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The Garden of Women (1954)
"Onna no sono" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  16 March 1954 (Japan)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 57 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

A student at a woman's university takes a controversial action against the school's old-fashioned doctrines

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A tragic social drama set in post war Japan and concerns a lonely women trying to find purpose and stability in a devastated Tokyo.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Mariko Okada
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mieko Takamine ...
Mayumi Gojô
...
Yoshie Izushi
Keiko Kishi ...
Tomiko Takioka
...
Akiko Hayashino
...
Sankichi Shimoda, Yoshie's boyfriend
Masami Taura ...
Yoshikazu Sagara
Takashi Miki ...
Masao Izushi, Yoshie's brother-in-law
Kuniko Igawa ...
Yoshie's sister, Masao's wife
Yûko Mochizuki ...
Landlady
Chieko Higashiyama ...
Schoolmaster
Kikue Môri ...
President
Chieko Naniwa ...
Proprietress of the restaurant
Nobuo Kaneko ...
Yoshihei Hirato
Kappei Matsumoto ...
Yoshie's father
Kazuko Yamamoto ...
Fumie Hattori
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Storyline

A student at a woman's university takes a controversial action against the school's old-fashioned doctrines

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rebellion | college | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

16 March 1954 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Garden of Women  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hideyo Amamoto's film debut. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Japanese Cinema (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
So-so melodrama about an oppressive women's college
22 January 2014 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

The Garden of Women is a social commentary on the changing status of women in Japan during the days after World War II. The setting is a women's boarding college in Kyoto where rich families send their daughters. The goal of the school, however, is not so much to provide an education as it is to produce potential brides. In order to produce these results (and to protect the school's reputation) the administrators bury the students with rules and regulations, while also prying into every aspect of their private lives. The end result is that the place feels more like a prison to the students than a school. A number of students decide to fight for their rights, which of course leads to conflict with the school's administrators.

It's hard to complain about a movie with such lofty goals. I imagine there really were schools like this in Japan at the time, and efforts by young women to be seen as equals is of course laudable. Unfortunately, propaganda and social commentary aren't enough to make a good movie, and the end result here is not overly interesting. The storyline is never particularly compelling, the tone is rather strident and the movie is overlong. Even the great Hideko Takamine cannot save it, as she is given little to do other than look sad and break down crying (which she does a lot.) Overall, it might have some historical value to some people, but it is probably too histrionic and dated for most viewers today.


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