Osaka Elegy (Woman of Osaka) (Naniwa erejÓ) (1936)

Osaka Elegy (Woman of Osaka) (Naniwa erejÓ)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This is one of director Kenji Mizoguchi's first true masterworks in his long, highly celebrated career. Ayako, a young switchboard operator, tries to resist the advances of Asai, the owner of the pharmaceutical company where she works. Her love interest Nishmura, a young executive at the same company, does not seemed bothered, and her drunken father, who is up to his eyes in debt, is even less helpful. After a loud argument, her father throws her out of the house. With nowhere else to go, Ayako … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Classics
Directed By:
On DVD: Jan 31, 1976
Criterion Collection

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Osaka Elegy (Woman of Osaka) (Naniwa erejÓ)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

The film prefigures Mizoguchi's later work in its angry emphasis on double standards, its visual precision and its engaged but never preachy tone.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

One of Kenji Mizoguchi's finest efforts.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The caustic social critic rather than the transcendental mythmaker, Kenji Mizoguchi arranges space exquisitely and fills it acerbically.

Full Review… | February 26, 2013

Mizoguchi regular Isuzu Yamada contributes a superb display of abused decency, but it's the director's astute visual sense that gives the picture its power.

Full Review… | February 26, 2013
Radio Times

By the end of Osaka Elegy, Ayoko's situation warrants nothing less than a universal call for empathy.

Full Review… | February 15, 2009

Mizoguchi does a good job, without being preachy, showing a patriarchal society's ill-treatment of women.

Full Review… | July 11, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Osaka Elegy (Woman of Osaka) (Naniwa erejÓ)


An interesting movie, the oldest film I've seen from Japan so far, actually. The best and worst thing about it is that the story is realistic. I say that it's also the worst thing because it made the film more boring than it could have been if it wasn't so realistic. It's a good thing too, though, because that's what makes it so sad. Also, I don't know if I'm just not used to the Japanese style or what, but I didn't care for the actors. Overall it's a pretty good movie, but I think it could have been better.

AJ Verser

Super Reviewer

very similar in theme to some of mizoguchi's other films from this period, osaka elegy executed its themes well in a way that brings forth difficult family drama and tough ethical questions. there is no clear villian because everyone in the film is pretty screwed up save one lesser character, so picking sides as a viewer isnt easy. it was cool to see such an early appearance from takashi shimura in this solid film.

danny d

Super Reviewer

In "Osaka Elegy," Sonosuke Asai(Bankei Shiganoya), the owner of a pharmaceutical company, is so frustrated with his wife(Yoko Umemura) spending so many late nights with her women's association, that he threatens to get a mistress. She challenges him by saying he does not have the balls. To prove that he does in fact have them and that they are in working order, he preys on Ayako(Isuzu Yamada), a vulnerable employee who badly needs extra money because her father(Seiichi Takegawa) has embezzled and lost 300 yen on the stock market.

Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, "Osaka Elegy" is a familiar, yet powerful, melodrama that just goes to prove that sometimes the old stories never lose their punch. By being about a woman who does the wrong thing for the right reason, this one takes aim at the hypocrisies of society where having a mistress is alright, but only behind closed doors. For example, Ayako is attacked for not only being out in public at the theater with Asai, but also dressed like a married woman.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Osaka Elegy (Woman of Osaka) (Naniwa erejÓ) Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Osaka Elegy (Woman of Osaka) (Naniwa erejÓ) on our Movie forum!