About Her Brother

Synopsis: Ginko seems to be living the good life: She's the respectable owner of a neighborhood drug store in Tokyo, and her daughter Koharu is about to get married to a doctor. However, Koharu's wedding day also brings homes Ginko's younger brother Tetsuro, a failed actor and a hard drinker who shows up causing trouble. Having covered for him all her life, Ginko is ready to disown her burdensome younger brother, but some things are easier said than done...
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Yôji Yamada
  1 win & 12 nominations.
126 min

Between the Peace Treaty of 1951,

and the Security Treaty of 1960...

as Japan regained its


my mother was growing

up in Osaka.

While the Osaka Expo

was drawing millions,

and that strange

anti-hero 'Tora-san'...

first took the screen,

she came to Tokyo

to study Pharmacy...

met my father,

and fell in love.

They married, and ran a pharmacy

in the suburbs of Tokyo.

In time, I was born.

I remember my mother

in front of the TV, delighted...

when her beloved Hanshin Tigers

won the baseball championships,

first time in 21 years.

There was also,

the tragic airplane crash...

and the National Railways

going private.

Through those bewildering days...

I sat before the TV,

as if nailed in place.

My father, who was always frail

passed away when I was still small.

My mother's younger brother,

a far wilder Tigers' fan than she was...

who celebrated their victory

by jumping into the Dotonbori Canal,

started coming up to Tokyo

to help look after me.

He called himself an actor,

and was very funny.

I loved him when I was small...

but as I grew up

and he never changed...

he became annoying.

The relatives disliked him

for the problems he'd cause...

and five years ago,

at my father's 13th-year memorial,

he got drunk and disorderly.

My mother

had harsh words with him.

After that we lost touch.

About Her Brother

Takano Pharmacy

I'm back!

A gift from the beauty parlor.

Isn't that nice!

Put them in some water.

We finally got an answer

to your uncle's wedding invitation.

I saw it. It's not an answer,

it was returned.

'This item was delivered to

the specified address...

'but the presence of the addressee

could not be confirmed...

'so it is being returned.'

I told you there was

no point inviting him.

I guess not.

I'll get it.


Oh, hello.

We've brought a gift.

What? Just a minute.

Mother! Come here!

It's Dr. Endo and Mr. Maruyama.


What brings you both?

They gave us this.


on behalf of the Area Merchants.

You didn't have to!

Time goes fast.

It seems like only yesterday Koharu

said she hated dentists...

and bit my hand.

Thank you for everything.

Not at all.

We're losing a pretty girl.

Everyone's disappointed.


Us two.

It can't be helped, though.

As long as you're happy.

We shed tears over it every night.

And you shed hair.

Hands off!

Thank you.

Be happy.

Wasn't there anyone local?

For what?

A young lad to win Koharu's heart.


You've got a son, don't you?

Forget it.

A high-school dropout

against a university hospital doctor?

No, huh?


Did that new bell come in?

Can't you talk?

Knock, knock.



I hear you.

Dinner's ready.

'I hear you.'

Then why can't she answer?

Give that to her son.

You know what your dad said

when you were born?

'Let'll be a sad day

when she goes as a bride.'

He's weeping in

his grave right now.

Father, I'm sorry.

Stop doing that.

You're not a child.

Mother, shall I help you

with your kimono tomorrow?

No, thank you.


That woman's brother

from Osaka...

Your crazy uncle...

Is he coming?

No. We couldn't find him.

Oh, that's good.

I can't abide that man!

That ill-bred lout!

I know that.

Well! A feast!

That smells good!


We're celebrating.

This is once in a lifetime.

Well, everyone...

There's only three of us.

So what?

All three of us, then...

To Koharu's happiness.

Thank you.

And Grandma,

you get along with Mom, ok?

You said that last night.

You're going senile.

Look who's talking!

Well, let's eat.


All done?

Koharu, you're beautiful!

This is Koharu?

It seems like only yesterday

you were on my knee.

Shohei, thank you

for all you've done over the years.

It's nothing.

As long as you're all happy.

There you go.


Koharu, thank your uncle.

I don't need it.

Thank your mother.

'Thank you for all you've done,'

is what you say now.

Oh, that's all right.


At times like this

you need to say things properly.

This is one of life's

turning points.

Especially after all

Ginko's gone through...

raising you alone.


Go ahead, say the words.

I will, then.



For all you've done...

over all these years...

I thank you.

Very good!

What are you crying for?



If only Kazuo were here...


Where's Koharu's wedding at?

'Koharu', sir?

My niece!

I'm sorry?

I'm her uncle, stupid!

Never mind!

Away with you!

The groom, Yusuke Terayama,

and the bride, Koharu...

have just been married

in the hotel chapel.

I thus inform you...

that the ceremony took place

in a most dignified manner.

I was Yusuke's professor

in medical school...

Excuse me.

Mrs Ginko Takano?

Your younger brother

asks to speak with you.

He's here?


In the hall.

Tetsuro? What does he want?

To celebrate, of course.

Get rid of him.

We can't do that!

This way.


Hey Sis.

So Koharu's getting married?


How did you find out?

Who do I run into but Auntie

from Suminoe, and she says...

'Are you off to Koharu's wedding?

You named her, after all.'

Well, blow me down!

That was just two days ago.

Hi, Brother.

So I raised money for the train,

but I didn't know the hotel.

I just jumped in a taxi.

Tokyo taxi drivers

are just plain rude!

Right, Brother?

Forget taxis.


But that's why I'm late.

Am I in time for the ceremony?

He can come in, can't he?

We can't send him away now.

But I ask one thing.


Oh, a speech?

I'm no good at that.

No, thank you.

I wouldn't be asking you

for something like that!

I mean this!

No drinking, you mean.

Remember Kazuo's 13th?

You got right disorderly.

Don't bring that up again!

Today is a happy day.

The groom's from a good family,

so there's important folk here.

You keep that in mind.

Don't you worry, Brother.

I know what a fool I get

when I've had a drink.

You're a fool to start with,

and you just get worse.

You'd say that to a brother?

Brother orno, a fool's a fool.

He's no fun at all!

I've asked them to set you a place.

You wait here.

This way, please.

Hey, Koharu!

Boy, did you get old!

Who are you?!

Come on, let's go.

Whoops! Wasn't that something!


Bite me!

I was in university with

Dr Terayama, the groom's father.

Together we attended lectures

and honed our skills.

And we often drank together.

I remember one day for some reason

he suddenly said...

'One day I will have a child.

'Propose the toast

at the wedding for me.'

And today

that has come to pass.

No joy could be greater.

I keep my promise!

Here you are.

Oolong tea forme.

Just for the toast.

It's more than my life's worth.


raise your glasses to

a long and happy life...

for Yusuke and Koharu.


Thank you, Dr Fujiwara.

Please be seated.

Give her a kiss!

Shut up!

Get closer!

They're cutting the cake.

Is that all cake?!

Just part of it.

Dr. Fujiwara's leaving.

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Emiko Hiramatsu

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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