29 user 66 critic

Floating Weeds (1959)

Ukikusa (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 24 November 1970 (USA)
The head of a Japanese theatre troupe returns to a small coastal town where he left a son who thinks he is his uncle, and tries to make up for the lost time, but his current mistress grows jealous.



(screenplay), (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An aging widower arranges a marriage for his only daughter.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Shima Iwashita, Keiji Sada
Late Autumn (1960)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A widow tries to marry off her daughter with the help of her late husband's three friends.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Yôko Tsukasa, Mariko Okada
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The family of an older man who runs a small sake brewery become concerned with his finances and his health after they discover him visiting an old mistress from his youth.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Ganjirô Nakamura, Setsuko Hara, Yôko Tsukasa
Good Morning (1959)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two boys begin a silence strike to press their parents into buying them a television set.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Keiji Sada, Yoshiko Kuga, Chishû Ryû
Higanbana (1958)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A businessman clashes with his elder daughter over her choice of a husband.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Shin Saburi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Ineko Arima
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A kabuki actor's mistress hatches a jealous plot to bring down her lover's son.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Takeshi Sakamoto, Chôko Iida, Kôji Mitsui
Late Spring (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka
Early Summer (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A family chooses a match for their daughter Noriko, but she, surprisingly, has her own plans.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Chishû Ryû, Chikage Awashima
Early Spring (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young man and his wife struggle within the confines of their passionless relationship while he has an extramarital romance.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chikage Awashima, Ryô Ikebe, Teiji Takahashi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two sisters find out the existence of their long-lost mother, but the younger cannot take the truth of being abandoned as a child.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Ineko Arima, Chishû Ryû
Hitori musuko (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A widow sends her only son away to receive a better education. Years later, she visits him, finding him a poor school teacher with a wife and son.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chôko Iida, Shin'ichi Himori, Masao Hayama
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two young brothers throw a tantrum when they discover that their father isn't the most important man in his workplace.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Tatsuo Saitô, Tomio Aoki, Mitsuko Yoshikawa


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ganjirô Nakamura ... Komajuro Arashi
... Sumiko
... Kayo
Hiroshi Kawaguchi ... Kiyoshi Homma
... Oyoshi
Hitomi Nozoe ... Aiko
... Theatre Owner
... Kichinosuke
Haruo Tanaka ... Yatazo
Yosuke Irie ... Sugiyama
Hikaru Hoshi ... Kimura
Mantarô Ushio ... Sentaro
Kumeko Urabe ... Shige
... Aiko no haha
Mutsuko Sakura ... O-Katsu


A troupe of travelling players arrive at a small seaport in the south of Japan. Komajuro Arashi, the aging master of the troupe, goes to visit his old flame Oyoshi and their son Kiyoshi, even though Kiyoshi believes Komajuro is his uncle. The leading actress Sumiko is jealous and so, in order to humiliate the master, persuades the younger actress Kayo to seduce Kiyoshi. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 November 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Floating Weeds  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[According to cinematographer Kazup Miyagawa] 'I'll never forget that, from the first day on, he knew the names of everybody on the set [[ fifty people in the crew, people he'd never worked with. He'd written their names down, I learned later. But everyone was impressed and became devoted to him. Every single day working on this film was extremely pleasurable and enriching. In each of Ozu's films you can sniff his personality. He was pure, gentle, light-hearted, a fine individual.' See more »


Near the end, sandals disappear or move around: after Kiyoshi argues with his father, he runs upstairs, first slipping out of his sandals and leaving them at the bottom (center) of the stairs. Moments later, Kayo goes up to him. We see that she, too, removes her sandals at the bottom of the stairs. But Kiyoshi's sandals have now suddenly disappeared: we see only Kayo's sandals at the bottom of the stairs. Moments later, Kiyoshi comes back downstairs to go after his father. He goes to put on his sandals, which have now suddenly reappeared, but in a different location from where he took them off. A moment later, Kayo also comes down the stairs and puts on her sandals, which are approximately where she had removed them and placed them, moments earlier. See more »


Referenced in The Triplets of Belleville (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Exquisitely restrained
30 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

Floating Weeds by Yasujiro Ozu is an exquisitely restrained film about a failing acting troupe that travels to a small town and engenders a conflict of generations in a Japanese family. As the film opens a boat moves slowly into the harbor a Japanese coastal village. A Kabuki troupe arrives and begins to pass out leaflets announcing their opening performance. Sadly the opening crowds are small. Komajuro (Ganjiro Nakamura), the principal actor in the troupe, goes off by himself to visit Oyoshi (Haruko Sugimura), a former lover who runs a Saki bar. She has an adult son, Kiyoshi (Hiroshi Kawaguchi) who Komajuro had fathered many years ago. Komajuro has hidden his identity from the boy because of his shame at being a traveling actor and Kiyoshi only knows of him only as "uncle".

When Sumiko (Machiko Kyo), Komajuro's mistress and leading star, finds out about this relationship she goes into a jealous rage and hires a young actress, Kayo (Ayako Wakao) to seduce Kiyoshi in order to humiliate his father. Kiyoshi, however, falls in love with Kayo. Komajuro disapproves and shows his anger but cannot exert parental authority since he has not told his son the truth about his parentage. As the troupe continues to draw small crowds, Komajuro's inner pain becomes visible and he strikes out physically against Kayo, Sumiko, and Kiyoshi. It is only in the surprising conclusion that he seems to regain some sense of acceptance of his circumstances.

Floating Weeds is a very intimate experience. The camera does not move but remains focused on the characters as they engage in discussions about commonplace events. As in Bresson, the actors show little emotion and speak in a monotone with long silences between questions and answers. The overall effect, however, is not banality but a sense of the natural rhythm of life. Ozu is a loving observer of human nature not a moralist. There are no saints in this film and each character is vulnerable and deeply human. Komajuro has been stripped of his career, his relationship with his son, and his female companions who still beg him for forgiveness. He is alone but he has retained his humanity and we feel only compassion for him. The ending is, in the phrase of Donald Richie, "a kind of resigned sadness, a calm and knowing serenity which maintains despite the uncertainty of life and things of this world". Floating Weeds is a masterful film from a director who truly respects his audience.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 29 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed