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Ozu filmography on DVD and Blu-ray

January 24, 2012

One of my favorite filmmakers is Yasujiro Ozu.  He is certainly in my top three, and on some days, he is number one.  Because his films have not been systematically released in the West, I wanted to make a filmography of his surviving films as available on DVD and Blu-ray.

This is not a complete list.  I have only listed releases I know of (including planned releases) from the UK, US, Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia.  The DVD and Blu-rays from UK, US, Hong Kong, and Australia have English subtitles; but the Japanese DVDs do not.  I have not listed every release from Japan, but only the major box sets (or, for Ozu’s Toho and Daiei releases, individual DVDs.)

So how are we doing?  Not so bad.  All of Ozu’s films have been released on DVD in Japan.  All of Ozu’s sound films (except The Munekata Sisters, a Daiei release) are available on DVD with English subtitles.  All but six of Ozu’s surviving silent films are available on DVD with English subtitles (for the title cards).  Of those silent films that are not available, one is a short film, another only survives in fragments, and third one, Kagamishishi, does not require translation at all.

So, in the end, only four major films remain require subtitling on DVD.

UpdateAs I was doing a little more web research, I saw this announcement that suggests BFI is due to release almost all surviving Ozu films by the end of 2012.  By my count, they are more than halfway there already.

The DVD/Blu-ray era has been a paradise for film collectors, and for Ozu lovers, it has been especially good.  Now, if only Kenji Mizoguchi and Mikio Naruse could get equivalent treatment.

Year Japanese title Romanized title English title DVD, Blu-ray availability
1929 若き日 Wakaki hi Days of Youth Japan, UK,
Hong Kong
1929 和製喧嘩友達 Wasei kenka tomodachi Fighting Friends: Japanese Style [FRAGMENT ONLY] Japan
1929 大学は出たけれど Diagaku wa deta keredo I Graduated, But …
[FRAGMENT ONLY]
Japan, UK
1929 突貫小僧 Tokkan kozō A Straightforward Boy [SHORT] Japan
1930 朗らかに歩め Hogaraka ni ayume Walk Cheerfully Japan
1930 落第はしたけれど Rakudai wa shita keredo I Flunked, But … Japan, UK
1930 その夜の妻 Sono yoru no tsuma That Night’s Wife Japan
1931 淑女と髯 Shukujo to hige The Lady and the Beard Japan, UK
1931 東京の合唱 Tokyo no gasshō Tokyo Chorus Japan, US
1932 生まれてはみたけれど Umarete wa mita keredo I Was Born But … Japan, US,
UK Blu-ray+DVD
1932 青春の夢いまいづか Seishun no yume ima izuka Where Now are the Dreams of Youth? Japan, UK
1933 東京の女 Tokyo no onna Woman of Tokyo Japan
1933 非常線の女 Hijōsen no onna Dragnet Girl Japan, Hong Kong
1933 出来ごごろ Dekigokoro Passing Fancy Japan, US,
Hong Kong
1934 母を恋はずや Haha o kawazuya A Mother Should Be Loved Japan, Hong Kong,
UK Blu-ray+DVD
1934 浮草物語 Ukigusa monogatari A Story of Floating Weeds Japan, US,
Hong Kong
1935 鏡獅子 Kagamishishi Kagamishishi
[KABUKI DOCUMENTARY]
Japan
1935 東京の宿 Tokyo no yado An Inn in Tokyo Japan, Hong Kong
1936 一人息子 Hitori musuko The Only Son Japan, US,
UK Blu-ray+DVD,
Hong Kong
1937 淑女は何を忘れたか Shukujo wa nani o wasureta ka What Did the Lady Forget? Japan, Hong Kong,
UK Blu-ray+DVD
1941 戸田家の兄弟 Toda-ke no kyōdai The Brothers & Sisters of the Toda Family Japan, Hong Kong, UK Blu-ray+DVD
1942 父ありき Chichi ariki There Was a Father Japan, US,
UK Blu-ray+DVD,
Hong Kong
1947 長屋紳士録 Nagaya shinshi roku Record of a Tenement Gentleman Japan, UK,
Hong Kong
1948 風の中の雌鳥 Kaze no naka no mendori A Hen in the Wind Japan, Hong Kong, UK Blu-ray+DVD
1949 晩春 Banshun Late Spring Japan, Japan, US, US Blu-ray,
UK Blu-ray+DVD, Australia
1950 宗方姉妹 Munekata shimai The Munekata Sisters Japan
1951 麦秋 Bakushū Early Summer Japan, Japan, US,
UK Blu-ray+DVD,
Australia
1952 お茶漬けの味 Ochazuke no aji The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice Japan, Japan, UK, Australia
1953 東京物語 Tokyo monogatari Tokyo Story Japan, Japan, US, UK Blu-Ray+DVD, Australia
1956 早春 Sōshun Early Spring Japan, Japan, US
1957 東京暮色 Tokyo boshoku Tokyo Twilight Japan, Japan, US,
Hong Kong
1958 彼岸花 Higanbana Equinox Flower Japan, Japan, US.
UK Blu-ray+DVD,
Hong Kong
1959 お早う Ohayō Good Morning Japan, Japan, US, UK Blu-ray+DVD, Australia
1959 浮草 Ukigusa Floating Weeds Japan, US, US, Australia
1960 秋日和 Akibiyori Late Autumn Japan, Japan, US,
UK Blu-ray+DVD
1960 小早川家の秋 Kohayakawa-ke no aki The End of Summer Japan, US
1962 秋刀魚の味 Samma no aji An Autumn Afternoon Japan, Japan, US,
UK Blu-ray+DVD, Australia

In putting together this list, I heavily used this web page from Jonathan Delacour and this Wikipedia page. Also useful is the Ozu-san site.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2012 1:10 pm

    One of my daughters just completed an undergrad course in Japanese literature (and film). The class actually tried their hand at writing some in Japanese genres (using English of course). I’m going to have her read your post to see whether her prof familiarized the class with any of these titles.

  2. January 25, 2012 12:56 am

    I’m pretty sure that if she studied Japanese film, she must have heard of Ozu — at the very least Tokyo Story. Ozu’s movies are exquisite studies in human nature and foibles.

    As I was doing a little more web research, I saw this announcement that suggests BFI is due to release almost all surviving Ozu films by the end of 2012. By my count, they are more than halfway there already.

  3. Russ permalink
    January 25, 2012 8:34 am

    That is quite the list, Theophrastus…and quite honestly I haven’t seen a one of them. However…I do own (and have watched on numerous occasions) Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa. Absolutely loved it. It is part of the Criterion Collection.

  4. January 25, 2012 12:32 pm

    Russ, thanks. I also like Ikiru a lot, and I think it is one of Kurosawa’s most sensitive films.

    Have you ever seen Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress? Not that many people have seen the original movie, but many saw the remake later by George Lucas — the remake is Star Wars.

  5. Russ permalink
    January 25, 2012 7:09 pm

    No, I haven’t seen it, nor did I know that about George Lucas. I checked it out on Amazon just a moment ago and discovered that they have a 3 minute clip of George Lucas talking about Hidden Fortress and Star Wars. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll have to watch this.

  6. John permalink
    October 16, 2012 1:53 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I have had trouble locating the DVDs for many of these. I have heard of a Shochiku box set release: are they all contained on that?

  7. John permalink
    October 16, 2012 1:55 pm

    And if so, where can I obtain that box set? I can’t seem to find it on the internet… :-/

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