IMDb > Sisters of the Gion (1936)

Sisters of the Gion (1936) More at IMDbPro »Gion no shimai (original title)

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Release Date:
November 1979 (USA) See more »
Two geisha sisters lead a hard life in the Gion district of Kyoto. After one of them feels obliged to support a bankrupt businessman, the other sister sets up various schemes to get rid of him. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
One of Mizoguchi's first masterpieces See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order)
Isuzu Yamada ... O-Mocha

Yôko Umemura ... Umekichi
Benkei Shiganoya ... Shimbei Furusawa
Eitarô Shindô ... Kudo, the drygoods merchant
Taizô Fukami ... Kimura
Fumio Okura ... Jurakudo, the antiques dealer
Namiko Kawajima
Reiko Aoi
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sakurako Iwama ... Omasa Kudô
Shizuko Takizawa

Directed by
Kenji Mizoguchi 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Aleksandr Kuprin  novel "The Pit"
Kenji Mizoguchi 
Yoshikata Yoda 

Produced by
Masaichi Nagata .... producer
Cinematography by
Minoru Miki 
Film Editing by
Tatsuko Sakane 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kazuo Mori .... second assistant director
Akira Sakamoto .... third assistant director
Kôichi Takagi .... assistant director
Sound Department
Hisashi Kase .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Kazuo Kishi .... gaffer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Gion no shimai" - Japan (original title)
See more »
69 min | Argentina:95 min | USA:95 min | Japan:96 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Eion Sound System)

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
One of Mizoguchi's first masterpieces, 16 November 2011
Author: Luis Angel Gonzalez from Mexico

I'm surprised by the fact that Mizoguchi was doing this kind of filmmaking and a strong criticism on geisha's lives in those years already. It must have been really innovative at the time and, for the same reason, it might probably not have been appreciated by most of the audience. I find it ironic because now it has aged considerably, that it is also hard to appreciate by today's standards. In order to fully comprehend its content, one would have to watch it with an open mind and submerge into its time. Also, the print quality might not be good, which is yet another obstacle that may keep viewers from appreciating the film as well. Fortunately, I was able to get hold of a high quality print, and it is also a great privilege to behold Mizoguchi's filmmaking techniques; I for one consider them to be of great importance in cinema history.

The story concerns two geisha sisters who live in a neighborhood known as Gion, in Kyoto. They are very different from each other; one side is influenced by a more modernized mindset, whilst the other is still rooted in traditional manners. This existing contrast will slowly unravel as the film goes on.

Technically, the film is outstanding for its time. We have that riveting tracking shot at the beginning of the film that thoroughly advances through the house of the patron of one of our two protagonists. Subsequently, you'll find yourself immersed in the many sequence shots the film is divided in.

If you're fond of Japanese cinema, you should definitely watch this forgotten gem.

My score: 8.8/10

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