Japani Bodhu (The Japanese Wife)

Synopsis of the film

Hariprobha Basu Mallik (1890-1972) of Dhaka married Japanese citizen Wemon Takeda and went to Japan in 1912. About her travel and experiences in Japan she wrote a book titled as “Travel in Japan by a Bengalee Woman” (Bongo Mohilar Japan Jatra).

Regarding travelogues on Japan the first book that comes into any Bengalee’s mind is Rabindranath Tagore’s well known “Traveller to Japan” (Japan Jatri). But while Tagore wrote about the beauty and aesthetics of Japan with profound depth, Hariprobha portrayed the everyday domestic life of the common Japanese people. Japan, during the beginning of the last century, seems a different country altogether.

Hariprobha, during her last visit to Japan in 1941, used to read Bengali news from Tokyo radio for Subash Bose’s Azad Hind Fouz. After the Second World War Hariprobha returned to India and died in Kolkata in 1972.

Besides narrating Hariprobha’s odyssey, the film also narrates the problematics of international marriages between Japanese and Bengalees and tries to explore the cross culture issues involved.