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The Family Game (1983)

Kazoku gêmu (original title)
A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the ... See full summary »



(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
17 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Stars: Yûko Takeuchi, Teruyuki Kagawa, Nao Ohmori


Credited cast:
Yûsaku Matsuda ...
Yoshimoto, the tutor
Jûzô Itami ...
Mr. Numata, the father
Saori Yuki ...
Mrs. Numata, the mother
Ichirôta Miyakawa ...
Shigeyuki, the younger brother
Junichi Tsujita ...
Shinichi, the older brother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yôko Aki ...
Yoshimoto's Lover
Kôichirô Doi ...
Katsunobu Ito ...
Shigeyuki's Japanese teacher
Shûsuke Kaneko ...
Bookstore guy
Yoshihiro Katô ...
Shigeyuki's gymnastic teacher
Asako Kobayashi ...
Yuriko Tagami
Asako Maekawa ...
Yuriko tagami
Yoneko Matsukane ...
Shigeyuki's English teacher
Mayumi Matsuno ...
Michiko hamamoto
Izumi Nakamori ...
Yasuko kikuchi


A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the younger son is a rebellious goof-off for whom a tutor must be hired. The tutor, played by the prototypical bad-boy actor Matsuda Yusaku, proceeds to blow the entire family apart (Matsuda's role is modeled on the myth of Susano-o no mikoto, the renegade deity who figures in the Kojiki). Written by David Pollack <pollack@troi.cc.rochester.edu>

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Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

1 April 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A családi játék  »

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Did You Know?


In the beginning part of the movie when the father talks to the tutor in the car and the tutor decides to turn on the radio, the radio language is Korean. The radio comes out in Korean and is reporting what President Chun Doo Hwan (the President of South Korea at that time) was doing See more »


Mrs. Numata, the mother: My son is not dumb because, as a little boy, he memorized an entire book about roller-coasters.
Yoshimoto, the tutor: Perhaps then he can work in an amusement park.
See more »


Version of Family Game (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

A rather slap-stick portrayal of an important story.
16 August 2001 | by (Irvine, CA) – See all my reviews

A middle-class Japanese teenager won't study to pass exams to get into high school so a tutor is hired. The tutor, who is basically a slob, gets the done. The family lives in a high-rise apartment across the Sumida River from Tokyo and it is interesting to see what family life is like in that set-up. The teenager's mother tries valiantly to see her children succeed in a rather chaotic situation.

The Japanese education system is a rat-race to pass exams. It deserves a better story than this one.

3 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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