7.7/10
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Only Yesterday (1991)

Omohide poro poro (original title)
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1:45 | Trailer
A 27-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tôkyô.

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(manga), (manga) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Miki Imai ...
Taeko (voice)
Toshirô Yanagiba ...
Toshio (voice)
Youko Honna ...
Taeko (Child) (voice)
Mayumi Iizuka ...
Tsuneko (voice)
Mei Oshitani ...
Aiko (voice)
Megumi Komine ...
Toko (voice)
Yukiyo Takizawa ...
Rie (voice)
Masashi Ishikawa ...
Soo (voice)
Yuuki Masuda ...
Shuji Hirota (voice)
Michie Terada ...
Mother (voice)
Masahiro Ito ...
Father (voice)
Yorie Yamashita ...
Nanako (voice)
Yuki Minowa ...
Yaeko (voice)
Chie Kitagawa ...
Grandmother (voice)
Koji Goto ...
Kazuo (voice)
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Storyline

A 27-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tôkyô.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some rude behavior and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

26 February 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Only Yesterday  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,004 (USA) (8 January 2016)

Gross:

$415,941 (USA) (25 March 2016)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In June 1990, about a year before this film's release, director Isao Takahata took 17 members of his staff on a research trip to a rural area in Yamagata prefecture similar to the place where many of the film's present-day (1982) scenes are set. There the staff consulted with a farmer named Inoue, who taught them about harvesting safflowers, as the film's heroine, Taeko, does in the narrative. The staff videotaped their journey so that they would be able to re-create accurately in animation both the fields of safflowers and the natural beauty of the region in general. One artist on Takahata's staff was taught by Inoue how to pick safflowers with her bare hands, and for a year afterwards she would draw nothing that didn't look like a safflower, even if she was trying to draw something mechanical, like a car. See more »

Quotes

Hirota: Rainy days, cloudy days, sunny days... which do you like?
Taeko: ...cloudy days.
Hirota: Oh, then we're alike.
See more »

Connections

References E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Frunzulita lemn adus
Written by Gheorghe Zamfir (uncredited)
Performed by Gheorghe Zamfir and Ansamblul Ciocarlia
Courtesy of Electrecord Romania
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
What an understated masterpiece!
18 November 2004 | by (Brussels, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Imagine a commonplace story in commonplace settings with a not so immensely interesting main character (a bit like you and me) and a pastoral kinda hippie-message... and it works!

This is another memory-thingie from Japan (they are obsessed with memory there, is that because of the Meiji period? who knows), from the genius who brought us Grave of the Fireflies.

The story's so simple: a young woman in her late 20s doesn't have any real problems, is kind of ready for the rest of her life to happen, but it's just not happening. Something seems to be in the way of her accepting the possibility of happiness in the simple things that she finds on her way, and that that might just be what she's looking for and therefore enough.

A trip to the countryside brings back memories of her childhood as the youngest of three in a middle-of the road household in late 60's Japan. The thing is, it is SO well-done. Often, films focus on the misery of this life and the sweet innocent splendor of youth. This one turns it upside down, and not by depicting a horrible childhood which has to be "taken care of". Just by looking at things the way a child does.

It's often the little things, that seem of no importance to adults, that mould a child, shape it's personality. The "small killings" so to speak. Events no one notices and no one readily remembers, but no one really forgets either. And when you remember them, they hurt in a way that you find unreasonable.

So with this film. The flashbacks of not really a "missed opportunity" childhood, but rather of small events that stuck, chills you and sometimes fills you with warmth. It suggests at the same time that though there might be events that made her what she is, she also always was who she is, and it's the interplay between who you are and what you encounter that shape your life. You might say "it might have gone a different way", but then again it didn't exactly because you are you. Very Tao if you ask me. How it ends... just go and find out.

The fact that the film, entirely inconspicuously, manages to pull it off to tell that in images, makes it great art. The subtitles are hazardous (sometimes too fast, too much on the screen...), but let that not spoil the splendor. Get out and rent it now. I bought it.


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