Kohayagawa-ke no aki

Color . 103 minutes

Takarazuka Eiga / Toho

Written By

Ozu Yasujiro
Noda Kogo


Nakai Asakazu

Music By

Mayuzumi Toshiro


Hara Setsuko (Akiko)
Nakamura Ganjiro (Kohayakawa Manbei)
Tsukasa Yoko (Noriko)
Aratama Michiyo (Fumiko)
Kobayashi Keji (Hisao)
Shimazu Masahiko (Masao)
Morishige Hisaya (Isomura Eiichiro)
Naniwa Chieko (Sasaki Tsune)
Dan Reiko (Yuriko)
Sugimura Haruko (Kato Shige)
Kato Daisuke (Kitagawa Yanosuke)
Sazan Kakyu (Chief Clerk)
Ryu Chishu (Farmer)

In Kansai, Kohayagawa Manbei runs a sake business that has a difficulty keeping up with the times. As marriage arrangements for his late son's widow Akiko and his youngest daughter Noriko get underway, Manbei is preoccupied with clandestine visits to his former mistress Tsune and Yuriko, who may or may not be his illegitimate daughter. When this comes to light, eldest daughter Fumiko has a huge row with him, but he has a heart attack and the family is devastated. He recovers but soon has another heart attack, and dies at Tsune's place. With Akiko's encouragement, Noriko turns down the arranged marriage and purses her true love who has been transferred to Hokkaido. Akiko expresses the wish to bring up her son Minoru alone, to the great disappointment of her suitor.

Thoughts from co-writer Noda Kogo
The End of Summer was produced by Toho's affiliated company Takarazuka Eiga, with cinematography by Nakai Asakazu. The entire staff belonged to Toho. Although Ozu did not take any Ofuna staff with him, it was an enjoyable experience because everyone put in a lot of effort. The story's inspiration came from the personal experience of a woman who went on outings to Tateshina. One day, her father suddenly fainted from a cardiac arrest. All the children rushed home in a fluster, but he woke up the next morning fit as a fiddle, as if nothing happened.


The 53rd film, shot from June to September, 1961. Ozu made this film for Takarazuka Eiga, which is affiliated with Toho, in exchange for the Toho stars, Hara Setsuko and Tsukasa Yoko, whom he had cast in Late Autumn. The scene is set at Fushimi in Kyoto. All the three films that Ozu made for other companies other than Shochiku are located elsewhere than in Tokyo. (The family house in The Munekata Sisters is in Tokyo, but Tokyo is not at all privileged in comparison to the other places of action.) By chance or not, all three films are considered of minor importance in his work, and did not reach the acclaim of the films for Shochiku, maybe due to the separation from Tokyo. Only this film is a pure Kansai (the region of Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe) film. The Moon Has Risen is set in the Kansai region, but the family in this film is evacuated from Tokyo. It seems evident that no trace of Tokyo appears, but the Kansai characteristics are also missing. Except for Nakamura Ganjiro and Naniwa Chieko, all actors belong to the Takarazuka studio, giving the film the contemporary image of the Toho films. This Toho atmosphere was opposed to Ozu's style. Moreover, since many actors wanted to grasp at the good chance to appear in a film by Ozu, they had to be cast in small scenes, giving the film a somewhat diffuse impression. The role of the old Kohayagawa Manbei (Ozu preferred this pronunciation to "Kobayagawa") makes the most of the leading actor Nakamura Ganjiro. The story is developed around the conduct of the unaffected and broad-minded Manbei. The daughter's marriage and other events in the family are interwoven. The main theme certainly centers on the head of the family, and at his death, the family is about to break up. In Ozu's films either death or marriage causes the disintegration of a family, and this special style does not change in The End of Summer. After Manbei's funeral, smoke comes out of the chimney of the crematory, ravens fly near the river and a farm couple washes radishes in the river. They talk about earthly transience without emotion. In this way, a strange and uncomfortable atmosphere is created. Ozu used to insert some dry humor in these endings. He does not do it here. His inner feelings previously covered by a rigorous style and buffoonery, are exposed, reminding us of the darkness of films like The Munekata Sisters and Tokyo Twilight.

Articles / Essays
The End of Summer : On Brightness and Darkness
by site contributor Doron B. Cohen (Kyoto)

Personal Thoughts and Comments
"Is this it? Is this really it?" The End of Summer rates among Ozu's most emotionally complex, challenging, and ultimately darkest films. As common with Ozu, this is a family study. Here he's examining three separate generations of a family and the relationships within them. The family is presented in such a richly textured examination and the films is able to capture the authentic feeling of "ordinary" living. There are no heroes or villains, only human beings and as is the case with Ozu the separation and miscommunication of the family results from the inevitable changed caused by a death or marriage. Here the primary focus of the family is the decline of the traditional way of life. The film blends hope and sadness to a point that seem as one, culminating in a cameo performance by Ozu-regular Chishu Ryu who reminds us of the "cycle of life" as he watches smoke pour out from a chimney. The End of Summer so closely observes humor and sadness. Simplistic, yet a deeply thought-provoking film that (like all Ozu's films) require repeat viewings to fully absorb the emotional and visual depth.

Film Images

"Pillow Shots"
A clip from The End of Summer
dvd (R1)    (R2)