Early Spring (1956) - full transcript

A young man and his wife struggle within the confines of their passionless relationship while he has an extramarital romance.

A Shochiku Film

Early Spring

Screenplay: Kogo Noda Yasujiro Ozu

Producer: Shizuo Yamanouchi

Cinematography: Yuharu Atsuta

Production Design: Tatsuo Hamada

Sound Recording: Yoshisaburo Senoo

Lighting: Masao Kato

Music: Takanobu Saito

Editing: Yoshiyasu Hamamura


Chikage Awashima

Ryo Ikebe

Teiji Takahashi

Keiko Kishi

Chishu Ryu

So Yamamura

Takako Fujino

Masami Taura

Haruko Sugimura

Kumeko Urabe

Kuniko Miyake

Eijiro Tono

Koji Mitsui

Daisuke Kato

Directed by Yasujiro Ozu

- 'Morning.
- Good morning.

- No trash collection again.
- What a pain.

That darn ward office...


- Don't forget to buy it.
- What?

You mentioned it last night, silly.

What was it?

A lightbulb, for the toilet.

Will two do?

One's plenty.

Rinse the sink well too.

Come on. You're going to be late.

Don't blame me if you are.

I've still got five minutes.

What about shaving?

I won't.

You've got stubble.

Eat some bread.


You had tea over rice last night.

You should quit mahjong.

The next train on Track 2
leaves Kamata at 8:28 a.m. for Omiya.

Good morning.

- 'Morning.
- 'Morning.

I gave you 10 too many
in last night's game.

Like hell I did.

So, did you tell everyone?

- I heard.
- It's great. Sounds fun.

Let's discuss it over lunch.

- Discuss what?
- Something great and fun.

It's fun alright. But you can't come.

Why? Where will you go?

- Where, Non?
- Somewhere great. And fun.

Here it comes.

It's a flood of company men.

Those poor saps.

We just walked through there too.

Coming in early helps
to put it in perspective.

340,000 of us get off
at Tokyo Station every morning.

- That's the population of Sendai.
- Really?

I'm one in 340,000?

- 'Morning.
- Good morning.


- Thanks for yesterday.
- How'd you go?

Slim pickings. I only won some MSG.

You're lucky you left.

- 'Morning.
- 'Morning.

- 'Morning.
- 'Morning.

- 'Morning.
- 'Morning.

Go to Miura's last night?

No, I didn't. Something came up.

Is he in a bad way?

So I hear.


- Hey, let's go here.
- Do we need to call?

Darn, we do.

Anyway, let's meet at
Kamata Station at 8.

- Too early.
- Don't be so soft.

Then we'll wander around.
It'll work out.

- Let's do it.
- How much?

How much was Lake Sagami?

400 yen, with change.

Okay then?

400 yen's okay?

- Okay.
- Then where to?

We walk from Enoshima. Hiking.

I know that.

I'm going out with the wife
next Sunday.

- Where?
- Department store.

Don't go. I'll seduce you.

Seduce him!

That's it then. Kamata Station at 8.
Wives can come too.

- You'll tell Beanpole?
- Sure.

I'll tell pinky and Browny.

- I hope it'll be sunny.
- Sundays have been lately.

Back to the grindstone.

Sugiyama, Mr. Onodera's here.


General Affairs.

The 200 tons for Omi paper
will be ready soon.

I need to check up on
the Yokkaichi job.

I see.

Hey, how's it going?

When did you get here?

On last night's sleeper.

Take care of it.

Let's go in there.

- Doing well?
- Yes, more or less.

- What brings you here?
- A big order.

But the director's out, so I'm free.

I see.

I was about to leave.

You don't say?

- You free today?
- How come?

Want to go see Kawai?

Yes, I'll join you.

What's his joint?

- Blue Mountain?
- That's it.

He's a maverick.

I haven't seen him for a while.

Go occasionally. He'd like that.

Mr. Omori will become
Osaka sales chief?

I just heard. There'll be
more transfers to come.

Right. Will you be
transferred back here?

No, not for a while yet.
My exile's far from over.

See you later.

Yeah, later.

He's Osaka sales chief now?
He's moving up.

- And Arakawa?
- He's staying put, cleverly.

Yeah. As union head,
he'll be an executive before long.

I saw him earlier.
He's got a face like an executive now.

What an oddball.

How does he treat you?

He thinks I'm Mr. Onodera's protege,
so he's hard on me.

That sounds like him.

- Thanks for that.
- Thank you sir.

How's Miura?

Not well, I hear.

Haven't seen him for three months.

What's wrong with him?

A chest illness laid him low.

Oh? That's too bad.

I bet Arakawa's been
griping about Miura.

That's because he was your protege.

No, that's history now.

Not so, I hear. He never forgets.

Is that so? He just won't let up.

Please go in.

- Come to the back room.
- May we?

- We've nothing special though.
- Thank you.

Let's go.

Please do.

- Drink?
- Sure.

- Have some.
- Thank you.

- Sorry for the trouble.
- Not at all.

Is your family in Otsu well?

Yes, touch wood.

Please come.
Cruising on Lake Biwa's lovely.

I took my kids recently.

Oh? I used to row on the Seta River.
Trained in Ishiyama.

- You were a rower?
- Yes. The fifth man.

I couldn't now.

Let's finish this.

Have some.

- How's business?
- So-so.

Lunchtime's busy.
I can choose my own hours though.

That's great. I envy you.

No need to leave for work on time.
No more jam-packed trains.

Mine gets so crowded, it's murder.

That's life for us company men.

Become an executive
and commute by company car.

You were right to cut yourself loose.

Maybe I wasn't.

You know, I've grown sick
of living this way.

But I can't.
My kids are growing up too.

If you want to quit, do it now.

No way. I won't quit.

You won't?

Good. You've still got prospects.
Cherish this time.

Having no attachments is better.

No, nothing's changed.
I'm still a company man in spirit.

My lifestyle pays my salary.

- Will you stay?
- No, I'll stay with Sugiyama.

I called my wife earlier.

Anyway, there's not much fun
in the world right now.

Nobody's completely happy.

Best to accept that and live humbly.


That's the only way.

Well, I guess you're right.

You must be tired. Your bed's ready.

Thank you. I appreciate it.

- Has he got water?
- Yes.

Up early tomorrow?

What time do you go?

The 8:28 from Kamata.

I'll catch that too.

Go later. It's very crowded.

If you can...

Plus, the director won't be in early.

If he isn't, I'll take
a stroll around the block.

Time for bed.

Good night.

Ma'am, please wake me up in time.

- I will. Good night.
- Good night.

Mr. Onodera looks older.

Yeah, he's grayer up here.

He is. Pass me that.

I'm hiking with friends
on Sunday. Want to go?

- Where?
- Starting at Enoshima.

I'm not sure.

Go. Pinky and Fatty will go
too. Goldfish as well.

Say, why is she called Goldfish?
She's very pretty.

She's got big eyes, and she's wild.
Not fit for human consumption.

The poor girl.

Wait a little longer.


I'll prepare some rice for morning.

Make it quick.

Is his futon alright?

It's fine.

Hey! Let's rest for a moment.

We just had a rest.

Hey! Where will we eat? Hey!

He won't shut up.

He ate five bean jam buns back there.

Hey! No rest yet?

Ignore him.


Hurry up now!

Why are they so far behind?

Oh, they were eating
their packed lunches.

Why didn't your wife come?

- She went home.
- To her hometown?

You should've brought her.

Hey, hiking's not much fun.

Nah, it is. Feels swell.

It's boring.
I won't come again. No way.

You said that last time.

Oh, a truck. Shall we hitch a ride?

Will it stop?

Excuse me! May we?

Come on!

Thanks a lot.

- Hey Sugi!
- Hey!

You jerks!

Hey truck, stop!

See you down the road!

It was nice weather today,
so you should've gone. Like a date.

It would've been wasted money.
I'd just get tired.

What did Uncle in Minowa say?

Nothing much. But it's bad.

I hate being in arrears.

But your rent's amazingly cheap.

I know that.

Then pay on time.

Sugi doesn't earn enough.

That's rich. You fell in love
with him. You can't back out.

Want to take some oden home?
It's well cooked.

No thanks.

But Sugiyama often ate konnyaku
when he used to come over.

He likes it, right?

He was a poor student then.
He's still poor now though.

- It's done, Mother.
- It is?


Come here, Miko.

Her tummy's big.

For a good reason.

What about you? Did you try again?

Try what?

To get pregnant. Not since then?

I don't want kids now.

You should have kids.
Aren't you lonely?

I'm used to it.

Your boy would've been
about to start school.

Stop it already.

Where's Koichi?

He works part-time on Sundays lately.

That's good.

University grads have
few options these days.

Plus, you know he's impetuous.
I worry about him.

I can't leave him to his own devices.

Ask Sugiyama to find him something.

You're full of troubles.

I am. Nothing but troubles.

Did Sugiyama get a raise?

It's not so easy.
A 1,000 yen raise is a big deal.

- Is that so?
- It is.

No heated cushion for me yet then.

You don't need it. It's so hot now.

- I'd better go.
- Really?

You won't take some konnyaku?

I may as well.

Just a little.

Mother, don't forget the mustard.

You got it.

I'll throw in an egg ball.

They're tasty today.
The flavor's soaked in.

What are you grinning for?

- What?
- You seem happy.

I do? I look that way? I wonder why?

Don't act innocent.

Tokoen for lunch? Shumairice?

I've got other plans.


Never mind.

You're acting strangely.

Got some good news?

Your order, miss.

Thank you kindly!

I caught a later train and met
Jelly this morning. I hate him.


Because, he's been jealous
since we rode that truck.

So what? Let him be.

But it's annoying. Nothing happened.

Just as well.

You're right.

I know.

Then why's he jealous?

Want to go somewhere with me?

Yeah, why not?

- You live with your brother?
- No, my sister.

They get on so well.

Don't be jealous.

Can you stay out late?

They complain, but so what?
I'm a free woman.

What about you?
Does your wife complain?

She does. Now and then.

Is she scary?

Yeah, she's scary.

A scary wife's a good wife.

This iron's wobbly.

The screws are loose. I can't fix it.

Buy a new one.

I would if I could,
but I can get by with it.

"Getting by" is a dreary phrase.

Here. Are you going back to work?

No, I'll go straight home.
I've got the manuscript.

This cover's torn.

Forget it. Have some tea.

I envy your easy life.

- What's easy?
- You work alone.

Rubbish. You'd cry your eyes out
if your husband died.

Would I cry? Maybe I would.

You'd bawl your eyes out.

You said you'd die
if you couldn't marry him.

Yes, I did say that.
That was a long time ago.

Do you need sugar?

It's sweet enough already.

Won't you ever remarry?

I won't, unless I find someone
I truly love.

- Shinoda's still unmarried?
- Right.

She's a loner at heart.
She'd never marry.

She's worked ever since she graduated.
She's got a finely-honed eye for men.

Is she looking?

Maybe. But like my workmates say,

as women get older,
they latch on to losers.

You be careful too.

I know. I'm not one to talk.

You're not.

Who's there?

- Me.
- Hi.

He's early.

He is, from time to time.

Hello. I dropped by.

Oh, hello.

Sakae was nearby for work.

Oh. I'm hungry. Is dinner ready?

Not yet.

What? Not yet?

Should I buy some meat?

From now?

That's right.

Forget it.

Make yourself at home.

- Where's he going?
- Beats me.

- He's in a huff.
- Why?

He said he's hungry.

I'm just a cook to him.

I understand. I feel the same.

I hate cooking everyday
after I come home.

How do you cope?

I eat bread.

Now I'm hungry.

So am I. How about sukiyaki?

Good idea. I'll buy meat.

I'll cook rice.

100 momme okay?

Oh yes. We usually get 50.

- Got a furoshiki?
- Use my bag.

- Here.
- Won't be long.

It's by the station.

Much obliged.

Looks tasty.



My boss said something lousy today.


Read about our truck in Omori
hitting that kid?

Yeah, in the newspaper.

He was angry about the
insurance payment. That poor kid...

What was that?

This. Ryanpin.

Oh, that.

You get a staff discount, Snakehead?

I do. How come?

My wife wants a washing machine.

You'll buy one?

No. Just asking.

I thought so.

Hey, cut it out.


Good evening.

I just saw Suka.

So what?

He said you were here.


Oh, whose holder is this?


It's a woman's.

I know. I borrowed my wife's.


What? It calms me down.

And it's tasty.



A sweet hand.

You're awful.

There it is.


You dirty rat! Quit lowballing us.

Blame that holder.

240, huh?

You defected to Sugi.

So what?


Since that hike,
you and Sugi are acting fishy.

What's fishy?

- What dora is it?
- Eight wan.

The eighth, huh.

Great hand.

Mine too. Great, great.

You're lying, Non.

Shut up.

This is gonna be great.

Passing through Yushima

Brings back memories

Of Otsuta and Chikara

And their sympathy

Does the white plum tree...

- pon!
- You dirty rat!

...within the shrine know

That silhouettes remain

Of the young duo

Hey, Non.

Where to?

Agriculture ministry. And you?

Work's tough.

What a morning.

How come?

Goldfish's skirt
got caught in the train door,

so stupid Beanpole
yanked the emergency stop lever.

Shame it wasn't her ass.

Yeah! punishment for that hike.

Vengeance is swift. Gotta go.

Bye bye.

Miura looked much better
a few days ago.

But if his mother came,
it can't be good.

He should go to a hospital,
but he hates them.

Sugiyama? Phone.

Hey, going to see Miura today?

I'll go with you.

Yes, hello? Sugiyama here.

Oh, it's you.



Hey, I can't go anymore.


My wife called. Something came up.

Give my best to Miura.

Will do.

Next time.


- Here you go.
- Thanks.

Here you go.

What time is it? 3?

The usual then.

- Here you go.
- Thanks.

Throw it to me.

So, what did you do?

I said my wife called.

You're evil.

Yum. Won't you drink?

I will.

Isn't it nice here? And quiet.

I wonder what your wife's doing now.

Getting dinner ready?

Or fixing her makeup after a bath?

Why are you quiet?

Food's ready.

Being a wife's boring.


Hey, know this song?

An ad balloon in the sky again today

I know it.

It's about a wife waiting in vain.
And you're here drinking.

Do you tell your wife everything?


- Will you today?
- I don't know.

You can tell her. I don't mind.

But if we don't talk,
how would she know?

She wouldn't.


You called?

I didn't.

How rude.

Silly you, darling.

You sat on the button.




Me too.

The sea looked lovely last night,
but it's just ugly.

Oh no. Look what's floating there.

What's wrong?

What's on your mind?

Let's get dressed. Time's up.

You really can't ditch work?

You could just call.

No I couldn't.



Feeling regretful?

I don't know anymore.

About what?

How I feel.

I didn't worry much
about your wife before.

It didn't bother me at all.

But it's strange.

Truly strange.

What is?

I've come to resent her.

Am I jealous?

Come on, hurry.

I've fallen for you, deeply.

What now?

- I'll go ahead.
- Wait, I won't be long.

Our time's up. I'm going.


See you soon?

I don't know.

Darn it, you're mean.

You go there a lot?

Not a lot. One of my customers...

Hey, do you remember Tsu? Mr. Sugai.

He heard from a reliable source.

4-4 in the eight race was a lock.

- Did you add soy sauce?
- Not yet.

A dribble will do.

Oh, that's overdoing it!

Did you win much?

You must be joking. The favorite won.

You're not hiding it
so I won't take it?

I wouldn't hide it.
I'd treat you to something.

Does Sugiyama stay out all night often?

Not often...

No need to worry then.

Can I take this pot off now?

If it's simmering, go ahead.

He stays out late playing mahjong.

But last night was a first.

Your father always did that.

- But where is he?
- Don't ask me.

- What about your diner?
- Day off.

- That's lazy.
- Like heck it is.

Got to rest my bones.

- I'm home.
- Well well.

Your husband's home.


I'm exhausted.
Last night was an ordeal.

- Hello. I'm just visiting.
- Hello.

I had to go to Kawasaki.

I see. What's Koichi up to? Studying?

I wish I knew. I came to ask you
to find him a job.

Slow down. He won't graduate
for two years. Give him time.

What an ordeal.

What happened?

I went to see Miura,
but he's not well. I felt bad.


His mother was there.
She started crying.

I couldn't leave.

So you stayed at Miura's?

How could I? I went to Kimura's.

He went too.

Mahjong again?

Don't be stupid. How could we play?

That's the truth?

I was too worried.

I'll take a bath.




You're hungry?

I'll eat later.

I'll take a bath.

- Got clogs?
- I do.


make yourself at home.

See you later.

Where did he stay?

He went to see a sick friend.

See? That's all it was.

You're too suspicious.

Am I now?

You are.

Right, time to eat.

Eat, eat.

Get me a hot dog.

You skive off here?

It's Saturday. Don't slander me.

Missed the train?

Caught an earlier one.

You rode with Goldfish?

Ah, just as I thought.
I rode with Sugi.

So what?

Something's going on. It's fishy.

- What is?
- Well...

Haven't you noticed?

Sugi and Goldfish.

They never catch
the same train anymore.

They don't?

No, never.

Yesterday, when Goldfish came,
Sugi waited for a later train.

They're acting distant.

That's all? Get outta here.

Then why don't they talk to
each other? Like you and me.

That's stupid. Why would I go for you?

You're so rude.

No more then.

- There's more?
- There is.

- What?
- I won't tell.

- Another milk.
- Ice water.

Spit it out. Spit it out now.

Come on, won't you tell me?

- See you.
- See you.

- See you.
- See you.

- Done with the soap?
- Thanks.


- See you.
- See you.

She's acting oddly.

What was the man she was with like?

Quite handsome, like Gerard Philipe.

Typical. I hear he's married.


I forgot this.

- See you.
- See you.

She had a fling with Mr. Isozaki.

Others too. But not for a while.


Lovely weather.

The sky's pretty. A week's a long time.

Mrs. Sugiyama?

Oh, hello. Come in.

Sorry, I totally forgot about this.

- Thank you.
- You're welcome.

Your mother's a great cook.

You're too kind.

I put some karinto inside.

That's nice of you.

I just bought them. They're yummy.

- Tea?
- I'm fine.

Home early today?

He'll be late.

He's been early lately.

Yes, for a change.

But I can never tell.

Neither can I. My husband was
often late when he was younger.

I wondered why, and it turned out,
he had a reason.

What was that?

You know.

Know the cafe over the river?

I thought she worked there,
but it was the pool hall.

He put her up in an apartment,

while we lived in Yaguchi. I barged in,

and he was shaving fish flakes
in her yukata.

She came back from the baths.

Neck white with makeup.
Tofu in hand. Mouth full of gold.

What did you do?

I scrambled her tofu.

Don't let your guard down.

My man sticks to his work now,

but he didn't before.

Oh, that's him.

I wish he'd be late sometimes now.
He's a pain when he's early.


- I'm home.
- Coming dear.

I'll be going.

Where is he today?

Meeting his war buddies.

That's a worry!

Hello dear. Hungry?

I bought sake-pickled salmon.

I bought tofu. Shave some fish flakes.


You and I are like the inside of an egg

I'm the white embracing you, the yolk

Hey. Hey, drink.


Hey. Have another.

We drank like fishes in China.

And killed dogs to make sukiyaki.

It was delicious.

Nothing tastes as good as that here.

You think? Try eating it now.
It'll be so stinky, you'll gag.

You might be right!

Nishijima was a great dog catcher.
He hardly ever failed.

Too right.

But you know,

he was so damn timid.

When bullets flew, he dropped his gun
and started chanting sutras.

Yeah. He wrote to his wife
whenever he had a chance.

Too right.

When he was killed,
I checked his belongings.

Inside his good luck belt
was that saucy photo.

Arms around her.

After I came home,
I went to offer incense.

His wife was convinced he was
a model soldier of the empire.

Nothing tops a wife's loyalty.

I saw her the other day.


- Matsuzakaya in Ueno.
- How is she?

Remarried, to a bean boiler.

She was wearing lipstick,
and looked darn happy.

Poor Nishijima.

He won't rest in peace.

Too right.

Lucky we came home alive.

Hey. What's with the long faces?
Cheer up, dang it!

I pinched her hard enough
to leave a mark

But it's impossible to tell
because she's so dark

- Hey!
- Hello!

- Hey!
- He's home!

Get in here.

- ' Evening.
- ' Evening.

- Come in.
- Cheers.


Mrs. Sugiyama? Sorry.

We know it's late.

It's fine. Welcome.

Let's go upstairs. Come on.

Excuse us.

Watch the stairs.

No worries. No worries.

So you did.

Did what?

Meet war buddies.

Thought I lied?

Hey, great wife you got.


You sure do.

I wanna drink some more.

Well? Let's drink some more.

Have we got any?

- You do.
- Be a sport.

Hey, any sake?

There's none.


There's none. Give it a rest.

Why bring drunks home?

I didn't. They came.

So, we've got none.

What a nerve.

We've got none.

None of what?


Oh, sake.

Never mind then.

I'll go buy some.

It's too late.

No worries.

' Souse me ma'am.

Going somewhere?

Is the liquor store this way?

They'll be asleep. It's late.


What's the time?

Past 1 a.m.

It is?

- They'll be asleep then.
- Yes.

So. They're asleep.

Ma'am, if you're ever in Kawaguchi,
please drop by my place.

It's a humble foundry. We make pots.

Woks, with the Kintaro mark.

Heard of it?


You haven't?

Hey! What are you doin'?

I'm gonna give the lady one of my pots.

There you go again!

The last place we went,

he tried to give another lady
one of his pots.

Why not? I'm promoting ' em.

Pull the other one!
You always spout that garbage.

Hey ma'am.

I ain't got a single pot
out of him yet.

I'm offended.

Hey, go upstairs.

Sleep. Your beds are made.

Come on, pot belly.

Excuse us, ma'am.

- 'Night.
- Good night.

I feel dandy.

Hey, careful.

- No worries.
- Hey.

Coming tomorrow?

- What is it?
- Our son's deathday.

So it is...

Coming to his grave?

Of course. Why wouldn't I?

Hey. Get changed and sleep.

Go to sleep.

Oh yeah. Get up.

Futons okay?

No worries.

' Night then.

Huh? You ain't sleeping here?

Where you goin'?


Oh come on. Sleep with us.

It's just one night.
For old time's sake.

Do it already.

We've got no futons left.

Don't be soft. We slept on
dung in stables back over there.

- They were cramped too.
- Yeah.

That dung was toasty warm.

Sleep here. It'll be like old times.

Alright then.

Get changed too.

I'll sleep in this.

Me too.

Hooray for war buddies.



I'm over the moon.

Hey, lights out.

- Lights out?
- Lights out!

- Good morning.
- 'Morning.

My head aches a bit.

No wonder. You drank a lot.

How did we get here?

After the reunion,
we walked to the station.

You didn't want to leave us,
so you came.

What about you?

Don't you get it?

My station's Tsurumi,
but you forced me off at Kamata.

I did?

I don't remember.

We stopped at a street stand.

Oh, so we did. We ate yakitori.

We did? We ate?

We did! I know we did. Right?

Then you walked me home,
despite my protests.

- And we stayed?
- You got it.

I feel bad.

Sorry pal.

It was fun.



Come here.


I'll go ahead.

- Already?
- Yes.

Where'll we meet?

You don't know when.



You know, you've got it good.

How's that?

We were talking about you being
a company man.


Unlike us, your workplace
is big and clean.

You work set hours,
you get paid every month.

And you get bonuses.

Your pay keeps going up,
till you become an executive.

In life, education's everything.

That's not true.
You guys are much better off.

How's that?

Unlike me, you've got skills.

You can work anywhere.

Skills? All I do is assemble radios.

And the occasional TV.

It's an honest trade.
You specialize in pots.

I'd be useless at your foundry.

If I got fired, I'd have to steal food.

No you wouldn't.

I would. Company men are like

lowly conscripts for hire.

A dime a dozen. Maybe one in a thousand
becomes an exec.

Is that really so?

You're smart. You'll become an exec.

In my dreams.

If I get fired, I'll sell pots
for you. Count on it.

You bet.

But you'd be wasted, selling pots
with the Kintaro mark.


Oh! Heading out?

Yes, briefly.

Take care.

Mrs. Sugiyama?

Early shift today?

Yeah. Zip this up for me.

Got enough paint?


Hey, something's strange.

What is?

Makeup's odd lately.

Could be a baby.

Hey, it might be a baby.

For who?


Stop it. How could it be?

I'm late. It should've come.


Oh, that. Since when?

Last month.

Cut it out! We can't afford a kid.

It's too late to say that. You made it.

It's your imagination.

It must be.

How can it be? I'm pregnant.

That's not possible.

It's clearly possible.

Well, maybe.

See a doctor.

Yeah. Got money?

You don't?

Nope. I bought this.

Wait till payday then.

But the baby will keep growing.
Don't blame me.

Of all the luck.

How could that be?

Sorry about Kawasaki.

You lost a bundle.

It's fine. Actually,

I was certain Yoneyama would win too.

So was I.

Nothing went right that day.

It sure didn't.

Here you are.

Oh, hey there Masako!

Hello again.

You've grown up.

How's things with your man?

Come pour for me.

You got pretty. You're in your prime.

Tsu, you're ageless.

I am? Thanks.

I'll leave on a high note.

Put it on my tab.

Sure, sure. Thanks always.

Ah, I feel swell.

Oh, my bag.

See ya.


Shouldn't you be going too?

Not really.

Your guests will have gone.

I wonder. They were so vulgar.

Such appalling taste in friends.

Guffawing over
the most ridiculous things.

So idiotic.

But they survived the war together.

They miss each other.

I don't miss them.

They're why we lost the war.

He forgot our son's deathday.

That's understandable.
I forget your father's.

Also, the morning he came home,
on the day you came,

he had lipstick on his hankie.

Who knows where he was?
I don't trust him.

Even so, if you keep worrying
about details like that,

it means you're still sweet on him.

I am not.

Yes you are. I can tell.

Want oden for him?

No I don't.

Oh dear. You've got
your panties in a twist.

Women have keen eyes.

I thought it was fishy.

No kidding. Browny tipped me off.

Actually, I saw them walking together.

When was that?

- The night of that recital.
- Sounds dodgy.

Obviously. Let's do it.

Do what?

A court. A kangaroo one.

Why not?

Yeah! When?

- Tonight?
- Great. My place?

With Nagoya udon. A noodle party.

Hey Non! You coming too?

I've got worries of my own.


You guys wouldn't understand.

My head hurts.

You seem down.

I am. Down and out.

How come?

Life's a drag.

Oh boo hoo!

Sugi and Goldfish?

Okay, I'll call.

Hey, call Goldfish too.


Hello? Toa Fire-Brick?

Sugiyama please.

Master? Ice water.

Oh, same here.

Hello? Sugi? It's me, Nomura.

Oh. Huh? A noodle party? Where?

Snakehead's place? I'll try.

Huh? Okay, I'll go.

Chief Arakawa wants you.

- Right now?
- Yes.

You called?

Yeah. Had lunch?

- Just now.
- Oh?

Follow me.

Have a seat.

Want one?

Thank you.

It's getting hot.

I'll get to the point.

How do you feel about
going to Mitsuishi?

A transfer?

Right. Sorry it's so far away,

but observing the production process
will benefit your future.

Two to three years, tops.

How about it? Think it over.

- I will.
- You do that.

I wanted to discuss it with you
at leisure over a meal,

but the company can't wait.

Let me know ASAP.


See you.

Thank you. I appreciate this.

Mr. Tanabe, chopsticks?

Got some. Thank you.

I borrowed these.

- Hey, it's delish.
- Yeah?

Add the noodles.

You got it.

You're from Nagoya?



Hideyoshi Toyotomi's birthplace.

Not just his. All kinds of folk.

How about you?

Tosa. Ryoma Sakamoto's birthplace.

Yeah? Tosa? Birthplace of Ryoma,
and real morons.

Gimme a break.

You should've shut up,
instead of talking garbage.

Gimme a break.


Hey, you're late.

I went to the baths. Any noodles left?

Oh, there's meat too!

From my company.

- Hey, Sugi's not here.
- Why not?

- He went somewhere.
- He did?

Looks tasty.

What's that?

Won it at pachinko.

Share it, stingy.

What, this?

You love pachinko.

I don't love it. But it keeps me sane.

Same here. We're cooped up all day.

Prison without bars.

Crammed into early trains.

Harassed by obnoxious bosses.

Stuck on the same pay.

Waiting in vain for a bonus.

Hopelessly scoffing noodles.

In silence.

Ain't that the truth.

Hey, she's here.


I'm late!

It looks yummy.

Give me some.

Goldfish, weren't you with Sugi?

Me? No.

Where is he?

How would I know?

Here, it's tasty.



Watch your dress.

I will.

He'll buy you a new one.

Who's he? Don't be rude.

There's no "he"?

Oh. That was rude of him.

Don't say silly things.


Wouldn't Sugi buy you one?


A dress.

Why would Sugi buy me a dress?

Just a hunch. I hear you're chummy.

That's what I heard too.

About what?

About you and Sugi.

Stop it. Don't tease me!

Any idea why people would say that?

No I don't!

Pull the other one.

What, Beanpole?

What are you all trying to say?

Why did you call me here?

To feed you noodles.

Stop teasing me!

Be straight with me!

It won't trouble you?

Why would it trouble me?

Hey Goldfish.

Sugi has a wife.

So what?

Listen up. Falling for a
married man's understandable.

I understand that.
Even so, is it right?

So you all...

Shut up and listen.

Say you hooked a married man.

Wouldn't you pity his wife?

Put yourself in her shoes.

If another Goldfish came along,
how would you feel?

Imagine how painful that'd be.

It sure wouldn't feel good.

That's the crux of it.

Introspection. Self-examination.

That's what you're lacking.

Without that, we're just dogs.

What makes you think you can say that?

What have Sugi and I done? Spit it out!

Think about it, honestly.

About what?

You've no guilt?


But there's no smoke without fire.

Meaning what?!

You were seen walking together.

We walked. So what?!

But it's suspicious...

What's suspicious?! You're suspicious!

How's that?

If you saw us, why not
talk to us? Why ignore us?!

I didn't see you, he did.

Why ignore us?

To give you privacy.

Privacy for what?

It's all in your heads.

Your lewd imaginations.

Like twisted sisters-in-law.
I'd walk with anyone!

Even you. Or you.
So don't look at me that way!

I hate it! I hate it so much!

You call yourselves men?! You're vile!

I kept my mouth shut,
but you guys were nasty.

No, it needed to be said.
We were being humane.

That's humanism.

We have to be morally sound.

Didn't sound that way.

You sound pious, sure...

Are we really right?

About what?

Sugi and Goldfish.

You bet we are.

Still, she put up a good fight.

- She's shameless.
- And self-righteous.

Not fit for human consumption.

Which one made the first move?

Goldfish, I'll bet.

I'd say it was Sugi.

Well, if that's true,
you gotta hand it to Sugi.

I'm a little envious.

You've got a weak grasp of humanism.

But you've got to hand it to Sugi.

Humanism has nothing to do with envy.

We are what we are.

We can't escape it.

Amen to that.


I'm skinny, aren't I?

I'm sick of lying down all day.

I bet you are.

It's been over 100 days.

The sky was greenish blue at first,

and the carp streamers were noisy.

Now I see thunderclouds.

Oh, Kimura came recently.

You couldn't come with him.

Yeah, something came up.
Sorry about that.

Well, the longer I don't see you guys,

the lonelier I get.

I can imagine.

I envy your health.

This is messing up my mind.

In the morning,

I think about being
on a crowded rush hour train.

I get in an elevator at work.

It stops on the 7th floor.

I enter the office,
and see Tokyo out of the window.

It's just me, Yokoi, and Shiokawa.

Does he still come early?

Yeah, he does.

He's retiring in October.

He is?

Will I be back at work by then?

I miss work terribly sometimes.

I first saw the Maru Building

on a school trip,
my first time in Tokyo.

There was a light in every window.

To a country boy from Akita,
it was like a foreign land.

I was blown away.

That building became my dream.

Every time I passed it
in my university days...


Don't talk too much.

No, it's okay. I feel great today.

You'll get worn out.

I applied to our company,
and got accepted.

I was so thrilled,

I went to buy a suit in Kanda.

I remember that day well.

Oh, you're back.

Sorry I'm so late.

It's fine.

Those baths are mighty fine.

These ain't great, but try one.

Please, you first.

Your son's feeling better.

Thanks to you all.

He says if he keeps improving,

he might move to a house
somewhere quieter,

and I could stay in Tokyo.

Is that so? Sounds good.

Before I do that,
he'd have to get hitched.

I think I know just the girl
for him back home.

Stop yapping, Mother.
Give me some peace.

I'd better be going.

Oh come on. Stay a little while longer.

I feel really good today.

You do? Glad to hear it.

I'm home.


I ate ramen already.

Oh? Where?

After seeing Miura.

You go a lot.

- Where?
- To see Miura.

So what?

Nothing. You didn't stay this time.

Goldfish came earlier.

What for?

Beats me.

She wanted to see you.

She'd been crying.

Hey, I've been offered a transfer.


It's called Mitsuishi.

Where's that?

Past Himeji. In Okayama.


I said I'd consider it.

Oh. So, what'll you do?

I'm not sure.

You should go. I'd go too. Gladly.

To the mountains?

Why not? Better than
letting Tokyo get us down.

How do you feel?

About what?

Don't want to go?

Why not? Tokyo's more fun?

I wouldn't say that.

Tokyo's more special?

Meaning what?

Nothing. Just asking.

That's odd.

Why's that? It's not odd at all.

I know what you mean.

You do? What's that?

Idiot. Cut the crap.

Good evening!

Excuse me!

It's Goldfish.

Good evening!

What? Something up?

Yes. Can you come with me?

Is it urgent?


What? It's late.

Thank you for earlier.

Not at all. Why not go with her?

Can't it wait?

Don't be heartless.
She keeps coming back.

Alright, fine.

Sorry about this.

Don't be.

Won't be long.

So I did my best to defend myself.

But they were persistent, and cruel.

It made me so sad.

They might attack you too.

Snakehead told me to
think of your wife.

He said, "Don't you pity her?"

Well? What should I do?

Well?! What on earth should I do?!

Calm down. You're panicking...

But... But I don't know
what to do anymore.

It's late. Go home...

No! No!

I won't be able to sleep anyway.


We've got early starts. Let's go.


Go home.

Not yet. Walk with me a little. Please!

Come on!

Go home.

Hey. You asleep?

It's too bright. Turn it off.

What did she want?

Oh, nothing really.

That was long for nothing.

She's a weird girl.

How so?

What's this? Lay my futon too.

You laid it?

Let's sleep.

Hot, huh?


We need to talk.

About what?

Sit down.


You're hiding a lot from me lately.

Such as?

I may seem dumb, but I know.

Know what?

What is she to you?

- Who's "she"?
- Goldfish.

We're fellow commuters.

That's all?

That's all.

Then why'd she come at this hour?
To talk about what?

If it's nothing,
why not talk on the train?

How would I know? Ask her.

Don't give me that. Where's your shirt?

There it is. Pass it.

Pass it to me.

What's this lipstick?

If it's nothing, why the lipstick?

The same lipstick was on
your hankie that morning.

What's going on? I already know.

I'll get out of your way.

Don't be silly. I don't want that.

Don't treat me like an idiot.
I hate it. I despise it.

You've changed so much.

You've forgotten our son.




Good morning.

Your wife went to her mother's
in Gotanda early this morning.

She did?

I've got her key.

Here it is.

Oh, thanks.

Looks like another hot day.

I'll be going now.


Sorry I'm late.

Hey, Miura died.


This morning. Early.

That's strange. He was well
last night when I saw him.

He took a sedative and choked.

Really? He did say
he couldn't sleep at night.

So, he died...

Hey. Come with me.

I just heard about your transfer offer.

What'll you do?


You can turn it down.

No need to go.

It's not for the company to decide.

They should ask the union.

We've all got families.

I haven't replied.

Think hard before you do.

I feel bad for Miura.

He was a good guy.

32 or 33 is too young to die.

Anyway, think it over.

I will. Thanks.

"Toa Fire-Brick"

I'm so sorry.

Thank you kindly for coming.

This is Yuzo's sister's husband.

My condolences.

This is Mr. Sugiyama.

They worked together from the start.

Did they now?

Mrs. Miura, I'm sure
it's a hard time for you...

Yes. It's too much to take right now.

But last night, Yuzo got to
talk heart-to-heart with you.

It was so sudden.

His big brother died
in Manila during the war.

Now I've lost both my boys.

I got nobody to give me a scolding now.

I'll see you later.

Thank you kindly.

Hey there.

Good evening.

Miura left us too soon.

I saw him last night.

I never imagined this.

But you know, he died without
knowing the worst of company life.

Maybe he died happy.

No one was more delighted
to work at the Maru Building.

That's true.

He would've grown
sick of it eventually.

No, not him.

You think?

You might be right.

Now I feel worse for him.

At least he was still single.

When you have a wife, and kids,

being a company man
gets old darn quick.

Babies come more often than raises.

Yeah, Miura probably died happy.

We're both still alive,
but I don't think we're so happy.

I'm back.


Still here?

Don't taunt me.

No, having you around helps me.

Here. Hamburg steak.

And tsukudani. What's cooking?

Satsuma soup. Cold beer too.


It's hot today.

The tall buildings near work

block the wind.

It's stifling.

It's breezy here. Cooler than Kamata?

Are you getting nostalgic?

For what?

Your husband.

Why would I?

- You think Kamata's hotter.
- Oh please.

The newspaper man came.

He did?

What about your husband's transfer?

Don't ask me.

What if he goes?

I'll be relieved.

- Liar.
- No, I mean it.

He won't go. He can't leave Tokyo.


He upgraded from his nagging wife.

Yeah. To make him squirm,
I said I'd go with him.

I get it. Psychological warfare?


Honestly though?

It bugs me.

It bugged me too, back then.

Right, I remember that.

If a husband starts coming home
late, watch out.

History's made at night.

Indeed. You never know.

You don't have to go home.

Yeah. I won't.

Good girl.

Actually, he called here today.

He tracked you down?

He must have asked Mother.

What did he say?

I hung up immediately.



Good girl.

Teach him a lesson.

Or he'll take advantage.

I learned the hard way.

The affair I told you about
was his second.

His second? Really...

His death prevented a third.
The first is key.

So you mustn't go home.

Take it from a veteran.

Hey Sugi! You home?

Oh, Non. Come in.

You're packing already?

Going when?

Two nights from now.

Where's your wife?

With her mother.

Snakehead told me...

He came last night.

What's this about?

Well, I want to get out of Tokyo

and think about that.

I meant your wife.

We had a fight.

That's it. Want me to talk to her?

Don't bother.

You shouldn't fight.

You do too.

Yeah. We do, but...

- Want some help?
- Sure.

I don't need those.

- These too?
- Yeah.

- Can I have them?
- Yeah.

Hey Sugi.

The wife of a guy I know
has a baby on the way.

He doesn't earn much.

Says he can't afford it.

- Poor guy, huh?
- Yeah.

How should he handle it?

How did you?

Handle what?

Becoming a dad.
When your wife got pregnant.

Well, I wasn't too happy.

You weren't? That makes sense.

How come?

Actually, it's me.
My wife's knocked up.

Yeah? That's great.

It's a great pain. I'm at a loss.

No point worrying now.

What if I can't feed it?

I thought the same,
but you'll find a way.

Will I?

I didn't want a kid either,

but I gradually grew fond of him.

Then he died of infant cholera.

I couldn't stop crying.

Yeah? It's like that?

We wanted another one, but no luck.

You should have yours.

Who knows what it'll be?

Nobody knows that.

It could be another
Hideyoshi Toyotomi, or Karl Marx.

There's no point worrying
before it's born.

When you have it, and raise it,

you'll grow fond of it,
and appreciate it.

Yeah? Then we'll have it.

You do that.

But will it be okay?


The other day at the embankment,
I shoved her.

She fell down on her backside.

Will the baby be okay? Will it?

I'm no expert, but my kid was fine.

Then mine'll be fine too.
If it isn't, too bad.

Don't want it.


Is that Goldfish?

Goldfish? Come in.

Hello. You came, Non?

I'm going.

Stay a while.

I can't. I'm worried.

About what?

It's private.

Sugi, I'm going.

Snakehead'll throw you a party.

Don't bother.

Goldfish, you'll come?

- Bye.
- Bye.


You're being transferred?

Why not say so? Why not tell me?

So I wouldn't know?

No, I was going to.

Liar. You're running away from me.

I know it!

That's not it.

I wanted to see you.

Liar. Liar!

It's the truth.

I wanted to apologize.

For what? Why apologize to me?

There's no need for that.

If you made a mistake, say so.
Why don't you?

Why run away?!

No, I'm not running away.

Yes you are! Ever since that day!

I know how you feel about leaving me.

Say you're sick of me.
Don't lie and say you love me.

Why can't you be honest?!

Look, I...

You can't fool me!


Here's what I owe you.

Thank you very much.


Oh, hello.


So, did Masako go home?

No. Not yet.

Really? Not yet?

No. Anyway, I'm departing
two nights from now.

I'll leave the house as is.

Sure, that's fine, but...
What's up with Masako?

Koichi? Koichi?

Listen, go to Mejiro for me...

Ma'am, it's okay. I'll go.

You will? That'd be better.

See you.

Take care.

What is it?

Your sister hasn't gone back
to Kamata yet.

Mr. Sugiyama will go and get her.

That's weak.

Her head'll just get bigger.

He can't just leave her there.

He's leaving day after next.

They fought again?

It's complicated.

Mr. Sugiyama's popular.

Was she jealous?

Something like that.

Your father was much worse.

On our wedding night,
he and his friends went to Yoshiwara.

What did you do?

Nothing. I thought
that was how men behaved.

Them's the breaks.
A woman has no home of her own.

You're old-fashioned.
That's depressing.

That's humanity for you.
Things never change.

Well well. Did you see
Sugiyama just now?

He was off to Mejiro.


Your petticoat's slipping.

I know. I don't want to
hear that from you.

What'll you do?

Take my yukata.

Not that! What'll you do?

He's leaving day after next.

Go home to Kamata already.

Stop being so jealous.

I'm not jealous.

Then what is it? That poor man's alone.

Good for him.

No it isn't. Go home.

I won't.

He's leaving.

Good. Let him.

That's not how marriage works.

He knows he was in the wrong.

You've got to forgive him,
before it's too late.

Mother? A customer.


Are you sure?
Don't say I didn't warn you.

Ma'am, another one.

Is that a good idea?

Ah, I feel great.

One more.


' Evening.


He's going, day after tomorrow.

You are?

I'm surprised.

It's rather remote.

So I've heard.

Won't see you for a while.

Really? Thanks for coming.

I'll visit Mr. Onodera on the way.

Please give him my regards.

So, you're leaving.

Miura died. You're going far away.

I'll be lonely.

You're transferring somewhere?

He's a junior staff member
where I worked.

Is that so? It's a step up?

That's splendid.

I work for this company.

Oh, thank you.

You wouldn't know it. It's quite minor.

Still, you're a hard worker,
Mr. Hattori.

I don't know about that.

I'll be retiring at last next year.

Is that so?
How many years have you worked?

Exactly 31 years.

I'm exhausted.

Hefty golden handshake coming?

Well, not quite.

I always wanted to retire

and open a stationery shop
near a school,

selling stuff to kids
and taking it easy.

But I won't get enough to do that.

Especially after tax.

Well, all we company men can do

is embrace our loneliness
as we wait for our retirement payout.

The more I think about it,

my 31 years of work
were all for nothing.

That takes me back a while.

I went to Hakone
with some business friends.

Our bus broke down in Oiso,

right outside Mr. Ikeda's place.

I took a peek inside.

Ikeda? The ex-finance minister?

Yes, ex-commerce minister too.
Seihin Ikeda.

It was his residence.

He'd died a few years earlier.

The lawn was overgrown.

The plum trees weren't pruned.
Weeds grew everywhere.

Only the sunroom's bougainvilleas
were blooming, bright red.

Wow. What kind of flower's that?

It's a tropical plant.

They looked lonely somehow.

Seihin Ikeda was a big shot
for the Mitsui group.

A paragon of integrity.
Japan's number one company man.

Even his house fell into disarray.

Yeah, that's a darn shame.

And not just because of the war.


It's exactly as you say.
It's all for nothing.

You know, personally speaking,

I wanted my son to become
anything but a company man.

But for some reason, he wears
a suit and carries a briefcase,

and goes to work everyday.

The apple sure doesn't
fall far from the tree.

Oh, I beg your pardon.

Fancy one?


Well, bon voyage.
Take care of yourself.

Here's to your health.

Oh, thank you.


Those many books we read

For days and months on end

Those years have passed by

As we passed through cedar doors

When they open this morning

We'll pass through them no more

Sugi, take care.

Mind your health.


Back for visits?

I doubt it. Probably not.

Hey Sugi. Not eating that?

I will.



Eat this.

Yeah, sure.

It'll be lonely without Sugi.

Hey, you better take care.

Let's sing "The Fireflies' Glow" again.

- Shall we?
- Let's!

Let's do it.

Sorry I'm late.

Glad you came. Sit here.


This is it, Sugi. Let's shake hands.

Take care.

I will, thanks.

The fireflies ' glow

Those snowy windows

Those many books we read

For days and months on end

Those years have passed by

As we passed through cedar doors

When they open this morning

We'll pass through them no more

Hmm. When was that exactly?

About 10 days ago.

Last time you saw your wife?

Yes. She's either out, or won't see me.

What caused this?

I made a mistake.

A woman?

Be good to your wife.

I treat mine a lot better these days.

Your wife's your greatest ally.

A company will only let you down.

I'm convinced of that,
now I sense my mortality.

Those were the days.

They were.

Did Mr. Kawai also...

He did.

He was once as young as they were too.

Our lives peaked then.



He's ready. Shall we?

Bygones are bygones.
Make sure she joins you.

Strife can strengthen a marriage.

Don't worry your matchmaker.


"Fire Brick Factory"

Hot, ain't it?

Compared to Tokyo?

No, Tokyo's hot too.

We're surrounded by mountains.

Don't get much wind here.

I bet you're bored here.
It's a two-bit town.

I'm back.


Been here long?

Since before noon.

Crowded train?

Quite, but I set off early,
so I got a seat.

Get my letter?

I did. One from Mr. Onodera too.

Saying what?

"Go to Mitsuishi, now."

"Try to fix your mistakes
before they get bigger."

"Don't be petty and make things worse."

It's a tiny town.

I looked around while shopping.

A few years here won't be easy.

It won't.

But it's fine. We'll both change.

I'm sorry.

I'm truly sorry.

It's alright. I'm to blame too.

Say no more.

No, I was wrong. Out of my mind.

Say no more.

Your landlady said you read books
here after work at night.

What a transformation.

No, that's all there is to do.

But I was happy to hear it.

I'm glad I came.

We couldn't go on that way.

I want us to start over.

Yes, so do I.

We will. This time.

Yes. Properly.

Oh, a train's leaving.

It'd get us to Tokyo
by tomorrow morning.

I know.

It's only for a few years.
Not long at all.


The End