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A lowly divorcee is tricked into becoming the mistress of a despised moneylender but soon falls in love with a student.


Shirô Toyoda


Ogai Mori (novel), Masashige Narusawa
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Hideko Takamine ... Otama
Hiroshi Akutagawa Hiroshi Akutagawa ... Mr. Okada
Jûkichi Uno Jûkichi Uno ... Mr. Kimura, Okada's friend
Eijirô Tôno ... Suezô, the moneylender
Chôko Iida ... Osan, the marriage broker
Eizo Tanaka Eizo Tanaka ... Zenkichi, Otama's father
Kumeko Urabe ... Otsune, Suezo's wife
Miki Odagiri ... Oume, Otama's maid
Kuniko Miyake ... Osada, the sewing mistress
Tadashi Date
Zenji Yamada Zenji Yamada ... Tasuke
Hiroko Machida Hiroko Machida ... Tasuke's wife
Rieko Himeji Rieko Himeji ... Otake
Akira Naoki Akira Naoki
Tetsuya Watanabe Tetsuya Watanabe


A woman with a bad track record in her relationships with men falls for yet another when she accepts to become the mistress of a money-lender. Believing him to be a proper businessman and intending to marry her she soon discovers fragments of reality, but because of moneys owed is trapped. In the meanwhile, she falls for an idealistic student, but that is apparently not to be her reality either. Written by aghaemi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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

User Reviews

The difficult situation of a married wife in Japan finding out that her husband has another wife.
17 October 2020 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

A young beautiful delicate woman is tricked into marriage with a money-lender, fooled by her mother, who wants the money-lender for her son-in-law to get rid of her debts, and she tells her daughter that he is a widower. He is not. His wife is still there with two children, and when the bartered concubine and the real wife learn about each other, and the new bride realizes that she has been tricked, this film becomes truly interesting. She evades the old wife consistently in sheer terror of her righteous bitterness, while the reality of her own situation of humiliation gradually becomes unbearable. At the same time, the money-lender is in a tragic and awkward situation himself as well, and to all this comes the complication of a young student of medicine, as he and the young wife develop some affection for each other. It's a very human story of very human predicaments filmed with supreme delicacy, bringing out all the passionate feelings of the players without these having to show them, it's all under perfect restraint, consistently keeping up an exquisite style of extreme artistry, to which also the wonderful misty cinematography and the endearingly beautiful music bring some additions to bring this cinematographic work of art to perfection. There is nothing more to be said than to agree with a previous critic, summarizing the impressions to 100% perfection - it's a Madame Butterfly in perfect Japanese without opera and dramatic climaxes but instead the more delicate and beautiful in consummate human sensitivity.

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Release Date:

2 February 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mistress See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamacho, Tokyo, Japan

Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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