The Ballad of Narayama

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Shôhei Imamura
Production: Toei Company
  9 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
130 min

The Ballad of Narayama

What are you going to do at Shinyashiki, Tatsuhei?


How's your Dad?

Not so well, and not so bad

Arlue, give me the axe

Grandma, how old are you?

Your teeth look so healthy

There should be no problem

even eating pinecones and dried beans

I haven't eaten such things before

Grandma has about 33 teeth.

Don't be silly, only 28.

You stop counting after 28.

Surely more than 28.

Kesakichi, stop talking and go to work.

Is that smelly boy still sleeping?

Risuke, Risuke...

Harumatsu's hungry.

Did you go to Shinyashiki last night?

Did you go to that b*tch's house by stealth

with the farmhand in the country?

No, I didn't.

They treat that dog like a sweet girl

The ex-master has killed

the farmhand who maltreated his daughter

I said I didn't go there.

Though a farmhand, you are still my brother

You would be disgraced if you caused some scandal

It's so smelly here, let's go over there

Uncle! I...

What happened? Don't scream

It doesn't seem so sweet now.

Where is grandma?

Mum! Mum!

You all right?

It looks like Misuiko in the paddy field there

really trouble to face her at that moment

To meet Misuiko?

She is so fat it would be

impossible to make a mistake


My daughter-in-law will send me to the grave.


Within 10 days I think

You must send me there

Risuke, where's Misuiko?

Where's there?

Wash your face a little next time, ok?

I barely can breathe now....

Your Misuiko is at the field

So what, at the smelly field?

She will be smelly soon

So I don't have to go there to handle it yet

Thanks for telling me

Then go there to handle it

or it will hinder my work

She is not smelly yet

However, go there soon!

You idiot!

Why are you so nervous? However smelly

she gets she cannot compare to you

OK, I won't butt into your business!

Anyone in the country knows it

So smelly!

If I finish this

I will go to the field then

What the hell is that?

Isn't that what you want?

It's without measure

Isn't that Shioya?

Oh, Suzuba, long time no see

Haven't seen you for a year, the girl is cute

But her mother

Tatsuhei's wife...

I've heard about her. So miserable...

After her childbirth, she went out picking chestnuts

and fell down from the cliff

Get up! get some drink

Has Tatsuhei gone to the hill to work?

No, to the field.

I thought I met him at the western mountain

on the way here

Saw Tatsuhei?

I maybe mistook him, as I was so far away

Suzuba, my purpose coming here today is nothing else but..

Isn't this salt?

I've not made a decision to buy it

Not for business

It was Mr. Matayan of the neighbouring country

who told me to send it to you

The neighbouring country?

I beg you to do me a favor for Tatsuhei's remarriage

It's so cold

The madam is coming from the neighbour country

She is called Tama

Just became a widow the day before yesterday

She will come here after the 100 days of mourning

She is 37, 8 years younger than you

I needn't make a selection for my plight

Smelly boy, don't come near me

Risuke, don't come near him if he told you not to

Kesakichi will inherit from Tatsuhei to become the master of the family


Did you go to the western mountain this morning?


Shioya said he saw you

You are getting more and more like Ribei now

He said he saw the master?

It is impossible for a man who got lost 30 years ago to be still alive

Oh, a mistake

Don't cry


You really don't know about Dad's disappearance?

It was when you were 15, and Risuke was 5

Very bad harvest that year

The girl who just gave birth was sold to Shioya

and Ribei's mother and me both are 69

That's the age to go to the mountaintop

and bad things coming together, Ribei's very disappointing

for failing to bring his mother to the mountaintop

Well rules are rules, kindness is not the issue.

and he just felt himself running away so painful

so disgraceful

you are the same

I am different, different from Dad

of course

Matsu, how many pubic hairs do you have?

I don't know.

Let me count them out for you

No, Kesakichi


I don't want it at such place


it doesn't matter

I'll pick up twice quantity of bracken for you

I'll pick up everything for you

Pick up many many things for you

Oh, so painful...

Come to my house!

Come to find how many teeth my mother has

Tatsuhei, I don't mean this

I'm just imitating your Kesakichi's song

Is that Kesakichi?


Though don't know who is that, come helping me

My son is a devil, he doesn't let me eat

even kill me

who is that outside?

Dad, he's Neeko's Tatsuhei

Oh. I see

He wanted to die last night

He had done that once before

We thought that he would go to the summit this winter

because he's already 70

So did your mother.

Kesakichi, are grandma's teeth ghost teeth?

Wretch! she likes you so much

No longer let you eat

I envy you


I won't live for long

but it isn't good either, to be like me, so healthy

able to eat but nothing else

I also want to come to the summit

I don't want to die in my bed and be buried near there

The result is same

All our souls will come to the summit in the end

All of us will meet at the summit together



Your husband is also waiting for you

Though I have no idea about my husband

No one knows where Ribei went

He only left his gun at the valley

He died long ago

though he was a bit thick

but not a bad man

I have no idea

you are so wretched

Wretchedness does not matter, but humiliation does

Kinba is almost dead

When will she die?

Maybe in 1 or 2 days

The woman will come in two months

then mother could relax

it doesn't matter whether she comes or not

I don't want this woman. If I would remarry

my wife will look after Yuki

I don't care.


Furthermore, we can't afford additional two people

Wretch, don't eat

Your brother will marry Ameya's Matsune

Wretch, shut up!

Is it too large?

Not serious

A great coffin!

How about Kinba

She just died

Really? Hurry up

Mum, still alive?

Not yet, I got well after eating the baiqiu

It's baiqiu



The harvest is bad this autumn

The grass grows too quick

Are you coming to worship

Is this Tatsuhei's home?

Aren't you Tama from the neighbouring village?

Although I could worship there

But they tell me to come here

Because they said there are good things to eat here

So I come here stealthily at midnight

Oh, you must be hungry


Come in, quick

Why are you there?

You should come in early

Because I'm alone, that's not good

though brother said he would take me here

He was in drink while worshiping

Shioya said grandma was kind, told me come here early

it's my duty to take you here

that would be fine, I would follow you

though I would tell Shioya

I'll come to the summit soon

It also will be OK later

No, no, God will cry if I go early

These trout were all caught by me

Are you able to catch a trout?

No one could catch more than me, in my home or village

I know where they are

I will tell you later

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Shôhei Imamura

All Shôhei Imamura scripts | Shôhei Imamura Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Ballad of Narayama" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 23 Jul 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Ballad of Narayama


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.


    Are you a screenwriting master?

    Which of the following is a common structure used in screenwriting?
    A Two-act structure
    B Four-act structure
    C Five-act structure
    D Three-act structure