

It's okay, dear!

Maybe we should try
artificial insemination after all.

Are you sure?

Listen to me.

I've been thinking
about this for a while.

If I can't do it, then we'll find
someone else to donate their sperm.

It was the same with other women too.

That's why I chose you.

I broke it off with all the other women,
now you're the only one for me.

But why
do we have to decide now?

That's enough!

I know myself
better than anyone else.

I'm sterile!

It's just... I want it to be your child.

If you can't,
then let's just forget it.

We have Yumiko,
so we'll never be lonely.

I can't accept that!

I don't want Yumiko!

But Yumiko's my sister!

If we can't have a child,
why not think of her as our daughter?

Yumiko is not our child!

I want to have
a child, my own child!

what it means to have a home.

I don't want
the Onadera line to end with me.

While I'm still alive...

I want a child... a family...

all living together in this house!

Home... nation... the world!

That's how
it's always been throughout history.

Then my descendants
will inherit this house...

and have children of their own...

just as I have!

They will carry on my legacy!

That's why I need your help.

That's why we went to the doctor.

Even if I'm impotent,
we can still extract my sperm.

That way you can have my child.

But we'll only have one chance,
so I want to be sure it'll work.

Extracting sperm is a difficult procedure
that can only be done once.

I plan to leave all of my wealth
and possessions to my descendants.

I'll write that in my will,
once we know a child is on the way.

That's why you must
also ask Yumiko to help me.

Why ask me?

Isn't that your decision to make?

It doesn't have
anything to do with me.

I'm planning
to move out soon anyway.

That's why
you must also ask Yumiko.

I can't rely on you alone.
If something goes wrong, all is lost.

You're siblings...

If Yumiko also agrees to conceive,
the chance of success will be doubled.

He wants me to have his child?

That's right.

It's not a laughing matter!

- But you must be joking!
- I am not joking.

Well, I refuse.

No matter how much he's done for me,
to ask me to bear his child...

It's only artificial semination!


I know
you can't wait to move out...

but without his help,
how do you plan to survive?

By living with that Minao kid
and pinching pennies?

After all we've done for you...
after all I've done for you...

Now the truth comes out.

In that case, I'll get all I can
out of the Onadera family.

You must be so happy, being promoted
from mistress to lady of the house...

That means...

You agree to help?

Don't get so excited.
I haven't agreed to do anything yet.

Yumiko, please...

Please lend me your body,
just to bear his child.

- I need some time to think.
- How much time?

Just a few days.

Thank you, Yumiko.

Hey, Minao.

What's up?

I need to talk to you.

I'll be done with work in two hours.

Okay, I can wait.

See you later then.

Well, it looks like everything
is going according to plan.

For now...
it all depends on your sister.

You really are evil...

And who made me that way?

It wasn't me.

You can't blame me for that.

Then who is to blame?

It's you.

That's how you are.

You're an evil person.

I just see it as a trade-off.


You know, a trade-off.

I'll rent out my body
and my precious youth.

In exchange for
my time and services,

I'll charge them a
reasonable fee of 20 million yen.

They'll just be renting your body?

That's right.

Isn't that the same as surrogacy?


- What's that?
- You don't know?

There's a long history
of surrogacy in Japan.

In the old days,

poor families would lend their daughters
to rich couples who wanted children.

In exchange for
bearing their child,

they would be sent home
with food for their family.

That was how
poor women made their living.

I didn't know that...

It was a profession!

Giving birth to children
is something only women can do.

It's a uniquely feminine profession.

But isn't that the same as
men contributing their semen?

- Like a stallion.
- A stallion?

Isn't that a masculine profession?

Hey, what time is it?

It's 4 o'clock.

- What?
- 4 o'clock!

4 o'clock? That's okay, then.

- You two want to come?
- Come where?

Unless you have something better to do.
Wanna have some fun?

- Get the key out.
- J- j- just a minute.

What's the matter? Come in already!

Please stop it, I'm burning

That fateful night, it all fell apart

The flower betrayed,
as it came into bloom

The memory haunts me,
no matter where I go

Feeling like
my chest is about to explode

Broken into pieces,
like the ashes of our love

But I'll keep singing
my song to you, forever

Singing to you, forever and ever more

How much longer can this go on...

The flower betrayed...

I've decided to go through
with the surrogacy after all.

That crazy girl the other night,
she told me something interesting.

"Women either
have children or become prostitutes."

- And you believe that?
- Yeah, I think so.

What ever happened to
"love equals sex"?

You don't think
that can last forever, do you?

I don't know,
I like to think it can.

You really think
we can make it on our own?

We can make it if we try.

I called you earlier today,
and the store manager answered.

He said "Minao is sleeping right now,
but I have something to tell you."

"Ever since you two started dating,
Minao's been exhausted and useless."

"I know you two are in love,
but what about Minao's future?"

"Do you really think the two of you
will be able to make it together?"

"Just think about it."

That bastard!

Maybe he was right. It's too early
for me to know what I want.

So don't feel bad about it.

- If that's how you feel...
- Yes, I've made up my mind.

Now I'll just go to the hospital,
have the procedure and wait ten months.

It's the perfect opportunity to make
something of my youth, while I still can.

you know I love you, but...

Really? She agreed to do it?

Yes. It looks like Yumiko has
finally come to understand herself.

Minao, you idiot!

Why didn't you try to stop me?

I hate you... I hate you!

But... what if your husband
goes to see another doctor?

He might find out that's he sterile.

Don't worry.

Even if he knew, his pride
would keep him from telling anyone.

It was hard enough
to convince him to see you.

That's true, but...

But are you sure
that he's sterile?

What if one of his
girlfriends gets pregnant?

He's sterile. I'm sure of that.

There have been
lots of other women,

but he says
he broke it off with all of them.

He chose me to be his legal wife.

is for the sake of his child.

That's all he cares about now.

I'll do everything I can, but...

We have to be careful.

I understand.

Please do your best tomorrow.

If all goes well, I'll be sure
to collect my 5 million yen.


Iori, this is bad!

What's wrong?

Yumiko's pregnant.
I'd say three months.

What? She's pregnant?

What should we do?

What do you think we should do?

I'll go ahead
with the procedure anyway.

You're sure it'll work with me?

It'll work.
I'll give you my sperm.

Well, here goes.

Three months...
It won't be long now.

And that Minao is the father.

I can't believe she lied to me.

- Are you okay?
- Yes, I'm fine.

Lie down and rest now.

It's okay,
nothing to worry about.

she had an allergic reaction?

Ah, yes... But anxiety is common
in women who have this procedure.

They tend to think of artificial
insemination as some big operation.

Just give her some
sedatives and she'll be fine.

You can go now.
I'll take it from here.

Yes, doctor.

Her morning sickness has started.

What if someone notices?

- Our plan will be ruined!
- Don't worry.

Most people can't tell how far
along a woman is in her pregnancy.

We'll deal with it later,
when the time comes.

Deal with it?

I'm a specialist.

Pregnancy, miscarriages,
premature births, stillbirths...

Even abortions... I can do it all.

- What about Yumiko?
- Ah, well...

She won't be able
to tell the difference.

When will she wake up?

Not for a few more hours.
I gave her some sleeping pills.

The main thing is that she's pregnant.

Minao, I love you...

I'm leaving because I love you.

To say you love me...
Means you don't understand me.

You fool...

You're a fool!

You don't know...

You don't know about our child...

You fool, you fool... Idiot!


Are you calling me an idiot?


Who's an idiot?

I was dreaming...

I must have been.

Don't try to fool me!

The child inside you
isn't Yusaku's, it's Minao's!

That's right. My baby will be born
about three months before yours.

Who told you that?
Where did you hear that?

I knew it from the start.

A woman knows when
she's going to be a mother.

Yusaku is my husband.

My son will be his descendant.

But you
wouldn't understand, would you?

Your husband is here.

I see.

Everything is going well so far.

We're even beginning
to see signs of pregnancy,

so you can just go home
and wait for the baby to come.

What's wrong?

It's nothing to worry about.

I hope to see you both
come home tomorrow.

Please consult with me
if there's an emergency.

I'll be waiting for you two at home.

Thank you, sir.

That husband of yours...

I think he suspects something.

What are you talking about?

I don't like your attitude.

More importantly,

if we don't act quickly,
Yumiko's baby will be born first.

I can pass that off
as a premature birth.

Then... her baby would become
the eldest son of the Onadera line.

What's going to happen to my baby?

Calm down!

How am I supposed to calm down?

She may be my sister,
but I won't allow that.

- Who does she think she is...
- Just calm down!

We have no choice.

This calls for drastic measures.

Drastic measures?
What are you going to do?

Tonight's our last chance.

Well then...

You can go home tomorrow.

I'll give you some
medicine for your nerves.

We may be sisters, but I won't
allow her to ruin my child's chances.

When I was
growing up in the country,

I was determined to
protect my home forever.

Now I'm determined to protect the
Onadera household and make it my home.

That's all I want.

That makes you my enemy now,
no matter what we've shared in the past.

Hey! What day is it?

The 6th...

It's the 6th?

Don't I have an interview
or something today?

today's your adoption review!

That's today?

Oh yeah, that's right.

Are you sure you want to do that?

Not really, but...

I want the money though.

Why do you need money?
You can just stay with us!

- Yeah, but I...
- We'll miss you, man!

I mean, I've got expenses, man.

If they want to adopt a bum...
like me, then what do I care?

Didn't you say you wanted
to write novels for a living?

I can still write novels
if I get adopted.

The more money you have,
the harder it is to be free, man.

Well, it's worth a try anyway.

I'm sure I'll be back before long.

It's really unlike you, though.

Aren't you always talking about
being independent and stuff?

Yeah, but...

Well, just clean yourself up and
go impress your new mommy and daddy.

That's just good business.

If you want to sell yourself,
you should cut your hair.

- It's really long!
- Yeah, you're right...

Maybe I will cut it...

- I wouldn't do it though.
- They'll probably take a picture...

Better take a nice picture
so your new daddy likes you!

Good afternoon.

She's under sedation.

Yumiko was severely sleep deprived
and showing signs of neuroses...

Last night she had an episode,
which led to her current condition...

You liar!

You gave her an abortion
and made me help you!

- Mrs. Onadera...
- You villain!

- You're the one who planned it all!
- Please calm down...

Miss, please calm down.

- Mrs. Onadera, please!
- Yusaku, listen to me...

It's all his fault!
He's an evil doctor!

Don't try to fool me!

I don't believe what anyone says,
especially not the two of you!

Was she telling the truth?

- No, your wife is just excited...
- My wife?!

I know she's your whore!

I know everything!

Please lie down...

Tell her what happened
when she wakes up.

And then?

I'll leave the rest up to you.

When will Miss Yumiko wake up?

I have orders to escort her home
as soon as possible, if you don't mind.

- Fine with me.
- Thank you.

Yusaku, darling!

Mrs. Onadera, please!
I need you to calm down!

- Yusaku!
- Please...

Those fools!

If it wasn't for this house...

none of it would matter.

Excuse me.

Thank you for everything.

I'll be leaving now.

Thank you very much.

You don't want a child anymore?


It's your child.

I know.

I decided that I don't
want a child anymore.

This house will die with me.

Poor people are also poor at heart.

I'm glad I learned that before I died.

Your child wouldn't be suitable
to carry on the Onadera line.

- You're saying that I'm poor at heart?
- Not just you.

I don't need anything anymore.
Not you and not this house!

Look at yourself! You're not
even satisfied with your own son.

Maybe you're the one who's poor!

You're right.

I was also poor at heart.

But now...

Oh, you wouldn't understand.

I want to leave everything
that's mine according to plan.

Your plan?

- You don't have a plan!
- Do you want to hear it?


It has nothing to do with you
or whoever's child is inside of you.

Especially you.

Go be with Dr. Gondo.
I'll forgive you for everything.

But I'll never forgive you!

You'll forgive me?

You're such a fool...

I would have died soon anyway...

I have my own plans too, you know!


So you didn't have the baby?


Here, drink this.

- I...
- It's okay.

You don't have to say anything.

You're always borrowing from others, so
you thought you were borrowing your body.

But maybe
you were just lending it.

I was just a "womb to let."

Does that make me a sperm lender?

Well, I better get to work.

You just lie down and rest.
Want me to get anything for you?

No, I'm fine.

I don't need anything.

I'll see you later, okay?

Rent out your womb if you want to!