Nagareru (Flowing) (1956) Movie Script

Screened at the Arts Festival
Toho Productions
Adaptation from the original novel by
Aya Koda
Cinematography by
Masao Tamai
Music by
lchiro Saito
Kinuyo Tanaka, lsuzu Yamada
Hideko Takamine
Mariko Okada, Haruko Sugimura
Sumiko Kurishima
Chieko Nakakita, Natsuko Kahara
Seiji Miyaguchi, Daisuke Kato
Directed by
Mikio Naruse
l'm back!
Fujiko, you're really coming on
l'll do some practice
when it gets a bit cooler
Eh? Someone's been using this what you say.
We all have to live under one roof
Namie says her payment slips
don't tally up
She's got the cheek to suggest
we've been cheating her
l've got it all written down here
So what?
You could've simply
made them all up!
You've no right to point the finger
of suspicion at us
A country girl like you...
...with filthy hair and grubby hands!
That's right. When you first came here,
you were absolutely clueless
You had no idea how to treat a client
l heard you even asked them
to feed you!
You didn't even know what salmon was
before you came here!
Well, where l come from in Chiba,
we don't have such food
Oh, dear me!
Yes? Tsuta House...
Yes? You want to speak to my mother?
Ponko, don't stray too far!
Mother, it's the Geisha Guild for you
- You told them l wasn't here?
- Hmm...
What's all the noise downstairs?
Well, Namie's complaining
about her pay
She's got to understand
we've a business to run here
l'm getting no sleep at night, so at least
keep them quiet during the day
lt's the end of the month, though,
and the bills are due
All they say is, "Where's our pay?"
Just pretend not to hear them
- How many for dinner tonight?
- You'll have to ask Yoneko
She never seems to lift a finger!
Where are you off to?
Just out
- Excuse me?
- Coming!
And you are...?
l've been sent
by the employment agency
Just wait a moment, will you?
- Who is it?
- The new maid
Do you want these?
Come in
Thank you
How do you read these characters?
lt's pronounced "Rika"
- "Rika" ? Oh!
- Unusual name, isn't it?
- Sounds foreign to me
- Hard to pronounce, too
At your service, mistress
Please, there's no need to be so formal
- Are you married?
- My husband died the year before last
And my child died last year.
Since then l've been supporting myself
Oh, really?
l would actually prefer to employ
an older person like you
You shouldn't talk
about the elderly like that!
Everyone over 30 here
is considered old!
Anyhow, you can order young people
around but they're not very sensible
- Older people know better...
- They're always whingeing, though!
l'll do my very best for you,
if you'll take me on
Everyone l've been to see
has said l'm too old
Let's try you out and see, shall we?
Well, this is where we all eat,
work and sleep
We don't have any special requirements
l'll do my best for you
Mother, l'm just going out
- Where to?
- Just out
Just because the new maid's here
doesn't mean you can swan around
- Where's Namie?
- Gone out somewhere
- Where's Fujiko?
- Gone for a cold drink
Not again? She's been having them
all day, she'll get stomach ache
Show her around the house
- Come on, then
- Yes...
There's the toilet
That's the kitchen
And this is your room
This is the bathroom
Nanako, show her around.
l'm going to get Fujiko
That's how the senior geisha can act!
- Let me help you there
- That's all right. l've finished now
l hope you don't mind getting your hands
dirty. Otherwise, you'd better leave now!
That was Yoneko, the mistress's
younger sister. She's bone idle
Katsuyo is the mistress's daughter.
She doesn't miss a trick!
- Nanako!
- Yes?
- ls Ponko down there?
- Ponko?
lsn't that Ponko l can hear wailing?
...l wonder where she could be
Look out for her.
She's not been very well recently
All right!
They look after the cats
better than the girls in this place!
Your name's difficult to say
so we'll call you "Oharu" instead, yes?
Whatever pleases you, mistress
- Would you give this a rinse for me?
- Yes, mistress
lt's all right, l'll get it
Hello? This is Tsuta House...
Oh, hello there again
Of course...
You're requesting Namie?
Very well
Yes, me, too...
No, not at all
Yes, let's make it next month
We all have to work for a living
Very well. All the best
Good morning
- When you've done that, run a bath
- Yes, mistress
Oharu, come here
This is our new maid
Pleased to meet you
Someka lives in an apartment nearby
Nice to meet you
You're naughty, running off like that
Ponko's here now
- Did Namie say anything to you?
- No, nothing special
l just wish you girls would
come and talk to me straight
l'll tell them you said so
You there!
Be careful there
l shouldn't tell you this,
but we're not permitted to have a fire
ls that so?
lt's against building regulations
Do you know that prayer
to guard against fires?
Trace the character for " water"
on your palm three times...
...then raise it towards the fire.
You should try it
Can l help you?
l'd like two bonito and three packets
of seaweed for Tsuta House
- For Tsuta House?
- Yes
Oh, welcome to the store
The problem is that your last bill
is still outstanding
l told the girl not to order anything more
until the bill's been settled
Oh...well, today is my first day working
for them so l know nothing about that
Well, l suppose you've been
a loyal customer...
...l can give you one bonito
And the seaweed?
Just let her have one packet
Oh, don't do that!
- How does that feel, madame?
- Fine
- Are you off to Fujimura's ?
- Yes
Pass me that
Where on earth
has Namie disappeared to?
She's got two bookings tonight
Maybe she's gone looking
for extra work on her own?
Although she's young and resilient,
l wonder if she can handle it
l'm off now
See you later
Have you any sauce? Sauce?
Madame would like some sauce?
She's so untidy!
- Good evening!
- Yes?
Oh, it's you, sister
- They said you weren't feeling well
- l'm not. And l'm up to my neck in debt
l've got something to tell you.
ls anyone upstairs?
lt's an untidy mess, but go ahead
- Oharu, tea for two upstairs
- Yes, mistress
l owe her a lot of money
That's her elder sister.
She lives near the Kishibojin Temple
The two sisters have mortgaged
this place to the hilt
They are stepsisters
with different fathers, though
So, have you had any news
from Osaka?
There's no reason to expect any
We haven't signed on anything
Anyway, we're disconnected completely
To think you turned down Mr Hanayama
for that good-for-nothing, eh?
How much did he swindle from you
for his new business venture?
Have you just come here to scold me?
Not at all. l have a gentleman
l want to introduce to you
He's a director of a steel company
He's invited us to go
to the theatre with him
Excuse me
- This is the new maid l told you about
- l see
Welcome, madame
We're relying on you...
...because nobody is perfect
in this place!
l look forward to being
of assistance, madame
Please excuse me
l'll have one of these
So, l think this fellow may help us out
The steel industry's big business
these days
- Do you think he'd lend us money?
- Well, that's all down to you
This is your last one, right?
Ponko! Naughty cat!
- ls Namie back?
- No, not yet
- Mummy, buy some more
- You've had enough
ls my aunt here?
Yes. She never forgets
to show up at the end of the month!
So pleased to see you
You should be careful,
your voice travels
Are you hungry?
Not that we've much to offer
No, l ate earlier
And l always go to bed early, too
Good idea. lt saves on electricity bills
And it keeps the wrinkles away!
Someka, l expect you to start
paying me some interest
Good evening
Yoneko, can't you start
working a little harder?
Enough. l'll be going grey
with all the worrying l do
That scared me to death!
They're so beautiful
A geisha's costume is her weapon.
We spend a lot on kimono
The one your mother was wearing
this morning was a real eye-catcher
l was once a geisha
for about six months, you know
- We were all bought these kimono
- Really?
My mother went into such debt
to buy them
Did you not like the life of a geisha,
l wasn't suited to it
Everybody said l'd never be successful
in this business
l'm just no good at flattering people
that l don't like
Mother's exactly the same,
but she has remarkable talent
She's beautiful, too
Still, it seems to bring her
nothing but bad luck
What kind of man will you marry,
- No one would marry me
- Why do you say that?
What did you used to do, Oharu?
Nothing in particular
l was just an ordinary housewife
But what becomes of girls like me?
My mother spends all day
flattering people...
...but no one really cares about her
That's why l fight for her
There's a guy here, says he's
Namie's uncle. And he's really angry
Namie's uncle?
Yes. And there's something
nasty about him
l'll see to him
Welcome, sir
How may l help you?
And who are you?
l'm the maid
l've only been here four or five days
l want to see the mistress of the house
l'm afraid you just missed her.
She's gone out
l bet she's hiding somewhere, eh?
lt's better for her to eavesdrop
on me from behind the screens
She should come and talk to me
l don't know if you know my niece...
...but they put her to work here
and then cheated her out of her wages!
We can have this talk elsewhere
if she wants
l can't wait around
Tell the mistress l'll be round later, eh?
l'll be back to pick up
all the money that my niece is due
She's the only one of our sisters
who succeeded in becoming a geisha
She's pretty and sings beautifully
There's only five years between us...
...but with my looks, people often think
we're mother and daughter!
Now where was it...? You were
the best geisha at a party l attended
Mr Muramatsu says
he has heard you sing before
Your reputation is well-deserved
lsn't that Mizuno's wife?
From the Mizuno restaurant
She used to be a senior geisha
to my sister
lsn't that Mr Saeki with her?
- Excuse me for a moment
- Where do you think you're going?
At least it's a bit cooler today, isn't it?
l'm Mrs Tsurumoto
from across the way
l see. Very pleased to meet you
Everyone's been telling me
what a wonderful maid you are
Welcome back, mistress
Can l have a word, Oharu?
And now the rowing motion...
- Welcome home
- Afternoon
l don't want you talking to our
neighbours. All they do is gossip
l'll be careful from now on, mistress
Mother, something terrible has happened
What is it?
- Namie's uncle showed up
- From Mt Nokogiri?
He kicked up an awful fuss.
He said he'd be back
Oharu, do we have any sake left?
Oh, there was some in it yesterday
You have to keep it under lock and key,
otherwise they'll just drink it all
- Go buy some more
- But...
lt's almost the end of the month.
Tell them l'll settle up then
The mistress has so much
to worry about
Her elder sister keeps
tight control of everything
She's been swindled by her man,
and business isn't looking good
And some girls have left us this year -...
...Yukimaru, Tsutaji and now Namie
- That's three of them!
- There used to be seven girls there
Oharu! Over here!
There you are
- Come and have a drink with us
- Come on
Thank you, but maybe some other time
- Buying sake ?
- For a client?
lt's for the mistress
to drown her sorrows
Well, enjoy yourselves.
Please excuse me
- Why is she always so formal?
- She's not, is she?
l'm back
How come you went to the theatre?
Who did you go with?
Why do you want to know?
What's wrong with me going
to the theatre occasionally?
My aunt wouldn't invite you anywhere
without an ulterior motive
Stop worrying about me
Shall l bring some sake
up for you, mistress?
Sake ? Yes, please do
...have you been on your own ever since
your husband passed away?
l never thought a woman
could live without a man
Oh, yes...l'd very much
like you to stay
Three free meals a day...
...two days off a month,
and 3000 yen monthly
l especially appreciate you being here
- Thank you, mistress. l accept
- Yes?
A geisha's life looks glamorous
from the outside...
...but it's not always like that
lt can be, sometimes, though...
Mother! Telephone!
You're not a little child any more!
You don't just disappear
when l've made all these arrangements
Mr Muramatsu?
Yes, he's still here waiting for you
So come back right away
l arranged all this for your benefit!
Look, l know how you feel, sister...
...but, like you say, l'm not a child
any more, so l refuse
Right in front of Madame Mizuno,
as well! How embarrassing!
Carrying on like that at my age!
Look, leave it to me, l'll sort it out
Eh? The money?
l don't have it.
lf l had it, l wouldn't be in this state
Look, l know you think l'm useless,
but just give me some time, OK?
Yoneko, you good-for-nothing!
How do they reckon that much?
There's no way we're paying that!
They've got a cheek!
- Oharu!
- Yes?
- Will you check on Fujiko for me?
- Of course. Anything else?
- See if Nanako is at the beautician's
- Yes, madame
- She plays mah -jong in the mornings
- That's her own business
l have nothing but bad luck!
l'm just going out for a bit
l wonder what my sister's up to.
That man's coming tomorrow, right?
l just wish she'd tell us
where she's going and why
- Good day to you!
- Come on in
ls she in?
- Have you got a client this early?
- l'm sorry about the other day
l don't need any apologies.
Today's the last day of the month, right?
l know, l know
That Mr Muramatsu that you met,
he's such a nice man
Despite your behaviour,
he wants to see you again
He wants to offer you help.
You don't meet many like him nowadays
Look, l know l owe you money,
but l have to say... matter how reduced
my circumstances become...
...if l don't like someone, then l can't ...
ls that so?
You and Yoneko are both the same
You'd do anything for a man
that you liked
Yoneko's not a geisha girl,
but you can't live like that nowadays
But you? You've mortgaged
this place to pay your man's loans
Mortgaged to my rich sister
lf you're trying to blame me,
then you're barking up the wrong tree!
- Where are you going?
- l'm going round to Mizuno's
l think she's got a temperature
l keep telling her to look after her
- What's happened? Where does it hurt?
- My head hurts
See what's happened?
Come in
Phone for a doctor!
Anyway, l'm going out
l await your return, mistress
Hold it there. Lean in a little more
with your shoulder
Catch it properly. And...
Good. That's all for today
l'll see you now, Otsuta
- Thank you
- Say hello to your mother for me
- Bye-bye
- Goodbye
That's Umeka's daughter
Umeka's a housewife now
She's not keen on her daughter
becoming a geisha, though
Something wrong?
There's something
l want to talk to you about...
l see...
l saw you at the theatre the other day
Please forgive me for not saying hello
- Shall we go outside?
- Yes
You're very quiet
Last time l saw you,
you were yelping like a puppy!
l can't bear to watch injections
Stop it! lt'll make you better
How old are you now?
l'll get Oharu to help. Oharu!
- Yes?
- Can you help me hold her?
- You want me to hold her?
- We need you
- Right, be still
- Excuse me
Now, Fujiko...'re such a clever little girl,
aren't you?
You'll listen carefully
to what l tell you, won't you?
lf you wriggle around like that, the needle
will break and it'll be much more painful
Very brave! There's a clever girl.
lt'll all be over in a second
Really? Well, come as soon as you can
She's waiting here, so hurry
What's Mr Hanayama doing?
Oh, l see. That's good
Mr Saeki will be here in five minutes.
Will you explain it all again to him?
l feel embarrassed in front of Mr Saeki
for causing you all this trouble
Not at all
lt was all thanks to you that he got
the job as Mr Hanayama's secretary
l was thinking he'd make a good husband
for your daughter Katsuyo
Oh, really...
l just wished you'd come to me sooner
for help with your financial problems
Otoyo's treating you appallingly.
And what's with this fellow from Chiba?
lt's like they're all trying
to tear off a piece of you!
l think you've been far too complacent
in your business dealings
Yes? This is Umemura's
Yes, she is here
Yes, of course. l understand
For me?
Mr Saeki said Mr Hanayama has just
returned so he won't be able to make it
ls that so? Many thanks
- Well, that's a shame
- lt is
Fujiko's not been feeling well,
so l should go back
May l suggest that
you meet with Mr Hanayama?
l couldn't
Apparently he still talks about you,
you know?
After what happened between us,
l couldn't possibly...
But you didn't agree to meet Mr Saeki
to ask for help from him alone, surely?
You wanted to enlist
Mr Hanayama's help, too
lsn't that the truth?
Dear, oh, dear! You're not a girl
of 20 any more, Otsuta
l know you too well
Just leave it to me, it's no trouble
Thank you for everything, as always
Take good care of her
- Don't give her anything to eat today
- Very well
Thank you so much
Telephone for you, Aunt
- Who is it?
- Mr Momiji wants you to come over
l don't want to go out to work elsewhere
with Fujiko not being well
l'd prefer to do the maid's work here
Hello? Yes...
Yes, but unfortunately Fujiko's ill...
- Tell the mistress l'm off to Shinkine's
- l will
Sorry l took so long. The local store
was out of ice, so l had to go to another
Someka, l got what you asked for
Thank you
l'm really hungry
No food, or you'll have
to have another injection
l've no idea where
your mother's disappeared to
- There's your bread roll
- Thank you
- And three croquettes
- Croquettes are so cheap and tasty
You'll need these
l'll give you one
Thank you
l had them refried for you
to keep them hot
That's very kind of you
- Any pepper?
- Yes
- Oh, it's empty
- l bet there's no chilli powder either
Buy some next time,
but don't tell them it's for me
Pass that sauce
And a little ice
Welcome home
Welcome home
How's Fujiko?
Her stomach's hurting, but it doesn't
seem to be anything serious
Her mother ought to be looking after her
The doctor said no more injections!
Really? That's good
- Where's her mother?
- She had to rush out
Unbelievable, isn't she?
Welcome home, mistress
Sorry to keep you waiting
You must be feeling hot. There you go
That's nice and cool for you, isn't it?
Welcome home
Where did you go?
l went looking for him...
but he wasn't around
You should be ashamed of yourself,
chasing around after him like that
What was l supposed to do?
The child's sick and he's the father
What? He left the child with you
and disappeared!
Didn't Katsuyo's father
do the same thing to you?
l'm going to take a bath
...l didn't mean to compare
my situation to yours, sister
l'm not even a geisha...
l'm just Fujiko's mother
And you let us live here with you...
ls it raining?
What is it?
l'd like to meet my father.
Would that be so bad?
l have no idea why you and he split up...
...but l can't bear it
As you have no one to turn to
Don't worry about me
lt's parents that are supposed
to worry about their children
Silly girl!
What are you crying about?
Listen, Mr Saeki is coming over
sometime soon
Why don't you go
to the cinema with him?
You said you wanted
to take a boat trip on the river
lt would be so lovely and cool
on the river
Look, stop hanging around your father,
will you?
Mr Momiji? lt's Someka here
Thank you
Listen, if you need a geisha
to entertain you, please let me know
Please let me know, won't you?
- She's gone to the temple, you say?
- Yes
She said she wanted to avoid
a rather troublesome visitor
Welcome, madame
Another polite greeting?
Everyone says what a wonderful maid
you are
Not at all. l'll bring tea...
Wait, wait! l have a favour to ask of you
Please give this to Madame Otsuta
There's 1 00,000 yen there.
Tell her l brought it for her
l'll tell her more about it
when l see her next time
lt's such a lot of money...
Well, l have to be somewhere
rather urgently... could you quickly write me
a receipt?
l see, madame...
Miss Katsuyo is out, l'm afraid,
but Miss Yoneko is in... maybe it would be better to hand
the money to her rather than me
l'm sure Madame Otsuta wouldn't
want them to know about the money
Very well, then. l'll take the liberty
of counting the money here?
Hey! ls there nobody in?
Oh, it's the man from Chiba...
Namie's uncle?
- l'll go and talk to him
- But...
- You count that
- Very well
Many thanks, madame
You always say she's out!
She is out, l'm afraid.
Please come in and see for yourself
And who are you?
- l'm an official from the Geisha Guild
- An official?
This is my younger sister's
establishment so l'm no stranger here
My mistress told me
to ask you to wait
l'm not leaving
until l get what l came here for!
l'll come in
Please come this way
Here's your receipt, madame
- Hey! Which way am l going?
- This way...
What shall we do?
lt'll be all right
She went to the temple
for a lucky talisman
- And he turned up while she was out!
- Yes
He's not carrying a knife
or anything, is he?
Don't be silly!
You certainly can't judge a person
by their looks...
...and that mistress looks like
she wouldn't hurt a fly!
lt's a violation of my niece's rights!
She used her like a whore!
What does your Guild
have to say about that, eh?
Well, l don't get involved
in such difficult matters
- l really wouldn't understand
- Eh?
Tell me, is it true that there's still
a stone quarry on Mt Nokogiri?
A quarry? Of course there is!
l work there, don't l?
Just look at my hands.
l use a pick every day
ls that true?
Because "Nokogiri" means " saw" ...
...l always thought
that's where saws came from!
You silly woman!
Hey! lsn't that her?
...l was given this for you
by Madame Mizuno
Listen, don't tell anyone about this
And go and get some snacks
and two bottles of sake
And bring three sake cups.
Plus we need some fruit...
Pears will be fine. Get two
Right, l'm going home.
Your turn to take over!
l'm terribly sorry for all the trouble
You'll need more than a lucky talisman
to deal with him
- l gave Oharu some money for you
- Thank you
lt's 1 00,000 yen from Mr Hanayama.
Mr Saeki brought it round yesterday
- Thank you so much
- Don't mention it
Don't let them get their hands on it
Hey! What's going on?
Quick! Or else
the whole neighbourhood will hear
- Hey!
- lf you need me, give me a ring
- Thank Mr Saeki for me
- We'll talk about it later
Thank you
Are you all right, sis?
Mummy, l'm scared
- Hey!
- l'm awfully sorry
Let's go back upstairs, shall we?
There you go, two pears
And one apple
- Can l pay for the apple separately?
- Yes
What did you say?
What kind of a fool do you take me for?
You think you can settle this
without paying me?
Please lower your voice,
we have a sick child downstairs
Please excuse me
Sorry for taking so long
Your change...
...440 yen, mistress
Oh? l only gave you 1 00 yen
Oh, that's right
l'm sorry. This is my change
There you are
Even the maid's making fun of me!
You tell me that business is down
and you can't give me any money...
...and yet even the bloody maid's
got money to throw around!
Sorry, but the change was
from my own shopping
l bought an apple for Fujiko
Before he died, l remember my own
child was overjoyed to get an apple
Hey! We're not discussing the dead!
- That's all, Oharu,
- Yes, mistress
l'm not leaving until l get my money!
- Look...
- Good morning
Yoneko's man, the cook,
has turned up
Come on! You've come all this way,
at least just look at your child!
l don't want to.
We already discussed this
And what did you say?
"Fujiko's mine, l'll look after her!"
l only came here because l feel
a duty towards your elder sister
Just look at him
He always thinks
he's so high and mighty
lf you can't look after her properly,
then l'll have to take her away!
Pleased to see you
lf you're going to yell at each other,
do it inside, not on the doorstep!
Sorry l haven't been round for a while
Please take this
to cover the cost of the medicine
What's this?
You'd better come in
Listen, l've already settled everything
with her
But you ought to give her
a good talking to
She still comes pestering me
for every little thing
Well, you'd better come in anyway
- Delivery!
- Round the back
What time is your last train home?
Eh? l'm not leaving
with only 50,000 yen!
You can't fool me!
l've given you all that l have
You live here in the heart of Tokyo and
you say you haven't got any money?
Listen, l'm ready to settle this
in court if you want
All l need to do is inform them
l know you're all in this together
lt would do no good
dragging this through the courts
No good to who?
l'm not the one in trouble!
ls that a client with you, Mother?
Shall l come up?
Oh, you're back
l'm worried about you
What's all the shouting about?
ls he threatening you?
- What?
- Now, now
Has he hit you, Mother?
Tell me if he has
lt's fine, it's nothing at all
What are you talking about?
Just stop worrying about me, it's fine.
lt's nothing at all
Oharu, bring some food up.
One bowl of rice and tempura
As soon as you can
l'm the one who should be worried.
Where have you been all day?
Hey! What's going on?
l'm coming now!
- Always at your service
- Thank you
- Take him to a hotel, understand?
- Yes
l'll deal with him for you
l don't know if he'll like it, though
Please be careful
He'd better not be taking me
anywhere strange!
Not at all. Why on earth
would we do that to you?
You can get a good night's sleep
somewhere nice and quiet
Take care, won't you?
Welcome home
Quick, in here
l've heard it's been awful
First, the shouting match between
the guy from Chiba and Katsuyo...
...and then Yoneko's Ex turned up!
- How do you know?
- Bad news travels fast
Someka met Koito...
...Koito told Chiyoko...
...and Chiyoko told me,
that's how l know!
lt's so hot
- Where's Someka?
- She went home early today
Hey, did you know...?
Someka lives with a man
ten years younger than her!
Did you just hear a man's voice?
You've left your laundry out
on the floor above
Oh, l'd forgotten about it...
Take it down immediately.
You shouldn't leave it out
l'll see to it at once
- Are you new here?
- Yes
My name's Rika Yamanaka,
Long time no see, isn't it?
Are you on patrol?
- Oh, were you in bed?
- No, not yet
Oharu, bring a hand towel
and some cold water
- No, it's all right
- Please just rest a while
- Listen, order a bowl of noodles
- By telephone?
- No, from round the back at Hakuga's
- OK
- Mr Hakuga?
- Eh?
A bowl of noodles, as fast as you can
Well, you can laugh all you like...
...but a police officer's life is hard
We often put our lives in danger
in the line of duty
That's why police officers
all look so strong
ln handsome uniforms!
You should marry one, Nanako,
then you'd never be afraid again
- He's got a gun and a truncheon
- You're right
Right, l'd best be going
Just stay a little longer.
Oharu? Oharu!
l'll pass it up to you, OK?
Got it?
What's up? Has your phone broken?
Wait till you taste the flavour!
- Good morning, madame
- l bet they're all still in bed
Good morning
You can't still be in bed, surely?
l've already had my lunch
But geisha are never early risers,
it's bad for your health!
lt's because you're working so hard
What are you doing there, Katsuyo?
A curriculum vitae?
What on earth for?
l apologise for not returning your money
for last month
Listen, Otsuta...
You, too, Katsuyo. Listen to me.
lf it goes on like this,
you're going to go bankrupt... why not change your business?
What? Change business?
Well, is Katsuyo going to inherit
this business?
No, she detests the whole geisha
business. l was thinking more of Fujiko
Fujiko? That'll be ten years from now.
What will you do in the meantime?
And this place is mortgaged...
l know that. l shouldn't trouble you
any more with this
l know someone who may be interested
in running it as a hotel
You could sell this place
for a good price, pay me back...
...and then invest the remainder
in the hotel
Someone's interested
in buying this place?
Madame Ohama Mizuno wants
to start up her geisha business again
- Madame Ohama?
- Right
l'll be back. And tell her she won't
get rid of me for 50,000 yen!
l'll come by and pick up Namie's things
later in my car
He's gone at last
You think that's the last you'll see
of him? What a carry on!
Tsuta House has one of the best
reputations in the business...
...and yet that fool swaggers
around here like he owns the place
And you think l should sell the place
despite its reputation?
lt's not my idea, it's Madame Mizuno's !
Ask her yourself if you don't believe me
- Good morning
- Morning
lt's so busy here that it's impossible
to get any sleep
l don't know what Otoyo said to you...
...but unlike her l would never charge
interest on a loan to my own sister
l know you're having trouble
and l worry about you...
l'm sorry
But whatever happens...
...l would never reproach you
for anything
But if you were to take over the house...
...then l would prefer you to have it
rather than my sister
Oh, Otsuta, you're taking this
all so seriously
l'm far too busy
running my own place, anyway
You're always summoning me urgently!
- lt's been a while
- Yes, it has
That's because you'll only come
if it's urgent!
That way, Mr Hanayama can't complain
He's not as patient as he used to be...
Like he's expecting the worst to happen!
Tell him he'll damage his liver
with all that stress
He should arrange to see Otsuta
some time
Why don't you bring him round here
this evening?
This evening?
You told me he'd made
the same suggestion
"l haven't seen Otsuta
for such a long time," he said
What l think he means is that
he'd like to see you
As he's getting older, Otsuta...
...he's feeling nostalgic about you
l wonder...
He was my patron
but we parted company
So what?
Tell him Otsuta is in a spot of trouble
and needs his advice
He wouldn't say no, would he?
He's not that kind of person
He still has feelings for you
He always looked after you, never letting
you wear the same kimono twice!
And he gave you that 1 00,000 yen
the other day
About that 1 00,000 yen...
He gave it quite willingly, didn't he?
lt was just like he was giving out
pocket money, wasn't it?
Listen, l'm fine...
l felt terrible having to ask him
for the money
l couldn't ever trouble him again...
And how long have you been a geisha?
At any rate, you must meet up
with Mr Hanayama
And you, Mr Saeki,
owe a great deal to Otsuta, too
Let's make it 7:00 this evening
lf you can't bring Mr Hanayama along,
then we'll go to him
There's a strange atmosphere
here today, don't you think?
Not only today. There's always
a strange atmosphere in this house
But l'm glad the mistress is meeting
an old client
lt'll do her good...
lt'll do us all good
- Oharu, come with me
- Yes, mistress
- Good day!
- ls that the kimono man?
- Which sash will you wear, mistress?
- Help me with my hair, Oharu
- You have such beautiful skin
- Not any more!
Back in my day, we used to take
great care of our skin
Girls don't bother so much
these days. Or with their hairstyles...
lt just doesn't look the same somehow,
does it?
When we were young, geisha were seen
as very different creatures
We always tried to be better
than the other girls
But that's all changed nowadays
Our costumes, our hairstyles,
our artistry...
...all those special things
about a geisha are disappearing
Young geisha today are just like
any other women
lt will be autumn soon
Last year's colours simply won't do
You can't go out to see clients
dressed inappropriately, now, can you?
Miss Someka, can l tempt you
with something new?
Let me see...
How about this one?
A very popular colour this season...
Good day. l have the perfect colour
for you, madame
lf you get your hair done in a traditional
style, you'd look even more stunning
- Oharu, would you call me a car?
- Yes, mistress
Welcome back, madame
Are you going out somewhere?
Where have you been?
l heard from a high school friend
about a sewing machinist job
What? A sewing job?
l feel bad staying here for nothing
and not paying my way
Are you being sarcastic?
No daughter of mine should ever
have to do work like that
Please don't even think
about doing such work
Those machines make such a racket...
l'll be back later
This way
Where's your sister seeing this client?
Do you know, Yoneko?
No idea. She can still turn heads, though
That awful little man from Mt Nokogiri...
...l heard he swindled her
out of 50,000 yen!
l suppose l am to blame for that
whole situation with Namie
But she's such a disagreeable person
l couldn't stand her!
And l hate her even more
now that she's gone
l have nothing to apologise for
l won't even deign to discuss the matter
lt's difficult for my mother, though
She has a heart of gold really
and that's her weakness
That's why she ended up
separating from my father
l guess she's just unlucky
l'm afraid Nanako's with a client
right now
Eh? Yes...
Number 1 565, Koishikawa
Yes, l understand
ls that a client?
Someone called Mr Takayama
He said he's at that inn on Koishikawa
l see...
l knew it! The embers of their love
have been rekindled!
He's her old employer
- The guy who promised to marry her?
- That's the one
Oh, it all makes me so jealous!
Someka, why don't you treat yourself?
Might bring you luck...
Don't you think the colour's
a bit dull for me?
l'm only just 50, you know
Who knows how long l'll live,
or when l'll have a chance to wear it?
l think a subtle colour suits you better.
lt'll make you look younger, too
You think so?
Shall l buy it then?
Madame Someka? Yes, she's here
ls that a client?
Tell them l'll be right over!
l understand, yes
- They need another geisha at lshimura's
- Any place will do me
l've got to start paying
for my new kimono!
l'm off to find myself a new patron
Someka, your man won't be too pleased
Oh, so what?
Your guest has arrived, madame
Really? Thank you
This way
Sorry to have kept you waiting
Oh? You've come alone?
Yes...l'm terribly sorry
l'm afraid it was impossible
for him to come this evening
l told him l couldn't go without him...
...but he said he had some
pressing business was too much to expect him
to be able to attend
lt's not your fault
Madame Mizuno instructed me to offer
you whatever help you require
She even phoned him
Thank you was hard for me
to pluck up the courage to come here
But now...
Please excuse me...
...but your meal is ready to be served
- Please bring it in
- Yes, sir
ls that number 1 565, Koishikawa?
May l speak to Mr Takayama, please?
Welcome back
Oh, that wasn't much fun after all's me
Well, l'm not sure...
All right
Why treat him so harshly?
lt's been a long time
- Do you have a 1 0 yen coin?
- What for?
- Just for a moment...
- Give it me back after
lt's heads. That's it, then. l'm going.
You know, that inn isn't that wonderful
And to ask you to come to an inn...
well, that's just bad manners
She's right
Hello, is that Takaya's ?
Can you do me a chicken sandwich?
Plus vegetables for two. And bring them
over to Tsuta House, yes?
- ls mother not home yet?
- l wonder where she's gone
Should l wear a kimono
or a Western-style suit?
Why not put on fancy lingerie
and wear a kimono over the top?
- You can get out of it quicker
- l beg your pardon!
Where are you off to?
l know, don't l, Nanako?
Please tell sister
that l'm taking a day off
- How are you getting there?
- By car
- Don't go too fast!
- Oharu!
- Get me a cab, will you?
- Yes
Welcome home, mistress
Let's take this discussion elsewhere,
shall we?
We can't have you coming to the house
and screaming at us
You deserve to be screamed at!
But we were the ones who were fooled,
you know?
She lied about her age by two years
l know l shouldn't say this,
but Namie and l never got along
l never did anything against her...
...but what right did she have
to act like that?
l spoke to her harshly...
There, you see?
You've just admitted you mistreated her!
- The police are here...
- What the hell did you call them for?
He said that he'd like you to accompany
him down to the station, too, mistress
What? Me as well?
lf you're going, Mother,
then l'll go with you
She's had to go with that Chiba man
to the police station?
Well, l'll go straight to the station, too
lt's nothing serious.
l know someone there
ls that so, madame?
Well, thank you so much, madame
What's going to happen?
They'll be fine. This geisha house
has one of the highest reputations
ls it really that bad
for the mistress and Katsuyo?
- lt's true
- What will we do?
- What's going to happen?
- Oharu! ls the bath free?
Yes, it is
- l'd like to take a shower
- A shower?
Still burning with all that passion
from last night, eh?
No, not passion, just disappointment.
l wish l hadn't gone
There's nothing worse than a stingy guy
down on his luck
What are you talking about?
l think now is definitely the time
to break up
He thinks he can have me for old time's
sake without spending any money!
l'm so hungry.
l haven't had breakfast yet
- l'd love curry and rice
- l'd like that, too!
- No, you're still only allowed porridge
- Only porridge?
lt'll be ready in a minute.
And l've got you some pickled plums
Oharu, pickled plums
always bring bad luck!
l don't know, even talking about them
is unlucky!
ls that so, madame?
Yes, that's right
Madame Someka?
Oh, Someka's there, is she?
Call her for me
Hello, Someka?
Listen, l promised to entertain a client
for Madame Mizuno this evening
- Could you stand in for me?
- Who, me? Well...
Thank you so much
Thank you so much for considering me
in your place
Can l just ask you, are the songs
timed to five beats or seven beats...?
...and it changes there?
lt's such an honour to be asked
to take your place, mistress
Who'll pick you up
from the police station?
Oh, really?
Well, please take care
Good afternoon
Oh, welcome, madame
l've just been at the police station
and it's not looking too good
Anyway, they'll be home later
after they've been questioned
The mistress just called to ask me
to take her place this evening
l'm all excited about it...
...but it's too bad that
she can't make it herself
l see... She asked you?
Well, do your best for Otsuta, won't you?
Yes, of course
l'll telephone Mr Saeki to come.
You should have a man in the house
- You must be exhausted
- Welcome home
Sorry to have caused you
so much worry
Sometimes these things just happen
Tomorrow Mr Saeki will come here
- He'll speak to the police for you
- Thank you
l've learned a lot from the experience
Aunty, mummy's gone
- Oh? Where's Yoneko?
- She just popped out
She's always popping out, that one
l have some things
l'd like to discuss with you...
- Can we go upstairs?
- Very well
lt's late, Fujiko. Go back to sleep
l've been thinking things over
at the police station...
...and l'd very much like you
to buy this house
Oh? Why is that?
Do you not see that's the only way?
After this, the reputation of this house
will be in tatters
lt would be better
than watching it fall into ruin
Well, l'll have to think about it
l don't know if l'd want to...
lt would be much better for us
if you were to buy the place
Well, l'll talk the matter over
with Mr Saeki
l didn't tell you this before...
...but that money from Mr Hanayama
was given as a final favour
Say no more
l thought as much
Forgive me
l can no longer depend on men
for my welfare
Please excuse me
Someka's back!
Oh, l fancy going to Hawaii!
By plane, of course
And say goodbye to Japan
Welcome home. Everybody's back
l thought so.
l knew everything would be all right
Oh, l'm so drunk
lt's great work, being a geisha
The bright lights...
...and the beautiful arrangements
of yellow flowers!
Fine food to eat...
...gorgeous kimono to wear...
...and making money
through entertainment
- There's no other work like it
- You're right!
lt's always such fun
when you can fool the punters
And fooling them is my best trick!
What's wrong?
- Are you all right?
- l'm fine, l'm fine!
l'm fine!
Oh, no, l feel terrible...terrible!
l heard that
Otsuta has been in a spot of bother
- Are they all back home now?
- Yes, they've all returned
lt wasn't anything
the mistress couldn't handle
...we're looking for another maid
and l thought of you...
- You're just joking
- No, l'm serious
You must excuse me,
l'm in the middle of cooking
lt's an absolute travesty for us all,
being taken off by the police
And your reputation will be tarnished
from now on, too
l wanted to talk it over with you...
...about selling this house
and paying off my debts
Really? So you're going to open an inn
like we discussed?
No, l'll continue here in my profession
as a geisha
This is the only profession l know
Continue at Tsuta House?
Madame Mizuno agrees it's a good idea
She'll buy the house
and then rent it to me
Eh? And when did you reach
this momentous decision?
Last night
- lt's settled, then?
- Yes
l'll receive half the money
when we sign the contract
At last, l'll be able to pay you back
all the money l owe you
Please excuse me
Mr Saeki has just arrived
from the police station
Really? l'll be down in a moment
Excuse me
- Mr Saeki?
- Yes
Now l see. Madame Mizuno's
putting up all the money...
...but Mr Hanayama
will be the actual owner
Very smart
That's not how it is at all
l have no idea what you're up to...
...but l know it's not what it seems
lt's all very typical of a geisha!
You'll get your money back
with interest
- Can l offer you one?
- No
- Oh, thank you so much, Mr Saeki
- lt took slightly longer than l thought
Carting me off to the police station?
You amaze me!
We've been through all of this
You were almost up
on a blackmail charge...
...and wouldn't have been
going home for quite a while
Well, let's have Namie's things, then
Well, now it's all over.
Let's drink to that. Oharu?
Yes, coming
Excuse me
Sake at midday?
Things are looking up
- Mr Saeki...
- Pleased to see you
l must thank you for all that your aunt
is doing for my younger sister
l hear she's willing to buy this place.
l really am most grateful to her
Please give her my best regards
l'll call on her soon to thank her
Sister, won't you have a glass?
No, l never partake between meals,
that's my rule. Thanks anyway
Oh, don't bother doing that for me!
You have much more
important guests here
Tell Someka that she has to pay me
back everything this month
Another one?
lt's got a funny taste
Well, that's the end of it
And Namie has a new job
At some third-rate place
Well, tell her to drop in to see us
some time
l wonder...
She's stuck as a third-rate geisha now,
so she wouldn't come round here
Oi! Call me a rickshaw, will you?
A rickshaw? Certainly, sir
- l'll get going now
- Thank you
From now on you, your aunt and l
will have many dealings together
Mr Saeki, l'm going out, too.
Will you walk with me?
l'm going back to my office
Just as far as the bus stop, then?
What she really wants is for you
to take her to see a film
Good job they had you around...
...otherwise this place
would've been finished
- Bye
- Many thanks
So, you think my mother should continue
in her profession as a geisha?
l want her to leave the profession
for good
lf only you could advise her...
There's no way l could do that
l shouldn't really say this to you,
...but l think that life as a geisha
probably suits your mother best
My aunt thinks so, too
l feel sorry for my mother
Do you have any marriage plans,
- l haven't given it a thought
- Why not?
To be given away as a bride?
Or take a husband into my home?
You're free to choose whichever
Yes, it's up to me
But l'm from a disreputable geisha house
that has little earning potential
Who would want to marry
a woman like me?
My husband could become
the house manager...
...but young people nowadays
aren't interested in the business
- l don't know if that's true
- l wonder...
But it can't be helped now
l'd only feel ashamed if l got married
l was born into a famous geisha house
but only trained as a beginner
lt feels like l'm only a half-geisha
l don't know what l am
Marriage is just a dream
More importantly, though, l worry
about how l'm going to make a living
" ...and they all agreed."
- What's this?
- This?
Just hold on a moment
Yes...that's right
She hasn't returned home yet
- Who is it?
- l understand, yes...
- lt was Madame Otoyo for Someka
- Oh, pay no attention to her
- Aunty...
- Coming
Have you been drinking, Someka?
Forgive me, mistress
My sister just phoned for you
...that man of mine went back home
to the provinces...
...yesterday evening
Are you talking about your boyfriend?
He probably thought
nothing would ever become of us
Seems he's gone back home
to get married
l did everything for him!
Men can be so heartless!
Let's read over there
Listen, Someka,
you may not want to hear this...
...but l think it's for your own good
After all, he was ten years
younger than you
Better to be done with him
while you still have another chance
Please! Don't be so harsh on me!
Did you feel the same
when you separated?
But you'd never have got married
so it's better that you've separated
And you should repay my sister's loan
as soon as possible
l'm relieved that l'm selling this house
Lucky for you,
you have something to sell
l've only got myself
and my samisen -playing to sell
l can't earn enough to repay my debts
But now you've only yourself to feed
Mistress, l'm working as hard as l can
every day...
...but it's still not enough
You know what?
l checked at the Guild office
They said they'd received
all my payment slips
But when l asked the accountant,
the amount you'd sent was lower
So however much l work... Listen to me!
lsn't that right, Nanako?
You said the same when Namie left
"These payments don't add up."
You showed me your notes, didn't you?
- Yes...
- They can hear you on the street!
Someka's making the same complaint
as Namie
You can't give us back
the hours we worked...
...but you can give us back the money
Well, you never settle up
what you owe me... l don't pay attention
to the slips
So you admit it, then,
you fix the payment slips?
Maybe Mother makes
the odd mistake now and again...
...but that happens everywhere!
- Oh, is that so?
- All geisha should quit their jobs!
- Katsuyo...
- You're just feeling sorry for yourself
lf you don't like the work
then you should leave
Thanks for your kind advice!
Let's go, Nanako
Come on, we can find work elsewhere,
this isn't the only geisha house
l know l have obligations to you,
but l also have reproaches!
- Someka...
- Why don't you get out, then?
OK, then...l will get out
l will get out...
l'm crying...but it's not
because of what you've said
l'm crying...because my lover has left me
You know nothing about men!
What's so good about knowing
about men?
Eh? What does your daughter
think she's talking about?
So, women don't have to depend
on men? ls that right, mistress?
Enough, Katsuyo!
She thinks that women
don't have to depend on men!
Right? She says women don't need men!
No, that's wrong. l told you before.
Do it again...
That's enough for today
You have to study very hard
if you want to become a geisha
- Oh!
- Mistress...
l had far too much to drink
the other day and spoke out of turn
l can't apologise enough, forgive me
Please forgive me, mistress
Stop that, Someka.
There's no need to apologise
...will you let me come back?
lt feels so good coming back here
and seeing the new trainees...
...l think l'm going to cry
l intend to make a completely fresh start.
l hope we can work something out
...that Nanako is awful, isn't she?
She's working at Tsutaji's now
As she wishes
- Where's Katsuyo?
- She's upstairs sewing
ls she really? Katsuyo?
How nice!
l love that noise the machines make.
l'll go up and see her
This is for you...
Oh, you shouldn't have
l'll let Otsuta keep
the house for a while...
...but l may move her out and open
a branch of my restaurant there instead
At the house?
And what will become of the girls there?
lf they want to continue as geisha...
...then they can all go across the river
and find work there
Still, l've seen their new trainees
and none of them has any potential
Otsuta's been a geisha many years
but she's still no judge of character
They'll all turn out just like Namie
One has to put in years of hard work
to become a geisha
l'd like you to consider this...'re a woman
with many fine qualities...
...and l think you're wasting
your talents as a mere maid
What do you think?
l don't require an immediate answer...
...but l'll give you a month or so
to make up your mind
l was also considering Katsuyo...
...but on reflection
l don't think she'd fit in at all
lf you say no, l have plenty of others
to choose from
And the mistress knows all about this?
Of course not
...l don't think l can accept your offer,
l'm terribly sorry
Very well, then
Don't breathe a word of this
to Otsuta or anyone, will you?
Well, then, if you'll excuse me...
- Good
- Fujiko's coming on, isn't she?
- You think so?
- Oh, very promising
l have a new geisha to present to you!
Oh, l say!
- May l present Takiko to you
- lt's a honour to meet you
- How wonderful she looks!
- Congratulations
l see that you've fully recovered,
Madame Otsuta. l'm so pleased
Thank you so much
We're starting up our business again
with some new faces
l wish you all the best
Please excuse us
- She must've cost her 300,000 yen
- You reckon that much?
That sash she was wearing
was nothing special
And her hair wasn't arranged properly
at all, was it?
But they don't care about
those things nowadays
That's true
Mistress, l bought these for everyone
as they looked so tasty
lt's my treat
Oharu, you're such a kind person
lsn't she? l don't know what l'd do
without her help
Not at all. l'll bring the tea through
in a moment
Oharu, get the girls
to give you some help
- Kiyo!
- Yes?
- What is it you're making?
- l'm no good
l'm not sure l'll be able to make anything!
l'm just practising
You're very diligent, Katsuyo
No, not really
l just know that
l have to find some kind of work
l can't do what my mother does
l have to find some means
to support us both when she gets old
You're right
You know, l'm so glad
that you're here, Oharu
l can always talk to you
and ask your advice
Of course, l'd be happy
to offer you help and advice anytime
Yes...l know that
And l realise that
you may not be here forever...
Well, l'd like to take a short trip
to my late husband's hometown
- ln the provinces?
- Yes
l have to visit the graves
of my husband and child
After that, who knows?
My husband's relatives are very strict
l left home so l could be free
from their constraints...
...but now l feel it's selfish of me
to stay away
l see...
Please try one of these sweet buns,
they're delicious
The End