Yoshio eventually visits the place, while at home he begins to have stirrings for his daughter-in-law, Kikuko (Yuka Oonishi), whom he accidentally sees naked in the shower one day. Kikuko has her own emotional problems: Adopted at birth, and seemingly unable to have children, she’s sexually estranged from her husband, Shuichi, and turns a blind eye to the affair he is having with another woman. She’s drawn to Yoshio as both a father figure and as a man.
To force the issue, Kikuko convinces the house’s owner, Matsuko, to let her stand in for one of the girls when Yoshio next comes visiting. But the two end up having sex, and Kikuko gets pregnant. If that’s not enough, Yoshio then hears some startling news from a doctor friend.
The chain of coincidences and web of passions are more reminiscent of a romance novel, but director Hiroto Yokoyama (“Jun”) mounts the picture with such
finesse and precision — and, in the early stages, a tantalizing feeling that more is happening offscreen than on — that it’s not till you leave the theater that the implausibilities strike home.
As the white-haired professor, Harada is fine, if never plumbing any great depths of acting, and Oonishi is notably cute as Kikuko. Technical credits are immaculate, adding to the pic’s simmering eroticism.