The Balloon (1956 film)

The Balloon (風船, Fûsen) is a 1956 black and white Japanese film drama directed by Yuzo Kawashima based on a novel by Jiro Osaragi[2] and adapted for the screen by Kawashima and Shohei Imamura.[3]

The Balloon
Directed byYuzo Kawashima
Written byShôhei Imamura
Yuzo Kawashima
Jirô Osaragi
CinematographyKuratarô Takamura
Edited byTadashi Nakamura
Music byToshirô Mayuzumi
Distributed byNikkatsu
Release date
  • February 19, 1956 (1956-02-19)[1]
Running time
110 minutes


In post-war Japan a middle aged family man connects with a woman from his past. He has two children, an arrogant son who is torn between his mistress and a new lover, and a disabled daughter who gets mixed up in the affair.[4]


In 2018 the Japanese film studio Nikkatsu and VOD platform MUBI collaborated on a retrospective of the work of Kawashima to be available to stream in the US to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. The Balloon was among the films that were screened.[5] In February 2020 the same retrospective was available to stream on MUBI in the Nordic countries.[6]



  1. ^ (in Japanese) accessed 10 February 2020
  2. ^ "Japan On Film". MUBI. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  3. ^ A Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors: From the Silent Era to the Present Day, First Edition, Jacoby, Stone Bridge Press, 2008, p. 107
  4. ^ "The Ballon (1956)" (in Norwegian). MUBI. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  5. ^ "MUBI to curate Kawashima homage". MUBI. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  6. ^ "The Ballon (1956)" (in Norwegian). MUBI. Retrieved 10 February 2020.

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