IMDb > Equinox Flower (1958)
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Equinox Flower (1958) More at IMDbPro »Higanbana (original title)

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Ton Satomi (original story)
Yasujirô Ozu (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Equinox Flower on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
June 1977 (USA) See more »
A businessman clashes with his elder daughter over her choice of a husband. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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Venice reveals ‘restored’ selection
 (From ScreenDaily. 15 July 2013, 7:01 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A Tender Comedy of the Mundane See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order)

Shin Saburi ... Wataru Hirayama

Kinuyo Tanaka ... Kiyoko Hirayama

Ineko Arima ... Setsuko Hirayama

Yoshiko Kuga ... Fumiko Mikami

Keiji Sada ... Masahiko Taniguchi
Teiji Takahashi ... Shotaru Kondo
Miyuki Kuwano ... Hisako Hirayama

Chishû Ryû ... Shukichi Mikami
Chieko Naniwa ... Hatsu Sasaki
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yôko Chimura ... Nurse
Ureo Egawa ... Schoolmate Nakanishi
Gazan Hasegawa
Aiko Ikumi ... Inn maid
Kentarô Imai ... Station attendant
Masahiko Inoue ... Station attendant
Masanao Kawakane ... Groom
Kôhei Kawamura ... Master of ceremonies at wedding reception
Tachibana Kazue
Ryûji Kita ... Heinosuke Horie
Akiko Kiyokawa ... Bride
Tokuji Kobayashi ... Schoolmate
Hisako Mine ... Waitress
Teruko Nagaoka
Nobuo Nakamura ... Toshihiko Kawai
Shôsuke Oni ... Company employee
Mutsuko Sakura ... Akemi
Tsuneko Sasaki ... Inn maid
Nobuko Sora ... Clerk
Isao Suenaga
Fujio Suga
Tsûsai Sugawara ... Sugai
Toyo Takahashi ... Wakamatsu's owner
Norikazu Takeda ... Schoolmate
Hisao Toake
Fumio Watanabe ... Ichiro Nagamura

Fujiko Yamamoto ... Yukiko Sasaki

Directed by
Yasujirô Ozu 
Writing credits
Ton Satomi (original story)

Yasujirô Ozu (screenplay) and
Kôgo Noda (screenplay)

Produced by
Shizuo Yamanouchi .... producer
Original Music by
Takanobu Saitô 
Cinematography by
Yûharu Atsuta 
Film Editing by
Yoshiyasu Hamamura 
Art Direction by
Tatsuo Hamada 
Set Decoration by
Setsutarô Moriya 
Costume Design by
Yûji Nagashima 
Makeup Department
Yuko Nakajima .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kôzô Yamamoto .... assistant director
Art Department
Shigeo Ogiwara .... assistant art director
Toshio Takahashi .... set designer
Sound Department
Akiyuki Itô .... sound recordist
Mitsuru Kaneko .... sound mixer
Yoshisaburô Senoo .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Akira Aomatsu .... gaffer
Tamio Ishii .... lighting technician
Takashi Kawamata .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Motoshige Oikawa .... color timer
Other crew
Tomiji Shimizu .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Higanbana" - Japan (original title)
See more »
118 min | Germany:100 min
Color (Agfacolor)
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

This was Yasujirô Ozu's first film in color.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in I Lived, But... (1983)See more »
Home, Sweet HomeSee more »


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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
A Tender Comedy of the Mundane, 27 July 2013
Author: Ilpo Hirvonen from Finland

The emptiness of the space in the very first images of "Equinox Flower" makes an impact on the viewer. An opening of this sort resembles those of Ozu's most famous films such as "Late Spring" and "Tokyo Story". However, soon we find out that "Equinox Flower" differs quite remarkably from these since it is essentially a comedy. In the first scene of the film Ozu instantly introduces the marriage motif -- a recurring subject in his oeuvre -- as two railroad workers are wondering the great amount of newly-weds. Only few artists have been able to establish a theme and set a tone, which are fully consistent with the rest of the work, so quickly yet still with such restraint and precision. Therefore, it is certain to the viewer from the start that what unfolds is the craft of a master.

At its heart, "Equinox Flower" is a tender comedy because it fluently combines two aspects, which too often appear as contradictory, the ironic and the melancholic. Striking is also the fact that the film is Ozu's first comedy in approximately two decades. One must go back to the silent days to find a benchmark. This choice of return seems to coincide with Ozu's new sympathy (though I use the word hesitantly) for the younger generation, whereas he so often has sympathized the elders. It seems to me that in "Equinox Flower" the lightness and hopeful attitude towards life, noticeable in Ozu's earlier films, merges with the Chekhovian wisdom and elegiac tone of his later oeuvre.

To an extent, "Equinox Flower" is a satirical treatise on the decline of parental and especially patriarchal authority in the Japanese family and society. However, Ozu is never hostile nor aggressive. He doesn't point out. He reveals. Although there are moments when Ozu lets us laugh at the protagonist's helplessness when trapped by his own outdated norms, Ozu never attacks on him. In addition to theme, Ozu's return to comedy also marked a turning point in his visual development because he used color for the first time, which later on became an inseparable element in his subsequent films. As a consequence, the world of colors in "Equinox Flower" is strikingly rich and precisely considered, leaving the viewer with several memorable and widely associative visual motifs.

"Equinox Flower" is in many ways what one might call a simple film. There's not much of a story going on, let alone action of any kind, nor surprising twists in plot. Nonetheless, the viewer (any viewer whether an admirer of Ozu or not) is left with a powerful impact by the rich simplicity of the visuals; and the utter beauty of details. Above all, "Equinox Flower" is purely based on Ozu's unique poetry of the mundane; a vital principle in his cinema.

Due to this simplicity, many western viewers have blamed, or at least explained their discontent, Ozu's films for a slow pace, but this criticism, however, doesn't really hit the mark because Ozu's films precisely create their own time in the poetic universe which differs from our world. In this rhythm or, in fact, Ozu's perception of time lies profound melancholy. The days go by, the clothes line dances in the wind, and emptiness prevails. In "Equinox Flower" the older generation remembers the war-time days, recalling especially its better times of carefree coexistence. In turn, such ideals as personal happiness and privacy threatened by the old, arranged, communal joy throb beneath the youth's dialogue. Ozu's characters are often aware of this melancholy -- human transience in the passage of time -- which brings sadness to their existence. A sensation that the old is about to vanish is always present, though so is the characters' ability to accept things as they are. As time is such an important theme for Ozu, his films can never be summed up with mere concepts such as "comedy" or "tragedy" since their (aesthetic) perspective is never restricted, but always reach to the most profound perspective of all, which is that of philosophy.

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