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Flowing (1956) More at IMDbPro »Nagareru (original title)


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Release Date:
29 November 1985 (USA) See more »
Otsuta is running the geisha house Tsuta in Tokyo. Her business is heavily in debt. Her daughter Katsuyo... See more » | Full synopsis »
4 wins See more »
User Reviews:
flowing.... sinking See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Mikio Naruse 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Toshirô Ide 
Aya Kôda  novel
Sumie Tanaka 

Produced by
Sanezumi Fujimoto .... producer
Original Music by
Ichirô Saitô 
Cinematography by
Masao Tamai 
Film Editing by
Eiji Ooi 
Production Design by
Satoru Chûko 
Production Management
Takehiro Shimada .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Masayoshi Kawanishi .... assistant director
Sound Department
Chôshichirô Mikami .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Chôshirô Ishii .... gaffer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Hirotarô Iwada .... costume researcher

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Nagareru" - Japan (original title)
"House of Geisha" - USA (subtitle)
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117 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
References The Life of Oharu (1952)See more »


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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
flowing.... sinking, 26 August 2007
Author: GyatsoLa from Ireland

'Flowing' is a moving, beautifully made story centered around the demise of a long established geisha house, drowned under mounting debts. We witness the story largely through the eyes of the new maid Rika (Kinuyo Tenaka) as the elegant but unworldly mistress of the house Otsuta (Isuzu Yamata) tries to save her business. In this she is aided by her more worldly daughter Katsuyo (Hideko Takamine), but she is undermined by her hard-nosed older sister and an apparently sympathetic senior geisha guild member.

There is really nothing to this story - just an episode in the death of an older world, but its told with great sensitivity and not a little humour. There is a very funny scene where two drunken geisha joke about how little they have to do to make their money. But the overwhelming feeling is nostalgia and sadness as these women fight the dying of their business in a harsh world where women without husbands are thrown onto their own devices. It is also unusual in that it deals honestly and frankly with the aging process and the fear of poverty in old age.

The reputation of Naruse seems to be increasing all the time - he is surely in the top rank of directors. This is the first of his movies that I've seen, but I would definitely want to see more. Every scene is beautifully framed with lovely sets and wonderful, naturalistic acting. There is a rare sense of authenticity about this movie. It is worth seeing both as an example of a terrific movie (it is genuinely compelling and entertaining) and a fascinating insight into another world.

Strongly recommended both for film buffs who want to know more about this fine director, and for anyone interested in Japanese culture.

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