2 user 7 critic

Wife (1953)

Tsuma (original title)
Tokyo. Mihoko and Toichi Nakagawa's ten year marriage is crumbling out of inertia. Each knows the other isn't happy, they themselves aren't happy, but they don't talk about their problems ... See full summary »


Mikio Naruse


Fumiko Hayashi (novel), Toshirô Ide
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Mieko Takamine ... Mihoko Nakagawa
Ken Uehara Ken Uehara ... Toichi Nakagawa
Rentarô Mikuni ... Tadashi Tanimura
Michiyo Aratama ... Yoshimi Niemura
Sanae Takasugi Sanae Takasugi ... Setsuko Sakurai
Chieko Nakakita ... Eiko Matsuyama
Yatsuko Tan'ami Yatsuko Tan'ami ... Fusako Sagara
Hajime Izu Hajime Izu ... Hirohisa Matsuyama
Yoshiko Tsubouchi ... Taeko Niemura
Tatsuya Ishiguro
Akira Tani Akira Tani
Noriko Honma Noriko Honma
Masao Shimizu
Sadako Kimura Sadako Kimura
Eiji Koyama Eiji Koyama


Tokyo. Mihoko and Toichi Nakagawa's ten year marriage is crumbling out of inertia. Each knows the other isn't happy, they themselves aren't happy, but they don't talk about their problems with each other, each festering in their unhappiness largely so that they will not show especially to their three boarders their problems. Mihiko in particular, old fashioned in her outlook, does not see divorce as an option, that move which would be a stigma she could not tolerate. Both are seemingly oblivious to the fact that others around them are facing similar if not worse situations, and that they themselves are largely the cause of their unhappiness. Things for their marriage get worse when Toichi starts to fall for his work colleague, widowed Fusako Sagara, who returns his affections. Written by Huggo

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based on novel | See All (1) »



User Reviews

Marriage equals stability? Think again.
22 April 2020 | by topitimo-829-270459See all my reviews

"Tsuma" (Wife, 1953) is a very recognizable work from Naruse Mikio, not only because of its simplistic title. The director had lately made two other films about failing marriages, "Meshi" (Repast, 1951) and "Fûfu" (Husband and Wife, 1953) and the subject would come up time and time again in his subsequent films. It was a personal one for him, as his own marriage too had met a somber ending.

Like many of Naruse's more mediocre films, "Tsuma" has some tonal problems. The film starts off very casually, even comically, and we get to hear the thoughts of our married couple, played by the talented duo of Takamine Mieko and Uehara Ken. They've been married for several years now, and it has gradually grown from a joy into a burden. They don't have children, and the wife has very little to do. All around them the marriages of their friends seem to be falling apart too.

I think "Tsuma" has more potential that "Fûfu" did, but it doesn't grow into an emotional experience like "Meshi", which is clearly the best of the three. The beginning seems sloppy and doesn't frame the marital crisis as serious enough. The second half is more solid, but by then the character work seems to be drifting because it wasn't laid out well in the first place. Naruse's view of married life is very cynical. He does not believe in love and happiness, and is much more interested in showing his audience the stagnation and the boredom, as well as the quietly escalating conflicts. This would all be well and good, if the screenplay was more precise and the tone consistent.

Here, as often in happens in his films, Naruse offers no conclusions and no finality, which I liked. I just happen to think that this particular film did not do a great job to make the audience care about this particular marriage, despite the great actors involved.

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Release Date:

29 April 1953 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

A Esposa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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