Color . 118 minutes

Shochiku Ofuna Studio

Written By

Ozu Yasujiro
Noda Kogo


Atsuta Yuharu

Music By

Satio Kojun


Yamamoto Fujiko (Yukiko)
Saburi Shin (Hirayama Wataru)
Tanaka Kinuyo (Kiyoko)
Arima Ineko (Hirayama Setsuko)
Sata Keiji (Taniguchi Masahiko)
Takahashi Teiji (Kondo Shotaro)
Kuwano Miyuki (Jirayama Hisako)
Ryu Chishu (Mikami Shukichi)
Naniwa Chieko (Sasaki Hatsu)
Watanabe Fumio (Naganuma Ichiro)
Nakamura Nobuo (Kawai Toshihiko)


At the wedding reception of an old friend's daughter, Hirayama congratulates the younger generation on the freedom to choose their partners. However, at the post-wedding drinks, he agrees to let his friends find a suitable match for his daughter Setsuko. Hirayama intercedes on behalf of two young women who defy their parents plans for an arranged marriage, but when Setsuko's boyfriend makes a surprise call to ask for her hand, he is furious and initially refused to attend the ceremony. However, while staying at an inn in Kyoto, he is persuaded by the owner's daughter to get on a train to see Setsuko in her new home in Okayama.

Thoughts from Ozu
This is my first color film, as well as the first film I cast Yamamoto Fujiko. I decided to jazz it up as a sparkling comedy. Initially, I had no inclination to make a color film, but the company asked me to do so for the sake of Yamamoto.



he 49th film, shot from May to August 1958. In January of that year, Ozu traveled to the island of Sado to look for a location for his next film, which was to be a remake of his well-achieved pre-war film A Story of Floating Weeds. However, this year's winter was warm, and snow was scare even in Niigata and Sado, and the project had to be abandoned. As a result, Ozu wanted to film a novel by Ton Satomi, his favorite writer, with whom he was on good terms since his removal to Kamakura. Satomi suggested that he rather write a novel based on a story that was intended to be filmed. In the quite strange way, the novel Equinox Flower by Ton Satomi, and the homonymous screenplay were born. Ozu had not intended to make this film in color, but since Shochiku had hired the top-ranking star Yamamoto Fujiko (the incarnation of Japanese beauty at that time) from Daiei, the company president himself requested the change. In 1958, color films and wide screen were quite widespread, but not as much as in America. Ozu, who was very particular about the composition, never showed interest in wide screen, but color was a different thing (if not, nobody would have been able to convince him). However, he did not choose the very popular, splendid Eastman colors, but the more sober Agfa colors. Probably, he also liked the red color of Agfa. The red properties in Ozu's color film are famous. This film is set in an "uptown" mansion, and the daughter's marriage moves the story forward. For the first time since What Did the Lady Forget?, Equinox Flower is a real comedy. The motif of the daughter's marriage caused by her boyfriend's transfer is repeated here. Contrary to the expectation, Yamamoto Fujiko did not interpret the role of the daughter who gets married, but is used as a kind of Deus ex machina. This well-calculated decision had an excellent result. The house of the family is in Azabu, a residential quarter in Tokyo. However, this house does not give a traditional impression, such as in Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family or The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice, but it represents the father's success, going from office worker at the shores of late Ashinoko is connected to the couple's conversation in the earlier I Was Born, But... by the use of the line "life will be easier from now on." In this context, it is also possible to think of this film as a development and a modification of the films set in the suburbs.

Articles / Essays
Equinox Flower : Old Music New Realities
by site contributor Doron B. Cohen (Kyoto)

Equinox Flower
by Michael Koller (Senses of Cinema)
Personal Thoughts and Comments
Ozu was never one to quickly change with the technology of art form. His first sound film came in 1936 and he never made a film in Widescreen format. He also did not make a color film until 1958 with this film, Equinox Flower. A late arrival to color, but remarkable none-the-less, as this is a beautiful film. Ozu enhances the expression of the film through color and gives the film his patent simplistic beauty, richness, and poetry. Ozu features his traditional views of family and father-daughter generation differences. Equinox Flower details Japanese rebellious and independent post war youth generation that went against many of the common Japanese traditions (such as arranged marriages). The father doesn't necessarily dislike the man his daughter wants to marry, or even her desire to go against tradition and choose, but he can not accept the fact that she has "defied" her parents. Ozu leaves the film open and sympathizes with both the father and daughters feelings. With a detailed vision of object placement, color, and composition, Ozu perfectly captures the emotional tone with a trademark subtle visual expression and here a blend of lighthearted humor (through the inconsistency and ironies that make up living). Repeat viewings of this film leave me feeling that Equinox Flower is one of Ozu's most complex films. Every time I see this I get something new from it and I have a difficult time expressing my thoughts on the film except to say it is one of Ozu's very finest masterworks.
Film Images

"Pillow Shots"
A clip from Equinox Flower
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