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18 user 27 critic

The End of Summer (1961)

Kohayagawa-ke no aki (original title)
The family of an older man who runs a small sake brewery become concerned with his finances and his health after they discover him visiting an old mistress from his youth.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ganjirô Nakamura ...
Kohayagawa Manbei
...
Akiko
Yôko Tsukasa ...
Noriko, second daughter
...
Fumiko, eldest daughter
Keiju Kobayashi ...
Hisao, Fumiko's husband
Masahiko Shimazu ...
Masao, third son
Hisaya Morishige ...
Isomura Eiichirou
Chieko Naniwa ...
Sasaki Tsune
Reiko Dan ...
Yuriko, her daughter
Haruko Sugimura ...
Katou Shige
Daisuke Katô ...
Kitagawa Yanosuke
Haruko Tôgô ...
Kitagawa Teruko
Yumi Shirakawa ...
Nakanishi Takako
Akira Takarada ...
Teramoto Tadashi
Kyû Sazanka ...
Yamaguchi, Chief clerk
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Storyline

Approaching his senior years, widowed Manbei Kohayagawa is the owner of a small family run sake brewery in Kyoto. Hisao, his daughter Fumiko's husband, works for the company. Another daughter, Osaka based Akiko, who works at an art gallery, is widowed, her deceased husband who decided not to work in the family business, but maintain his own career as a college professor. Kohayagawa's third and last daughter, Noriko, a clerk in an office, has never been married, but is now of marrying age. Because the business is not doing well as it cannot compete with the larger sake companies, Kohayagawa wants to ensure that all his daughters are taken care of financially, which means finding husbands for both Akiko and Noriko, that task which is aided by Kohayagawa's younger brother-in-law, Yanosuke Kitagawa. Akiko and Noriko know about the arrangements with the potential husbands - although Akiko's first "date" is more of a surprise to her - and generally go along with the dates as are requested ... Written by Huggo

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

February 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Autumn for the Kohayagawa Family  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in I Lived, But... (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Love in the New Japan
29 July 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This beautiful, haunting film takes place at the end of a hot Japanese summer that, as one of the characters puts it, "refuses to end." The mournful sound of cicadas accompanies the series of tableaux about the scion of the Namakura family, a whimsical widower who continues to see the mistress who caused his late wife and currently cause his three daughters a lot of sorrow. The film is about the impracticality and unpredictability of love in opposition to a rigid social order. Two of Namakura's daughters share their father's ambivalence about marriage. The older daughter, herself a widow, hesitates to re-marry. Although she embraces traditional values, she treasures her life "as it is," and values the freedom she now has as a single woman. Another daughter prefers to marry for love, rather than go with the dull, practical man her family has chosen for her. Only one daughter has a traditional marriage, but she's the most angry and outspoken to her father about his mistress. The film is also about the contrasts between the old and, "New Japan," the English words written on a flashing neon sign glimpsed on an anonymous city street. Despite his eccentricities, Namakura was a good businessman who kept the family sake business afloat; he could straddle both the old and new worlds. This is a physically gorgeous film, filled with humble domestic scenes that radiate the light of Vermeer and Dutch genre paintings. Ozu shows tremendous respect for women and the humble work they do--washing, sewing, cooking. It's work that is usually unseen and under-appreciated, so it's a pleasure to see it honored here.


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