3 user 4 critic

Younger Brother (1960)

Otôto (original title)



(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
14 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Conflagration (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Ganjirô Nakamura, Tatsuya Nakadai
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This sensuously beautiful film chronicles the activities of four sisters who gather in Kyoto every year to view the cherry blossoms. It paints a vivid portrait of the pre-war lifestyle of ... See full summary »

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Yoshiko Sakuma, Sayuri Yoshinaga, Yûko Kotegawa
Odd Obsession (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man getting on in years sets out to find a way to resurrect his flagging virility.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Machiko Kyô, Ganjirô Nakamura, Junko Kanô
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Yukinojo, a Kabuki actor, seeks revenge by destroying the three men who caused the deaths of his parents. Also involved are the daughter of one of Yukinojo's targets, two master thieves, and a swordsman who himself is out to kill Yukinojo.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Kazuo Hasegawa, Fujiko Yamamoto, Ayako Wakao
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Ichikawa's cameras follow the 1964 Summer Olympics from opening to closing ceremonies. Sometimes he focuses on spectators, as athletes pass in a blur; sometimes he isolates a competitor; ... See full summary »

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Abebe Bikila, Jack Douglas, Hirohito
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the closing days of WWII remnants of the Japanese army in Leyte are abandoned by their command and face certain starvation.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Eiji Funakoshi, Mantarô Ushio, Yoshihiro Hamaguchi
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The trials, tribulations, and joys of raising a child. The film follows the everyday events of a family with one boy, coming up to his second birthday, interspersed with occasional thoughts... See full summary »

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Fujiko Yamamoto, Hiroo Suzuki, Eiji Funakoshi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Kenichi Horie is determined to challenge his family, the law and the nature crossing the Pacific to America in a small sailboat. Despite his careful planning many unforeseen events will test his determination.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Yûjirô Ishihara, Masayuki Mori, Kinuyo Tanaka
The Heart (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

At the end of Meiji era a young student befriend an older man who as a proof of trust but also as a kind of exorcism entrust him his secret, a story about jealousy, betrayal , shame and guilt.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Masayuki Mori, Michiyo Aratama, Tatsuya Mihashi
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Three thieves escape from a heist, one of them killing the other two. He is sheltered by a prostitute and sought after by the police, but only after ten years his true motivation unravels.

Director: Tomu Uchida
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Sachiko Hidari, Kôji Mitsui
Bright Future (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage--something neither ... See full summary »

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Joe Odagiri, Tadanobu Asano, Tatsuya Fuji
Actress (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Sayuri Yoshinaga, Mitsuko Mori, Bunta Sugawara


Cast overview, first billed only:
Keiko Kishi ...
Hiroshi Kawaguchi ...
Takaya Hijikata
Hikaru Tomoda
Mrs. Tanuma
Noboru Nakaya ...
Patrolman Rokoru Shimizu
Kyôko Enami ...
Nurse Miyata (as Kyoko Enami)
Noriko Hodaka ...
Jun Hamamura ...
Akira Natsuki ...
Kisao Tobita
Kôichi Itô
Hikaru Hoshi ...
Owner of hiring horse


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

1 November 1960 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Brother  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To achieve the specific period look they intended for the film, director Kon Ichikawa and cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa were inspired by the use of color in Moby Dick (1956) (which was dye-transfer Technicolor added with a B/W layer) and experimented on a process that is now called "skip-bleaching". It was the first time in film history that this process, now a rather commonly-used one, was applied for a motion picture film. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Nutshell Review: Her Brother
22 August 2010 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Yoji Yamada's film About Her Brother was a tribute to Kon Ichikawa's film Otouto, and I won't be able to tell you how so given that I've not seen Yamada's film in its entirety, suffice to say that both films are family melodramas that dwell primarily on the relationships between siblings, where the titular brother is actually the black sheep of the family for the shenanigans he gets into, and the troubles brought onto the family, especially for his sister.

Her Brother, or Otouto, tells of the story of a family of four. Dad does nothing but write on a daily basis, or spend time calculating the financial bleed brought about by son Hekiro (Hiroshi Kawaguchi) whose laziness, troubles and general irresponsible behaviour he condones as part of experience building and growing up. I suspect too that in an Asian society boys generally get away with a lot of things as compared to the girls. His sister Gen (Keiko Kishi) becomes the primary caregiver of the family, since their incessantly complaining Christian step-mum is almost rendered an invalid given her chronic rheumatism, and so Gen does most of the work at home to become the cook, mender, cleaner and errant runner.

And what is a family drama without issues faced by the family? So we have a step-mum who rather believes outsiders such as Mrs Tanuma (Kyoko Kishida, the same actress from A Flame at the Pier) who proves to be quite the influence), rather than Gen her stepdaugther, which of course frustrates Gen. And the story has a pointed critique on religious fanaticism with the behaviour of the mother, but it's not all that bad as she makes at effort later to do things despite personal pain.

But the main problem here will be Hekiro being spoilt by a father who essentially allows him to do as he pleases, and thus his recklessness and devil may care attitude sometimes helps Gen, but mostly requires her to bail him out from sticky situations created by the owing of money to establishments such as billiard parlours, boat houses and even a horse owner. Being a lazy bum in school and mixing with bad company also spells trouble, but Gen's complaints consistently falls on deaf ears.

Does the family disintegrate? Of course not. Like almost all families, testy issues will crop up, but blood runs thicker than water, especially the strong bonds between sister and brother that the film goes all out to illustrate. Credit goes to the actors Hiroshi Kawaguchi and Keiko Kishi in their roles to deliver that believable chemistry and banter being siblings, which hits home a lot more when trouble besets one of them, and the entire family has got to adjust to the impending change. In some way I felt this film also became the precursor to many teenage romantic films out there where tragedies spring up with the introduction of a deadly disease that will be used to highlight character devotion and love, and Otouto contains this aspect by the bucketloads.

While some subplots are forgettable, such as the advances of a supposed cop Rokuno who's up to no good, there are ample touching moments especially in the second half for that tissue packet to be opened. The big fights also reminded me of some of my own many years in the past (* blush * ), and yes, reconciliation very much happens faster than you can spell out that word. Such is family. What I enjoyed most out of this film was the look back at societal norms and attitudes of the time, where girls are encouraged to do just about everything in order to prepare for that one singular path in life – marriage, where they are supposed to continue in their domesticated role almost forever, and their value and contribution to their future households hinges very much in what they can do at the present time. And I'd like to think that this has already mostly changed in modern day civilizations.

I had enjoyed the film, so I guess what remains now is to find an opportunity to watch Yoji Yamada's tribute film in its entirety to see which aspects got retained, and just how a tribute film is done.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
See it on the big screen !! (Stanford University, CA) mypostdump
Discuss Younger Brother (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: