Picture Bride (1995)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Picture Bride Photos

Movie Info

The struggles of a young Japanese who leaves her home to marry an stranger are chronicled in this historical drama based on true stories. Picture brides were Japanese women contracted to marry Japanese sugar-cane laborers working in Hawaii. The couple would agree to marry based on the photos they sent to one another. Riyo, an orphaned 17-year old, sails from Yokohama to Hawaii to marry Matsuji. She is appalled to see that Matsuji sent her an old photograph and that he is 25 years older than she. Angered, the spunky bride refuses to sleep with her new husband. She is however obligated to work on the plantation. The miserable girl finds solace with her new friend Kana, a young mother. Riyo decides she will earn her way back to Japan even though, at only sixty five cents per day, it could take years to save the $300 for the return fare. She meets more obstacles and continues to stay away from her husband until a tragedy befalls Kana. This serves to bring the two together and leads Riyo to accept her new life. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:

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Akira Takayama
as Matsuji
Toshiro Mifune
as The Benshi
Yôko Sugi
as Aunt Sode
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Critic Reviews for Picture Bride

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

The film is poorly directed, but it deals with a rare issue, picture brides circa 1918, and is made by an insider, an Asian-American, which is a plus.

Full Review… | June 12, 2007

Has a nifty swan song by the great Toshiro Mifune, but the rest of the film is pretty, underwritten snooze.

December 29, 2003
Nitrate Online

Sturdy story about the resilience of immigrants.

Full Review… | August 30, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

The characters are disarming and the film itself is quite engrossing.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Quote not available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Quote not available.

November 7, 2003
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Audience Reviews for Picture Bride


The film is poorly directed, but it deals with a rare issue, picture brides circa 1918, and is made by an insider, an Asian-American, which is a plus.

Greg Wood
Greg Wood

On Thursday night the Lahaina Restoration Foundation played this movie outside under the smokestack at the Plantation Days Festival. For a moving, authentic, and gripping depiction of the plantation era 100 years ago weaved into a love story, this Japanese film earns top marks. See it!

Andrew ORiordan
Andrew ORiordan

Great movie about a young, fanciful, and stubborn Japanese woman. Deals with an arranged marriage situation most people have never really heard about. I could definitely relate to the main character and was so upset when her best friend died. I think Tomita did great as Riyo's best friend. I could understand how she felt about her harsh reality, but I felt bad for her husband. I'm glad she came around eventually and realized to make the best of it and it was a sweet ending. I felt like the whole movie should have had subtitles because their accents made it difficult to understand. Nice acting and directing, soundtrack is very soothing.

Kim Bangert
Kim Bangert

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