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The Film Catalogue / Film Details


Japanese - Drama

Sedic International Inc. 
Kokone Hamada, Aya Ueto, Pinko Izumi 
Shin Togashi 
Kota Yamada 
Toshiaki Nakazawa 
Production Status 
Completion Year 
It's early spring at the turn of the century in 1907. A girl named Oshin lives with her family in barren and cold Yamagata in northern Japan, upstream of Mogami River. The members of her poor peasant family are her father Sakuzo, Fuji her mother, Naka her grandmother, Shoji her elder brother, Shosuke her younger brother and Ko her younger sister. It is difficult to feed the family on a small income so Sakuzo decides to send Oshin, barely 7, away to work as a live-in servant to "have one less mouth to feed." In exchange for her 1-year internment at the Nakagawa family's lumber business her father will get 130 pounds of rice. Oshin resists until she sees her mother trying to self-induce an abortion by bathing in the freezing river so that Oshin can stay. The urgency of the situation becomes clear to Oshin and she agrees to leave her family.Oshin works from dawn to late night at the lumber business with barely enough food. The head servant, Otsune disciplines Oshin harshly but Oshin puts up with it and does the work. But when a 50-sen coin goes missing from the shop, Oshin is suspected in spite of her innocence. She was prepared to endure her circumstances because "she was going home when the snow melted" but this is intolerable. She runs off in a blizzard.Exhausted, Oshin collapses in the snowy mountains. She would have died if it wasn't for a hunter named Shunsaku. Shunsaku who lives with an old charcoal maker called Matsuzo in a hut, is an AWOL soldier. Oshin doesn't understand the implications of him being an AWOL soldier and looks up to him like a kind elder brother. He teaches her arithmetic and how to read. He helps Oshin memorize "O Brother, I want thee not to die" a Masako Yosano's pacifist poem. He teaches her to play harmonica and stresses the importance of life and the beauty of thought to her. The following spring, as Shunsaku accompanies Oshin back to her family, military police officers shoot Shunsaku dead in front of Oshin.Thinking that Oshin was dead, her mother Fuji is perplexed but eventually happy to welcome her daughter home. Though the family is pleased to have Oshin back, farm life hasn't improved. Sumi, the newest member of the family, is adopted out at birth. Oshin realizes that staying will be a burden to her family and she decides to get work as a live-in servant. Oshin's second job is at a family-run rice wholesaler called Kagaya. 
Other Comments 
Coming to the big screen is a remake of the biggest hit drama in Japanese TV history on its 30th anniversary. Oshin retells the universal tale that moved viewers in 75 countries worldwide! 

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