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The Garden of Women (1954)

Onna no sono (original title)
A student at a woman's university takes a controversial action against the school's old-fashioned doctrines



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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
Yoshie's sister, Masao's wife
Yûko Mochizuki ...
Kikue Môri ...
Chieko Naniwa ...
Proprietress of the restaurant
Nobuo Kaneko ...
Yoshihei Hirato
Kappei Matsumoto ...
Yoshie's father
Kazuko Yamamoto ...
Fumie Hattori


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) »







Release Date:

16 March 1954 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Garden of Women  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The director of this film, Keisuke Kinoshita, was regarded by both critics and the public as being engaged in an ongoing professional rivalry with his good friend Akira Kurosawa, because, among other reasons, both filmmakers had directed their debut films in the same year, 1943. (It was Kinoshita who won the Best New Director prize for that year.) In the Best Ten critics poll held by the cinema magazine Kinema Junpo for films released in 1954, this film placed second, beating Kurosawa's most ambitious film up to that time, Seven Samurai (1954), which placed third. In addition, the film that topped the poll that year was another Kinoshita work, the classic Twenty-Four Eyes (1954). (Kinoshita died in 1998, the same year as Kurosawa.) See more »


References The Band Wagon (1953) 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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