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The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
"Narayama bushikô" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  29 April 1983 (Japan)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 4,341 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 45 critic

In a poor 19th century rural Japanese village, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to climb a nearby mountain to die. An old woman is getting close to the cut-off age, and we follow her last days with her family.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The Ballad of Narayama (1983)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Ogata ...
Tatsuhei
Sumiko Sakamoto ...
Orin
Tonpei Hidari ...
Risuke
Aki Takejô ...
Tamayan
Shôichi Ozawa ...
Katsuzô
Fujio Tokita ...
Jinsaku
Sanshô Shinsui ...
Zeniya no Tadayan
Seiji Kurasaki ...
Kesakichi
Junko Takada ...
Matsuyan
Mitsuko Baishô ...
Oei
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Teruyan
Kêshî Takamine ...
Arayashiki (as Kêshi Takamine)
Nenji Kobayashi ...
Tsune
Nijiko Kiyokawa ...
Okane
Akio Yokoyama ...
Amaya
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Storyline

In a small village in a valley everyone who reaches the age of 70 must leave the village and go to a certain mountain top to die. If anyone should refuse he or she would disgrace their family. Old Orin is 69. This winter it is her turn to go to the mountain. But first she must make sure that her eldest son Tatsuhei finds a wife. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only time could change the cruelty of tradition ... only their Love could survive it ... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 April 1983 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Balladen om Narayama  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Katsuzô: [It's night and he creeps up to the village dog and starts to stroke her] -"Good girl, good girl, good girl."
[He takes her takes her collar and turns her around]
Katsuzô: -"Come over here."
[He kneels down behind her and starts thrusting and having sex with her, she wines and tries to move forwards]
Katsuzô: -"Shiro, don't move! Don't move, Shiro!"
[he keeps thrusting and begins to reach orgasm]
Katsuzô: -"Stay still, Shiro! Ohhhr"
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Great Grateful Jizo See more »

Soundtracks

Risuke no uta
Written by Hitoshi Machida
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Harsh yet beautiful
28 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is actually an extraordinarily beautiful film, if one has even the remotest understanding of Japanese culture around that time period. The harshness of life in Japan made the sort of society in which people went to "be with their loved-ones" and "be with the God of the Mountain" at age 70 completely necessary. The focus of the film is the struggle for survival, and more than that, prospering, in the harsh environment of c. XIX Tohoku. The exploration of this topic takes the viewer into a study of survival through strict rules, and prospering through sexual relationships. The scenes of sexual intercourse serve to portray that even in sexual situations, the Japanese as a people have never viewed nature and animals as separate from ourselves.


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