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A Hen in the Wind (1948)
"Kaze no naka no mendori" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 505 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 12 critic

A man returns from World War II to find his desperate wife has resorted to one night of prostitution to pay for their son's hospital bills.


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Title: A Hen in the Wind (1948)

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Credited cast:
Tokiko Amamiya
Shûji Sano ...
Shuichi Amamiya
Chieko Murata ...
Akiko Ida
Kazuichiro Satake
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hohi Aoki ...
Chiyoko Fumiya ...
Fusako Onada
Keiko Izumi ...
Nurse #2
Reiko Minakami ...
Orie Noma
Kôji Mitsui ...
Binnosuke Nagao
Kenzô Nakagawa
Sakae Nakayama ...
Nurse #3
Fumiko Okamura ...
Fujiyo Osafune
Takeshi Sakamoto ...
Hikozo Sakai


A man returns from World War II to find his desperate wife has resorted to one night of prostitution to pay for their son's hospital bills.

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Release Date:

17 September 1948 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Kaze no naka no mendori  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in The Life and Works of Yasujiro Ozu (1983) See more »


Yume awaki Tôkyô
Music by Yuji Koseki
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User Reviews

One amazing film
10 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

"A Hen in the Wind" would be an incredible addition to any director's oeuvre, not least Ozu's, although unlike what some reviewers say here, this film doesn't exactly feel to me to be atypical of the director. A caring mother whose husband isn't back from WWII has to deal with the rising costs and difficult conditions of immediate postwar Japan. When her four-year-old boy falls sick and has to be hospitalized, she resorts to one night of prostitution to gather enough money for his bills. And then the husband comes back, blissfully unaware, until the wife decides to be come clean... As with Ozu always this kind of story has the rudiments of melodrama but is played far from that: though the ending is dramatic and even violent (for an Ozu film) we are never far from sympathizing the wife or the husband, and the film has a cutting-edge realism to it. Of course from the viewpoint of a Western audience nowadays, the wife's "misdeed" is totally understandable, done out of desperation, but Ozu shows how male-centered the Japanese society is (or was). The husband understands the rationale behind her wife's desperate act, yet is unable to cleanse his mind from the so-called "moral taint" of her action. Yet amazingly, for all the the husband's brutality, Ozu invites us, like the Chishu Ryu character, to empathize with the man rather than to morally judge him. As is typical with Ozu, the film is replete with sympathy for the chief characters. Even the secondary character - a pretty, 21-year-old girl forced into prostitution who yet maintains desperately a cheerful, dignified front behind that sordid occupation - stays in mind. As I have said before, this film would have been an amazing addition to any director's oeuvre. As it is, "A Hen in the Wind" is one of my favorite Ozu films.

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