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Oh! The Nomugi Pass (1979)
"Ah! Nomugi toge" (original title)

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The story of the silk industry and the young girls who worked as silk spinners in the early 1900's in Japan. The silk mills were located in Okaya which lies just beyond the Nomugi Pass. The... See full summary »



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6 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Shinobu Ôtake ...
Mine Masai
Yuki Shinoda
Chikako Yuri ...
Hana Mishima
Yûko Kotegawa ...
Kiku Shoji
Ako Asano ...
Hirai - Toki
Akiko Kurosawa ...
Sugiyama Mitsu
Akiko Shikata ...
Arai Tami
Ayami Imamura ...
Yamamura Sawa
Kôji Moritsugu ...
Adachi Haruo
Sen Yamamoto ...
Nonaka Shinkichi
Makoto Akatsuka ...
Kawase Otomatsu
Takeo Chii ...
Tatsuji Masai
Tanie Kitabayashi ...
Old woman at Osuke Shop
Rentarô Mikuni ...
Tokichi Adachi
Miwa Saitô ...
Adachi Tomi


The story of the silk industry and the young girls who worked as silk spinners in the early 1900's in Japan. The silk mills were located in Okaya which lies just beyond the Nomugi Pass. The women and girls worked in a hot, humid atmosphere without rest, and endured those conditions and sexual harassment to earn money for their poor families. Across the ocean, it was the great depression in America. Written by Artemis-9

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Drama | History


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Release Date:

28 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nomugi Pass  »

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Followed by Ah! Nomugi toge - Shinryokuhen (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

Epic struggle
9 November 2008 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Life was tough in the early 1900's in central Japan. The only chance for many families living in the mountainous areas was to send their teenage daughters to work their nimble fingers to the bone spinning silk. This meant them taking a long journey, on foot, through the treacherous Nomugi Pass, in the dead of winter. This journey also meant that they would not see their families for the next five years, and working as virtual slaves in a pre-Dickensian factory.

There is much to recommend this film. Gorgeous snow-bound mountains, a large support cast of nice-looking young women giving their all against adversity and cruel management, the sweep of world history, grand melodrama, the workings of the factory. There's teen angst by the bucketload, including romance, cruelty, rape, teen pregnancy and murder. But it isn't all doom and gloom. There's plenty of humour as well, much of it focused on the rank odour of silkworm pupas. "This smell will become your smell", the menacing foreman warns each crop of new girls.

Warmly recommended.

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