33 user 48 critic

Early Summer (1951)

Bakushû (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 2 August 1972 (USA)
A family chooses a match for their daughter Noriko, but she, surprisingly, has her own plans.


Yasujirô Ozu
7 wins. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Setsuko Hara ... Noriko Mamiya
Chishû Ryû ... Koichi Mamiya
Chikage Awashima ... Aya Tamura
Kuniko Miyake ... Fumiko Mamiya
Ichirô Sugai ... Shukichi Mamiya
Chieko Higashiyama ... Shige Mamiya
Haruko Sugimura ... Tami Yabe
Kuniko Igawa ... Takako
Hiroshi Nihon'yanagi ... Kenkichi Yabe
Shûji Sano ... Sotaro Satake
Toyo Takahashi ... Nobu Tamura (as Toyoko Takahashi)
Seiji Miyaguchi ... Nishiwaki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tomoka Hasebe Tomoka Hasebe
Kazuyo Itô Kazuyo Itô ... Mitsuko Yabe
Kokuten Kôdô ... Old Uncle


In postwar Tokyo, this household is loving and serene: older parents, their 28-year-old daughter Noriko, their married son, his devoted wife, and two rascally sons. Their only discontent is Noriko's lack of a husband. Society is changing: she works, she has women friends who tease and argue, her brother sees her independence as impudence, she sees it as normal. When her boss suggests that she marry a 40-year-old bachelor who is his friend, all the members of her family press her to accept. Without seeking their advice, and to their chagrin, Noriko determines her own course of action. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


According to Ozu, the concept of this film required an unusual approach to story and plot structure. As he wrote, "I wanted in this picture to show a life cycle. I wanted to depict mutability (rinne). I was not interested in action for its own sake. And I've never worked so hard in my life... I didn't push the action at all, and the ending, in consequence, should leave the audience with a poignant aftertaste." See more »


Aya Tamura: Husbands are all like that. That's why we don't marry.
Noriko Mamiya: That's right, isn't it?
Takako: You don't know anything about married life.
Aya Tamura: Married life?
Takako: Only married people understand.
Aya Tamura: Once you're married, it's too late to understand.
See more »


Referenced in Century of Cinema: 100 Years of Japanese Cinema (1995) See more »

User Reviews

Burns slow and wonderfully, like incense
12 August 2010 | by evileyereviewsSee all my reviews

First things first, this classic burns like incense, slow and wonderful. For those easily bored don't bother. That said, like watching incense burn, the tapestry of our character's existence becomes mesmerizing. This incredible flick is a subtle exposition of Japanese culture as seen through the differing generations that exist under one roof. Even more so, that this occurred during the highly transformation period of Japan at the end of the US occupation demonstrates the rapid evolution of an eastern culture with the contrast between the traditional grandparents, the liberated and business-minded children, and the horribly bratty grandchildren. As the story comes to its denouement, the resultant emotional strife is relegated as inevitable in place of culpability. The story unfolds under the static eye of a beautifully composed camera lens, and the nuances of Japanese culture are elucidated through the brilliance that is routine life. The acting is relaxed and natural, with performances whose genius is hidden in magnified nuance. As well, the beauty of Setsuko, the focal point of Early Summer, becomes almost blinding with each and every smile. Flouting little things such as plot, this story is nonetheless riveting and is a treat to watch. Ozu's direction is inspirational through his uniquely static poetry of the screen.

Evil Eye Reviews

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Japanese | English

Release Date:

2 August 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Early Summer See more »

Filming Locations:

Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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