14 user 26 critic

The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952)

Ochazuke no aji (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 20 November 1964 (USA)
A childless middle-aged couple faces a marital crisis.


Yasujirô Ozu
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Shin Saburi ... Mokichi Satake
Michiyo Kogure ... Taeko Satake
Kôji Tsuruta ... Non-chan / Noboru Okada
Chishû Ryû ... Sadao Hirayama
Chikage Awashima ... Aya Amamiya
Keiko Tsushima ... Setsuko Yamauchi
Kuniko Miyake ... Chizu Yamauchi
Eijirô Yanagi ... Naosuke Yamauchi
Hisao Toake Hisao Toake ... Toichiro Amamiya
Yûko Mochizuki ... Shige Hirayama
Kôji Shitara ... Koji Yamauchi
Matsuko Shiga Matsuko Shiga ... Toichiro's mistress
Yôko Kosono ... Fumi
Kinichi Ishikawa ... Company President
Yoko Osakura ... Kuroda Takako (as Yoko Uehara)


Takeo, a capricious wife from Tokyo high-society, is bored by her dull husband, a quiet and reliable company executive raised in the country (Shin Saburi) After a crisis, she understands better his true value. A parallel sub-plot shows her niece rebelling against the tradition of arranged marriages. Written by phs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


At the spa, the women mention the All-Girl Revue and sing a song from it ("It started when the violets were in bloom..."). This is most likely a reference to the Takarazuka Revue, an all-female musical theatre troupe based in Takarazuka, in the Hyogo Prefecture. See more »


Taeko Satake: Think well before you pick your groom, it's important.
See more »


Gaudeamus igitur
Traditional tune, lyrics by Christian Wilhelm Kindleben
Performed by Kôji Tsuruta
See more »

User Reviews

A subdued family drama; A good quality Ozu film
2 January 2020 | by asandorSee all my reviews

The Flavour of Green Tea over Rice (Ochazuke no aji) is an Ozu film; a subdued drama analyzing the transformation of Japan post-WWII in small, personal ways. This film follows a childless married couple as they navigate changing traditions, conceptions of marriage, and love. The relationship between the two is strained - the husband is a simple country man who enjoys his country cigarettes, riding in the third class passenger car of trains, and throwing himself into his work with tact and politeness. The wife is a city girl, enjoying spa days, expensive and luxurious decorations, and first class train rides. These two struggle to relate to each other, in a marriage that was set up over a decade ago as an arranged marriage.

The catalyst to this film is when their headstrong niece comes to stay. A product of the new Japan, she is not interested in an arranged marriage, and instead wants to meet someone through dating, and marry for love, not familial status. This is scandalous to both her parents and our married couple. However, the two begin to see each other in a new light, engaging with new ideas, trying new things, and ultimately coming together in a touching and mute scene of culinary exploration and intimacy.

Ozu has a way with scenes. Each scene is meticulously detailed, and dripping with meaning, while maintaining a muted, quite feel. Ozu is, of course, a master of film making of this era, and this film is no different. It poignantly portrays the changing nature of relationships, love and marriage in Japan with subtlety, grace, and beauty. There are many wonderful scenes and shots in this film, and it is an Ozu film worth watching.

Complaints-wise, this film feels much slower then many of Ozu's films, almost to the point of not really moving. This seems to be a stylistic choice that compliments the thesis of the film, but also makes the film a bit distractable at times. Scenes feel like they jump at times, and the chronology of events, while supposed to be clear, is often not, for brief moments.

A wonderful film in many ways that just, barely, lacks the Ozu charm and perfection that is common in films like Tokyo Story, for example. Even so, this is a lovely, sweet and touching film that is easily watchable, and contains many of the charms of Ozu's work. Easy recommendation for fans of Ozu, or fans of quite, small and beautiful stories and dramas.

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Release Date:

20 November 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tea Over Rice 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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