4 user 17 critic

Ornamental Hairpin (1941)

Kanzashi (original title)
At a rural spa, a soldier accidentally cuts his foot on a hairpin. Soon enough he tracks down its lovely owner and finds himself smitten.


Hiroshi Shimizu


Masuji Ibuse (story), Yoshitomo Nagase
1 win. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Shin'ichi Himori ... Hiroyasu
Kanji Kawahara Kanji Kawahara ... Old Man
Hiroko Kawasaki Hiroko Kawasaki ... Okiku
Koji Matsumoto Koji Matsumoto ... Head clerk
Hideko Mimura Hideko Mimura ... His Wife
Tsuneo Ohsugi Tsuneo Ohsugi ... Tsune (as Tsuneo Osugi)
Chishû Ryû ... Osamura
Tatsuo Saitô Tatsuo Saitô ... Professor Katae
Takeshi Sakamoto ... Inn's owner
Kinuyo Tanaka ... Emi
Kayoko Terada Kayoko Terada ... Maid
Jun Yokoyama Jun Yokoyama ... Taro
Munenobu Yui Munenobu Yui ... Toku
Masayoshi Ôtsuka Masayoshi Ôtsuka ... Jiro


Emi Ota and her friend Okiku stay briefly at a mountain inn and then return to Tokyo. Later, Nanmura, a soldier on leave, steps on an ornamental hairpin in the public bath at the inn. Emi writes to the inn saying she has lost a hairpin and, when she discovers that it injured Nanmura, returns to apologize. The longer term visitors at the inn meet together to discuss the hairpin incident. These include a grumpy Professor, a young couple Mr and Mrs Hiroyasu, and an old man staying with his two grandsons. They hope to see a romance blossom between Nanmura and Emi, after Nanmura declares that there is something almost poetic in finding a hairpin in the bath. Written by Will Gilbert

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User Reviews

Kind of weak
15 November 2009 | by zetesSee all my reviews

Well, overall, the Hiroshi Shimizu Eclipse set has been a bust for me. If you really desire to check it out, I suggest renting The Masseurs and a Woman. That's the only really good film in the set. Mr. Thank You is okay. The other two films, Japanese Girls at the Harbor and this one, are not bad, but both are kind of middling. Ornamental Hairpin feels kind of like a repeat of The Masseurs and a Woman. It also takes place at a resort spa, and has much the same kind of bittersweet romance. This one feels a lot thinner to me. Chishu Ryu (not recognizable) plays a soldier who steps on an ornamental hairpin while in the bath. The people around him are upset at his injury. He just hopes that the hairpin belongs to a beautiful woman. It does (Kinuyo Tanaka, of Ugetsu, Sansho the Bailiff and The Life of Oharu), and she comes back to the spa in person to apologize. A romance kind of sparks, but both parties are too shy to go for it. Most of the movie is comprised of the soldier exercising in order to get his foot into working condition (which makes no sense, honestly) while two children constantly shout at him in encouragement, with Tanaka shyly watching on. There are a bunch of other characters around the resort, too, but, except for maybe a cantankerous professor (Tatsuo Saito, who starred in I Was Born, But...), they don't really come off as anything besides poorly sketched caricatures. The film is also so vague at times that I was unsure of who some of the characters were (the two kids frequently seem like gamins who are just running around the spa, not belonging to anybody in particular). Chishu Ryu is so underdeveloped it's hard to really care whether he hooks up with Tanaka or not. It is often very pretty, of course, and there are a handful of very good sequences.

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Release Date:

26 August 1941 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Ornamental Hairpin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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