7.9/10
6,357
27 user 49 critic

The Ballad of Narayama (1983)

Narayama bushikô (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 29 April 1983 (Japan)
In a poor 19th century rural Japanese village, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to climb a nearby mountain to die. An old woman is getting close to the cut-off age, and we follow her last days with her family.

Director:

Shôhei Imamura

Writers:

Shôhei Imamura (screenplay), Shichirô Fukazawa (novel)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A kabuki theatre-inflected story about a poor village whose people have to be carried to a nearby mountain to die once they get old.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Teiji Takahashi, Yûko Mochizuki
The Eel (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A businessman kills his adulterous wife and is sent to prison. After the release, he opens a barbershop and meets new people, talking almost to no one except an eel he befriended while in prison.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baishô
Black Rain (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, based on Masuji Ibuse's novel.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Yoshiko Tanaka, Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Chronological exploits of Iwao Enokizu, a murderous thief on the run.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Ken Ogata, Rentarô Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A down-and-out businessman travels to a seaside town, where he meets a woman with unusual sexual powers.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baishô
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A housewife living under her tyrannical husband has her life stressfully turned upside down after getting raped by a burglar.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Masumi Harukawa, Kô Nishimura, Shigeru Tsuyuguchi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Life story of a woman born in poverty trying to succeed. Through her many schemes, she faces her ups and downs in a cyclical nature, fueled mostly by self-interest.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Emiko Aizawa, Setsuko Amamiya, Tomio Aoki
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young hoodlum decides to work for a criminal organization that is tearing itself apart.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Hiroyuki Nagato, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Masao Mishima
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An engineer from Tokyo arrives on a drought-ridden tropical island to drill a well to power a nearby sugar mill. He meets the inbred Futori family, hated by the locals for breaking religious customs.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Chôichirô Kawarasaki, Hideko Okiyama
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Ogata Ken Ogata ... Tatsuhei
Sumiko Sakamoto Sumiko Sakamoto ... Orin
Tonpei Hidari Tonpei Hidari ... Risuke
Aki Takejô Aki Takejô ... Tamayan
Shôichi Ozawa Shôichi Ozawa ... Katsuzô
Fujio Tokita Fujio Tokita ... Jinsaku
Sanshô Shinsui Sanshô Shinsui ... Zeniya no Tadayan
Seiji Kurasaki Seiji Kurasaki ... Kesakichi
Junko Takada Junko Takada ... Matsuyan
Mitsuko Baishô Mitsuko Baishô ... Oei
Taiji Tonoyama ... Teruyan
Casey Takamine Casey Takamine ... Arayashiki (as Kêshi Takamine)
Nenji Kobayashi Nenji Kobayashi ... Tsune
Nijiko Kiyokawa Nijiko Kiyokawa ... Okane
Akio Yokoyama Akio Yokoyama ... Amaya
Edit

Storyline

In a small village in a valley everyone who reaches the age of 70 must leave the village and go to a certain mountain top to die. If anyone should refuse he or she would disgrace their family. Old Orin is 69. This winter it is her turn to go to the mountain. But first she must make sure that her eldest son Tatsuhei finds a wife. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only time could change the cruelty of tradition ... only their Love could survive it ... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

29 April 1983 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ballad of Narayama See more »

Filming Locations:

Niigata, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toei Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Narayama" translates literally into English as "oak mountain". See more »

Connections

Remake of The Ballad of Narayama (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Oya wo nemurasu komori uta
Performed by Sumiko Sakamoto
Courtesy of Radio City Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Disturbing, yes. Captivating, certainly!
7 February 2005 | by hilhorstSee all my reviews

This is a film about a culture that has evolved to deal with food scarcity. The people of the village have taken their choices to the extreme. Food is so hard to get (and keep) that the very old and very young must leave. Babiy boys are left to die in the snow, baby girls are raised only to be sold, and the old are brought to the mountain to die. The only thing there is plenty of is sex, for all but one man called Stinker by his peers.

The villagers are intent to secure life for themselves and their family and will do anything necessary. In the middle of this all lives an old lady, almost 70 (the dying age) but healthy and strong. She does not want to burden the family, so she gives up her place in order for the young ones to live.

Imamura registers all this without judgment. This is a lesson to most people, filmmakers in particular. See, feel, but don't judge right away. See, feel, think, and then try to understand.


29 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed