IMDb > The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
Narayama bushikô
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The Ballad of Narayama (1983) More at IMDbPro »Narayama bushikô (original title)


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7.9/10   4,566 votes »
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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Shôhei Imamura (screenplay)
Shichirô Fukazawa (novel)
View company contact information for The Ballad of Narayama on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 April 1983 (Japan) See more »
Only time could change the cruelty of tradition ... only their Love could survive it ... See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
9 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Disturbing, yes. Captivating, certainly! See more (25 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
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
Kaoru Shimamori ... Tomekichi
Yukie Shimura ... Amaya no Nyôbô
Masami Okamoto ... Amaya no Chônan
Hideo Hasegawa
Ben Hiura ... Yakimatsu
Kenji Murase
Kosei Sato
Norihei Miki ... Shioya
Kansai Eto ... Kin'yan (as Kan Etô)
Ryutaro Tatsumi ... Zeniya no Matayan (as Ryûtarô Tatsumi)
Satoko Iwasaki
Sayaka Nakamaru
Azumi Tanba

Directed by
Shôhei Imamura 
Writing credits
Shôhei Imamura (screenplay)

Shichirô Fukazawa (novel)

Produced by
Gorô Kusakabe .... producer
Jirô Tomoda .... producer
Original Music by
Shinichirô Ikebe 
Cinematography by
Hiroshi Kanazawa 
Shigeru Komatsubara 
Masao Tochizawa 
Film Editing by
Toshihiko Kojima 
Fusako Matsumoto 
Hajime Okayasu 
Yoshiko Onodera 
Masahito Watanabe 
Production Design by
Gorô Kusakabe 
Art Direction by
Hisao Inagaki 
Tadataka Yoshino 
Set Decoration by
Senki Nakamura (stage setting manager)
Mitsuto Washizawa (stage setting producer)
Costume Design by
Kyoto Isho 
Makeup Department
Seiko Igawa .... makeup artist
Zenichirô Ishikawa .... wigs
Takeshi Matsuo .... key hair stylist
Yôichi Mitsuoka .... key hair stylist
Tomoe Ookawa .... hair stylist
Production Management
Kimiyoshi Adachi .... production manager
Kanji Aoi .... production manager
Sôji Fukushima .... production manager
Hisashi Iino .... assistant production manager
Shinji Komiya .... unit production manager
Ikuko Murase .... assistant unit manager
Nobutsugu Tsubomi .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Shunsaku Ikehata .... assistant director
Nobuaki Murooka .... assistant director
Kunio Takeshige .... assistant director
Takashi Tsukinoki .... assistant director
Art Department
Noriyuki Sugimori .... modeling
Sound Department
Kenichi Benitani .... sound
Toshio Nakano .... assistant sound
Tatsuo Tsukamoto .... assistant sound
Special Effects by
Yoshio Kojima .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Kenji Ishikuro .... still photographer
Yasuo Iwaki .... gaffer
Yasuo Iwaki .... lighting technician
Tadahiro Kimura .... gaffer
Yûjirô Miura .... gaffer
Masayuki Okao .... gaffer
Editorial Department
Kazuko Okayasu .... negative cutter
Other crew
Yasuhiko Chiga .... dentistry
Yoshiyaka Hayakawa .... garden designer
Naomi Honjô .... cooking supervisor
Katsuyuki Katô .... unit publicist
Shinji Komiya .... production controller
Tsuguo Kuroda .... livestock glass
Midori Kuwabara .... script supervisor
Toshiyuki Mogi .... publicist
Yoshiko Morita .... cooking supervisor
Ryôhei Nakagawa .... caterer
Hideo Suzuki .... title designer
Uichiro Takeda .... hawk trainer
Hiroshi Tanaka .... dentistry
Teruyuki Tanaka .... garden designer
Tsuneyoshi Yamada .... publicist
Yasuo Yamamoto .... publicist

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Narayama bushikô" - Japan (original title)
See more »
130 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Great Grateful Jizo (????)See more »
Risuke no utaSee more »


Is there more than one version?
Is this the only film transcription of the book "The Men of Tohoku"?
See more »
26 out of 32 people found the following review useful.
Disturbing, yes. Captivating, certainly!, 7 February 2005
Author: hilhorst from Netherlands

This is a film about a culture that has evolved to deal with food scarcity. The people of the village have taken their choices to the extreme. Food is so hard to get (and keep) that the very old and very young must leave. Babiy boys are left to die in the snow, baby girls are raised only to be sold, and the old are brought to the mountain to die. The only thing there is plenty of is sex, for all but one man called Stinker by his peers.

The villagers are intent to secure life for themselves and their family and will do anything necessary. In the middle of this all lives an old lady, almost 70 (the dying age) but healthy and strong. She does not want to burden the family, so she gives up her place in order for the young ones to live.

Imamura registers all this without judgment. This is a lesson to most people, filmmakers in particular. See, feel, but don't judge right away. See, feel, think, and then try to understand.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (25 total) »

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Sexual overload? homegnome1
Which Version? chuck-526
Ebert+Siskel punch-drunk_love
I don't understand the hole dog scene. I-TheMan-I
When Tatsuhei Said 'Bitch' PinkPolka1010
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