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The Makioka Sisters (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This lyrical adaptation of the beloved Japanese novel by Junichiro Tanizaki was a late-career triumph for world-class director Kon Ichikawa (The Burmese Harp, Fires on the Plain). Revolving around the changing of the seasons, The Makioka Sisters (Sasame-yuki) follows the lives of four sisters who have taken on their family’s kimono manufacturing business, over the course of a number of years leading up to the Pacific War. The two oldest have been married for some time, but according to tradition, the rebellious youngest sister cannot wed until the third, conservative and terribly shy, finds a husband. This graceful study of a family at a turning point in history is a poignant evocation of changing times and fading customs, shot in rich, vivid colors.

Special Features

New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack

Original theatrical trailer

New and improved English subtitle translation

PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Audie Bock


Product Details

  • Actors: Keiko Kishi, Yoshiko Sakuma, Sayuri Yoshinaga, Yuko Kotegawa, Juzo Itami
  • Directors: Kon Ichikawa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2011
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004S8021M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,168 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Makioka Sisters (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Lee on June 14, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I first saw this movie when it came to Seattle in 1985 or 1986. I had been interested in Japan for a few years and when I saw this film in the theater for the first time I was in high school. The film was so good I went back to the theater two weeks later and saw it again. It takes place before Japan entered WWII, but was already sending soldiers to China and South Korea. The story revolves around four sisters, the two eldest are married and they are taking care of the two younger sisters. They are trying to find a husband for the next youngest, and the youngest has a boyfriend who isn't liked because she eloped with him when she was just 16, and was promptly found by the police and returned home. The cinematography in this film is superb, so many shots are simply breathtaking and bring tears to my eyes. Of course the beauty of the homes and costumes as well. It is a somewhat serious film, but has its lighter moments. The film draws us into a world we may never be able to witness anywhere else. I felt I was indeed in 1930s Japan and in the very rooms the film takes place in. It does help to be somewhat familiar with Japanese culture or language to enjoy this film. My interest while in high school was enough to draw me in deeply. I still get emotional when I view the opening titles sequence, which was filmed at the height of the Spring cherry blossom bloom in Kyoto, at Heian Shine, it is such a beautiful scene. Also I fell in love with Sayuri Yoshinaga, who played the sister the older sisters were trying to find a husband for. She is still acting today, most recently in Kabei - Our Mother (2007). I can't recommend this film enough for anyone interested in Japan. Now that it has finally been released in the USA on DVD and Blu-Ray, I'm ordering my copy today!
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By B. Ackley on February 29, 2016
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The Makioka Sisters is a gorgeous, beautifully shot film. The director has filled this movie with attractive scenes of sakura blossoms falling from trees, showa era style homes, stunning kimonos, rain drenched walkways, and plenty of striking images depicting bridges over water. These gorgeous visuals provide the colorful backdrop to the world of the four Makioka sisters, wealthy siblings who run successful kimono business.
The conflcit here is quiet.the sisters are to marry in order of age. The two eldest sisters have married but the rebellious fourth sister is stuck. Sister number 3 is shy, timid and unable to make a connection with any man.

Reading the reviews I cannot argue with the criticisms of this film. While the film is set in 1930's Japan it was made in 1982 and the synthesized film score reflects that. It does not bother me and in fact being nostalgic for the 80s i embrace it much like the synthesized score to Educating Rita. I cannot also argue with the argument that not much really happens here. The sisters are wealthy and the are plagued by "rich people" problems. As a character study it is interesting how none of these women would consider themselves bad people even though ther are by today's standards awful to their servants and disconnected from reality. This however was their world - time of Kimonos, the emperor, and a social structure that has fallen away. I couod easily see where someone would be bored with this film however I enjoyed it immensely. I just wish my Japanese was strong enough to pick up all the nuiances in the dialogue.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The cinematography alone is worth the watch. This is a film adaptation of a well-known, highly revered novel and the casting of the sisters and their fellow life travelers was crucial to portray the subtleties inherent in the text. There is no disappointment here! The film does the novel proud. Like it's written counterpart, it is slow-moving and intricate. Beautifully crafted, beautifully acted, and gorgeous sets and costumes to finish off a fine production. Not to be missed.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've just finished watching this for the third time spaced months apart. I like it a little more each time I see it. It's a great character study, an account of changes in Japanese society as it moves into modernity and is very well-filmed.

The four sisters, who live together in the same household, appear to be about 15 years apart in age from the youngest to the oldest with the youngest being outspoken and rebellious while the oldest is very traditional and old-fashioned. The film covers developments in each of their lives as well the relationship between them.

It does have the traits of a Jane Austin novel, a little bit like a soap opera and a typical Japanese family drama with a traditional and well-mannered flavor that reminds me of Ozu. The idea of a costume drama also comes to mind. If you are a student of Japan and Japanese film it's an important addition to your collection. Criterion has done a great job, as usual.
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This is one of my favorite movies. Not just because of the beautiful scenes but of the difficulties that life has thrown to a family, how the different relations cope with the inner workings of a family in a time of great changes during the 1920's and 30's in Japan. Each of the characters has a lot of responsibilities and each has their point of view to contend with, as they try to transition from one older style of life to the new without completely casting aside the traditions of country.
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