Synopsis: Otsuta is running the geisha house Tsuta in Tokyo. Her business is heavily in debt. Her daughter Katsuyo doesn't see any future in her mothers trade in the late days of Geisha. But Otsuta will not give up. This film portraits the day time life of geisha when not entertaining customers.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Mikio Naruse
Production: Criterion Collection
  4 wins.
117 min

Screened at the Arts Festival

Toho Productions


Adaptation from the original novel by

Aya Koda

Cinematography by

Masao Tamai

Music by

lchiro Saito


Kinuyo Tanaka, lsuzu Yamada

Hideko Takamine

Mariko Okada, Haruko Sugimura

Sumiko Kurishima

Chieko Nakakita, Natsuko Kahara

Seiji Miyaguchi, Daisuke Kato

Directed by

Mikio Naruse


l'm back!

Fujiko, you're really coming on

l'll do some practice

when it gets a bit cooler

Eh? Someone's been using this

Nanako...watch what you say.

We all have to live under one roof

Namie says her payment slips

don't tally up

She's got the cheek to suggest

we've been cheating her

l've got it all written down here

So what?

You could've simply

made them all up!

You've no right to point the finger

of suspicion at us

A country girl like you...

...with filthy hair and grubby hands!

That's right. When you first came here,

you were absolutely clueless


You had no idea how to treat a client

l heard you even asked them

to feed you!

You didn't even know what salmon was

before you came here!

Well, where l come from in Chiba,

we don't have such food

Oh, dear me!

Yes? Tsuta House...

Yes? You want to speak to my mother?

Ponko, don't stray too far!

Mother, it's the Geisha Guild for you

- You told them l wasn't here?

- Hmm...

What's all the noise downstairs?

Well, Namie's complaining

about her pay

She's got to understand

we've a business to run here

l'm getting no sleep at night, so at least

keep them quiet during the day

lt's the end of the month, though,

and the bills are due

All they say is, "Where's our pay?"

Just pretend not to hear them


- How many for dinner tonight?

- You'll have to ask Yoneko

She never seems to lift a finger!

Where are you off to?

Just out

- Excuse me?

- Coming!

And you are...?

l've been sent

by the employment agency


Just wait a moment, will you?

- Who is it?

- The new maid

Do you want these?

Come in

Thank you


How do you read these characters?

lt's pronounced "Rika"

- "Rika" ? Oh!

- Unusual name, isn't it?

- Sounds foreign to me

- Hard to pronounce, too

At your service, mistress

Please, there's no need to be so formal

- Are you married?

- My husband died the year before last

And my child died last year.

Since then l've been supporting myself

Oh, really?

l would actually prefer to employ

an older person like you

You shouldn't talk

about the elderly like that!

Everyone over 30 here

is considered old!

Anyhow, you can order young people

around but they're not very sensible

- Older people know better...

- They're always whingeing, though!

l'll do my very best for you,

if you'll take me on

Everyone l've been to see

has said l'm too old

Let's try you out and see, shall we?

Well, this is where we all eat,

work and sleep

We don't have any special requirements

l'll do my best for you

Mother, l'm just going out

- Where to?

- Just out

Just because the new maid's here

doesn't mean you can swan around

- Where's Namie?

- Gone out somewhere

- Where's Fujiko?

- Gone for a cold drink

Not again? She's been having them

all day, she'll get stomach ache

Show her around the house

- Come on, then

- Yes...

There's the toilet

That's the kitchen

And this is your room

This is the bathroom

Nanako, show her around.

l'm going to get Fujiko

That's how the senior geisha can act!

- Let me help you there

- That's all right. l've finished now

l hope you don't mind getting your hands

dirty. Otherwise, you'd better leave now!

That was Yoneko, the mistress's

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