“Oyuki, the [Virgin] is based on Kawaguchi Matsutaro’s adaptation of Maupassant’s “Boule de Suif” [“Lump of Fat,” also the inspiration for Ford’s Stagecoach]. To this story Mizoguchi added some of his own elements. Mau...展开passant’s original work, set during the Franco-Prussian War, is the story of a group of people who try to flee the battleground in a horsedrawn carriage. The bourgeois use the expression “lump of fat” to refer sarcastically to the prostitute who is riding along with them. When they are caught by the enemy, they offer to send her to the commander as a human sacrifice. This done, when they leave the battlefield the next day, all they do is censure her and call her vulgar.
The scene shifts to the Seinan war in Kyushu. At one stage, government forces are seen trying to control the carriage. As a new element to the original story the film shows these forces being defeated in battle. The commander flees and hides in the home of the female protagonist, a saké server.
The original work is a critique of bourgeois selfishness. [Oyuki] is shown as a humble woman, protected by a young man out to make a success of himself in the world, a Mizoguchi theme so visible in other films.”
--Tadao Sato, Kenji Mizoguchi and the Art of Japanese Cinema