20 user 6 critic

The Funeral (1984)

Osôshiki (original title)
At the beginning of the film the father-in-law of the protagonist dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. The remainder of the film is episodic, moving from one incident to another over the ... See full summary »


Jûzô Itami


Jûzô Itami
19 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Wabisuke Inoue
Nobuko Miyamoto ... Chizuko Amamiya
Kin Sugai Kin Sugai ... Kikue Amamiya
Hideji Ôtaki Hideji Ôtaki ... Shokichi Amamiya
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Isao Bitô Isao Bitô ... Shigeru
Midori Ebina Midori Ebina ... Kiyo
Nekohachi Edoya Nekohachi Edoya ... Ebihara
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Small old man
Hideo Fukuhara Hideo Fukuhara ... TV Studio Guard
Hiroko Futaba Hiroko Futaba ... Shokichi's Wife
Mampei Ikeuchi Mampei Ikeuchi ... Jiro (as Manpei Ikeuchi)
Yôsui Inoue Yôsui Inoue ... Telegram Deliverer
Masahiro Irie Masahiro Irie ... VTR Operator
Ryôsuke Kagawa ... Old People's Club Chairman
Akio Kaneda Akio Kaneda ... Fuku


At the beginning of the film the father-in-law of the protagonist dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. The remainder of the film is episodic, moving from one incident to another over the course of the three-day funeral, which is held (as is customary) in the home. These incidents contrast old ways and new ways, young and old, ritual ceremony and true feelings, often comically, but sometimes with real poignancy. Written by Doug Shafer <dsshafer@uncc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Did You Know?


This was Jûzô Itami's first film as a director and writer. See more »


Although the nails are heavily indented into the coffin lid in the house, in the subsequent walk to the hearse there is no sign of them, nor at the crematory. See more »


Air on the G String
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Monochrome document video scene
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User Reviews

One of my all-time favorite films.
23 May 2005 | by bobthedinosaur2003See all my reviews

I am going to respectfully disagree with the above comments. Even though I am not Japanese and haven't been to Japan, I have studied Japanese culture (though I can't claim to be an "expert") and I believe that for the most part the humor is easy enough to follow. Like when the priest arrives in a Rolls Royce. It follows the same theme of the wealthy minister in many US comedies. And then there's the organization like how many cremation lunches to make at the crematory. And of course things that have nothing to do with culture like when the manager tries to get up to answer the phone and then collapses because he had been kneeling too long and his legs have gone numb. All the while, the rest of the family is trying to keep from laughing and disrupt the prayer service that's currently taking place. But even the cultural satire is easy to follow. Like when the deceased's brother stops the funeral so all the guests can pose while he takes pictures or then Aoki, one of the guests, brings his movie camera to film everything in order to preserve it. All in all, I rank this film with "The Gods Must be Crazy" is that it does a good job in satirizing a culture's transition from traditional to modern without being disrespectful to that culture. While I do not suggest that this film will teach the viewer about Japanese culture, it is still very enlightening on certain Japanese habits.

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Release Date:

16 March 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Funeral See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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