The End of Summer

The End of Summer (小早川家の秋, Kohayagawa-ke no aki, lit. "Autumn of the Kohayagawa family") is a 1961 Japanese film directed by Yasujirō Ozu for Toho Films.[1] It was entered into the 12th Berlin International Film Festival.[2] The film was his penultimate; only An Autumn Afternoon (1962) followed it, which he made for Shochiku Films.

The End of Summer
The End of Summer.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byYasujirō Ozu
Written byKōgo Noda
Yasujirō Ozu
Produced bySanezumi Fujimoto
Masakatsu Kaneko
Tadahiro Teramoto
StarringNakamura Ganjirō II
Setsuko Hara
Yoko Tsukasa
CinematographyAsakazu Nakai
Edited byKoichi Iwashita
Music byToshiro Mayuzumi
Distributed byToho
Release date
  • 29 October 1961 (1961-10-29)
Running time
103 minutes


Manbei Kohayagawa (Nakamura Ganjirō II) is the head of a small sake brewery company outside Kyoto, with two daughters and a widowed daughter-in-law. His daughter-in-law, Akiko (Setsuko Hara), and youngest daughter, Noriko (Yoko Tsukasa), live in Osaka. Akiko helps out at an art gallery and has a son Minoru. Noriko, unmarried, is an office worker. Manbei's other daughter, Fumiko (Michiyo Aratama), lives with him. Her husband, Hisao, helps at the brewery and they have a young son Masao.

Manbei asks his brother-in-law Kitagawa (Daisuke Katō) to find Akiko a husband, and Kitagawa lets Akiko meet a friend of his, Isomura Eiichirou (Hisaya Morishige), a widower, at a pub. Isomura is enthusiastic about the match but Akiko is hesitant. Manbei also asks Kitagawa to arrange a matchmaking session for Noriko, who is in love with Teramoto (Akira Takarada) but doesn't express it since Teramoto is moving to Sapporo to be an assistant professor.

During summer Manbei sneaks out constantly to meet his old flame, a former mistress by the name of Sasaki Tsune (Chieko Naniwa). Sasaki has a grown-up, rather Westernized daughter Yuriko who may or may not be Manbei's own daughter. When Fumiko finds out Manbei has been seeing Sasaki again, she is angered and confronts her father, but Manbei denies the whole affair.

The Kohayagawa family meets for a memorial service for their late mother at Arashiyama. Manbei has a heart attack after quarrelling with Fumiko over Sasaki, but wakes up feeling refreshed the next day. Akiko asks Noriko about another recent matchmaking session, and while Noriko admits to having a fun time, she reveals that she is still pining for Teramoto.

In a secret trip out with Sasaki to and back from Osaka, Manbei has another heart attack, and dies shortly after. Sasaki informs the daughters of what happened. The ailing Kohayagawa brewery is to be merged with a business rival's, while Noriko decides to go to Sapporo to search out Teramoto. At the film's end, the Kohayagawa family gathers and reminisces about Manbei's life as his body is cremated.


Actor Role
Nakamura Ganjirō II Kohayagawa Manbei
Setsuko Hara Akiko, Manbei's widowed daughter-in-law
Yoko Tsukasa Noriko, Manbei's youngest daughter
Michiyo Aratama Fumiko, Manbei's oldest daughter
Keiju Kobayashi Hisao, Fumiko's husband
Chieko Naniwa Sasaki Tsune
Reiko Dan Yuriko, her daughter
Haruko Sugimura Kato Shige, Manbei's sister-in-law from Nagoya
Hisaya Morishige Isomura Eiichirou, Akiko's suitor
Daisuke Katō Kitagawa Yanosuke, "the uncle from Osaka," Manbei's brother-in-law
Akira Takarada Teramoto Tadashi
Kyū Sazanka Yamaguchi, Chief clerk
Yū Fujiki Maruyama Rokutarou, Assistant clerk
Haruko Togo Kitagawa Teruko, Yanosuke's wife
Yumi Shirakawa Nakanishi Takako, Noriko's friend
Tatsuo Endō Hayshi Seizo
Masahiko Shimazu Masao, Hisao and Fumiko's son
Chishū Ryū Farmer
Yūko Mochizuki Farmer


In order to secure its contract stars Setsuko Hara and Yoko Tsukasa from Toho for his prior film Late Autumn, Ozu agreed to direct The End of Summer for the studio, making it his only Toho film and the only one of three not produced for Shochiku (the others were Floating Weeds for Daiei and The Munekata Sisters for Shintoho). As a result, the film is filled with Toho players, many of whom took the opportunity to appear in their only Ozu film, including marquee headliners Hisaya Morishige and Akira Takarada taking small roles. Ozu added a scene at the end to accommodate star Yūko Mochizuki, who requested to be in the film, and his signature player Chishū Ryū.[3]


Dennis Schwartz praised The End of Summer as a "deft blending of comedy and tragedy", writing that Manbei's "lively antics give the film a wonderfully playful tone."[4]

Filmmaker Eugène Green, who gave the film one of his ten votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound directors' poll of the world's best films, wrote that it "stands out as a meditation on death, with certain shots of an extraordinary power and beauty. The scenes between the two sisters are deeply moving."[5] Filmmaker Ashim Ahluwalia also mentioned the film as one of his top ten of all time, writing: "End of Summer is a poignant, near-perfect film about endings, made a year before Ozu died."[6]


  1. ^ "小早川家の秋". Kinema Junpo. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  2. ^ " Awards for The End of Summer". Retrieved 2010-02-05.
  3. ^ Cohen, Doron. "The End of Summer - On Brightness and Darkness". Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Dennis (June 21, 2007). "The deft blending of comedy and tragedy". Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  5. ^ "Eugène Green". British Film Institute. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  6. ^ "BFI".

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