9 user 16 critic

Yearning (1964)

Midareru (original title)
2:35 | Trailer
After a bombing raid destroys the family store and her husband, Reiko rebuilds and runs the shop out of love stopped short by destruction.


Mikio Naruse


Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay), Mikio Naruse (story)
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Hideko Takamine ... Reiko Morita
Yûzô Kayama ... Koji Morita
Mitsuko Kusabue Mitsuko Kusabue ... Hisako Morizono
Yumi Shirakawa Yumi Shirakawa ... Takako Morita
Mie Hama ... Ruriko, Koji's girlfriend
Aiko Mimasu Aiko Mimasu ... Shizu Morita
Yû Fujiki Yû Fujiki ... Mr. Nomizo, employee at rival supermarket of Morita's
Kazuo Kitamura Kazuo Kitamura ... Mr. Morizono, Hisako's husband
Hisao Toake Hisao Toake ... Mr. Okamoro, drugstore owner
Kumeko Urabe ... Bar madam at Ginzan hotspring
Kan Yanagiya Kan Yanagiya ... Mr. Kaga, foodstore owner
Yutaka Sada ... Mr. Murata, kimono store owner
Yutaka Nakayama Yutaka Nakayama
Toshiko Yabuki Toshiko Yabuki
Chieko Nakakita ... Mrs. Kaga


After a bombing raid destroys the family store and her husband, Reiko rebuilds and runs the shop out of love stopped short by destruction.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


See the lovers' endless yearning hearts. Feel their hidden flame of love.



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User Reviews

Reflects significant social change in Japan
31 May 2015 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

Mikio Naruse's film Yearning reflects the significant social change occurring in Japan in 1964 when supermarkets began to offer cheaper prices in order to drive out the small shops which had dominated the market. This changing structure particularly affects Reiko (Hideko Takamine), a widow since the last war after only being married for six months. She has remained with her husband's family to run the family grocery store along with her mother-in-law Shizu (Aiko Mamasu) while brother-in-law Koji (Yûzô Kayama), and sister-in-laws Hisako (Mitsuko Kusabue) and Takako (Yumi Shirakawa) live their own private lives. Takamine's remarkable performance as the repressed widow conveys a longing for a freedom that has been elusive.

The film opens as a van parades the streets advertising the supermarket, driving past Reiko's store in the process. Shot in Naruse's quiet style, the film is a study in contrasts. Reiko is a woman with traditional values who has repressed her own desire for companionship to serve her husband's family, while Koji is a layabout who drinks and gambles and takes no responsibility for the family business. When a group of drunken businessman pressure bar girls to see how many eggs they can stuff into their mouths, Koji intervenes and starts a fight leaving Reiko to bail him out of jail. Koji and his sisters make plans to build their own supermarket, but conspicuously leave Reiko out of their plans, urging her to remarry.

Reiko is hurt by the family's seeming lack of appreciation for her service. She is accepting of her role, but emotionally unprepared when Koji surprisingly confesses to her that he loves her. Though Reiko initially rejects his advances, she tells him later: "when you said you loved me, I felt glad," and "I've been a different woman since that day." She is unable, however, to accept Koji's telling her that she has wasted her life for his family. Though she hears the words, she is too bound to the past to be able to acknowledge their truth. She tells Koji, "I didn't waste my life. I lived it," but she is not convincing. The entire mood of the film changes with Koji's declaration and the way their relationship unfolds constitutes the emotional core of the film and provides its most dramatic moments and its shattering conclusion.

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Release Date:

23 October 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Midareru - Sehnsucht See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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