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Picture Bride

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Picture Bride

I saw this film for the first time in the theaters in 1995 when it was first released. I recently re-watched it on Netflix streaming. This movie is set in 1918. Many Japanese men living in Hawaii working on the sugar plantations wanted wives. There were no Japanese women in Hawaii to choose from. Many men sent their pictures to Japanese families living in Japan that were looking for husband for their daughters. A Japanese city girl named Ryio finds herself in a difficult situation. Her parents die and her aunt helps arrange for her to be a picture bride. She sees a photo of a handsome Japanese man living in Hawaii that she will travel to marry. When Ryio gets to Hawaii she meets Matsuji (her intended husband) and discovers that he is much older than she thought he would be. They are married in a mass wedding ceremony with many other Japanese couples. Ryio goes to live on the sugar cane plantation with Matsuji. She is lonely and afraid. She is also treated badly by the other women in the fields because she doesn't know how to work. This film goes on to show how plantation life was difficult. Eventually, Ryio finds her place on the plantation and also learns to care for her husband.

This movie really gave me historical perspective on how difficult being a picture bride was at this time. It also helped me to see what plantation life in Hawaii was like. I taught school in Hawaii for 3 years when I lived there. I had many Japanese-American students. This film helped me have a better understanding of their culture when I taught them. I would recommend this film.