Hideko Takamine

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Hideko Takamine
Hideko Takamine.jpg
Hideko Takamine in the late 1940s
Hideko Hirayama [1]

(1924-03-27)March 27, 1924
DiedDecember 28, 2010(2010-12-28) (aged 86)
Tokyo, Japan
Years active1929–1979
(m. 1955)

Hideko Takamine (高峰 秀子, Takamine Hideko, March 27, 1924 December 28, 2010) was a Japanese actress who began as a child actress and maintained her fame in a career that spanned 50 years. She is particularly known for her collaborations with directors Mikio Naruse and Keisuke Kinoshita, with Twenty-Four Eyes (1954) and Floating Clouds (1955) being among her most noted films. [2] [3] [4]



Takamine and singer Taro Shoji in 1934 Hideko Takamine and Taro Shoji cropped.jpg
Takamine and singer Taro Shoji in 1934

Takamine was born in Hakodate, Hokkaidō, in 1924. At the age of four, following the death of her mother, she was placed in the care of her aunt in Tokyo. Her first role was in the Shochiku studio's 1929 film Mother (Haha), which brought her tremendous popularity as a child actor. [2] Many of the films of her early career were imitations of Shirley Temple films. [5]

After moving to the Toho studio in 1937, her dramatic roles in Kajirō Yamamoto's Tsuzurikata kyōshitsu (1938) and Horse (1941) brought her added fame as a girl star. [2] She toured as a singer to entertain Japanese troops and, after the war, sang for American occupation troops in Tokyo. [2] After initially appearing in a pro-union film, Those Who Make Tomorrow (1946), she became appalled by the rigid practices of the union's leaders and members and, during the post-war strikes at Toho, first joined a new union before moving to the new Shintoho studios in 1947. [6]

In 1950, she left Shintoho and became a freelance actress. [2] Her films with directors Keisuke Kinoshita and Mikio Naruse during the 1950s made her Japan's top star. Notable films of this decade include Kinoshita's satirical comedy Carmen Comes Home (1951), Japan's first feature length colour film, and the antiwar drama Twenty-Four Eyes (1954), and Naruse's Floating Clouds (1955) and When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960). [2]

She was especially favoured as leading actress by Naruse, appearing in 17 of his films between 1941 and 1966, which are considered "some of her finest performances" (Jasper Sharp), [7] with her "sensitive yet resourceful persona" proving ideal for "Naruse's suffering, persevering heroines" (Alexander Jacoby). [8] Film historian Donald Richie described the characters she portrayed as follows: "Like so many Japanese women then, they wanted more out of life, but couldn’t get it. The war may have been over, women found, but they weren’t better off. They were still fairly unhappy. So the kind of roles Takamine played fit the zeitgeist, may have even made that zeitgeist." Comparing Naruse and Kinoshita, Takamine explained: "Though different in style, they shared a common aversion to things that were not natural. What I tried to do was to be as natural as women we see in the news, but adding a touch of drama so that I would be even more real." [2]

She married writer-director Zenzo Matsuyama in 1955, but set a precedent by choosing not to give up her acting career, stating that she wanted to "create a new style of wife who has a job". [3] After retiring as an actress in 1979, she published her autobiography and several essay collections. [9] She died of lung cancer on 28 December 2010 at the age of 86. [2]

Selected Filmography

Tokyo Chorus (1931)
From left to right, Tokihiko Okada, Hideo Sugawara and Hideko Tokyo Chorus-1 1932.png
Tokyo Chorus (1931)
From left to right, Tokihiko Okada, Hideo Sugawara and Hideko
Carmen Comes Home (1951) Hideko Takamine as Carmen.jpg
Carmen Comes Home (1951)
Takamine in 1954 Hideko Takamine 01.jpg
Takamine in 1954
1929MotherHōtei NomuraFilm debut
1931 Tokyo Chorus Yasujirō Ozu
1938Tsuzurikata kyōshitsu Kajirō Yamamoto
1941 Hideko the Bus Conductor Okoma Mikio Naruse First film with Naruse
Horse Kajirō Yamamoto
1943 Ahen senso Masahiro Makino
1946 Those Who Make Tomorrow Takamine Akira Kurosawa
Hideo Sekigawa
Kajirō Yamamoto
Aru yo no tonosama Teinosuke Kinugasa
1949 Ginza kankan musume Koji Shima
1950 The Munekata Sisters Yasujirō Ozu
1951 Carmen Comes Home Okin alias Lily Carmen Keisuke Kinoshita First film with Kinoshita
1952 Lightning Mikio Naruse
Carmen's Pure Love CarmenKeisuke Kinoshita
1953 Where Chimneys Are Seen Heinosuke Gosho
The Wild Geese Otama Shirō Toyoda
1954 The Garden of Women Yoshie IzushiKeisuke Kinoshita
Twenty-Four Eyes Hisako ŌishiKeisuke Kinoshita
Somewhere Beneath the Wide Sky Masaki Kobayashi
1955 Floating Clouds Mikio Naruse
1956 Nagareru Mikio Naruse
A Wife's Heart Mikio Naruse
1957 Untamed Mikio Naruse
Times of Joy and Sorrow Kiyoko ArisawaKeisuke Kinoshita
1958 Rickshaw Man Yoshiko Yoshioka Hiroshi Inagaki
1960 When a Woman Ascends the Stairs Keiko YashiroMikio Naruse
Daughters, Wives and a Mother Mikio Naruse
The River Fuefuki OkeiKeisuke Kinoshita
1961 As a Wife, As a Woman Miho NishigakiMikio Naruse
Happiness of Us AloneAkiko KatayamaZenzo Matsuyama
The Human Condition: A Soldier's Prayer Masaki Kobayashi
Immortal Love Keisuke Kinoshita
1962 Burari bura-bura monogatari Zenzo Matsuyama
A Wanderer's Notebook Mikio Naruse
1963A Woman's StoryMikio Naruse
1964 Yearning Reiko MoritaMikio Naruse
1967The Doctor's Wife Yasuzo Masumura
1973 The Twilight Years Shirō Toyoda
1979Oh, My Son!Keisuke KinoshitaFinal film


Japan Academy Film Prize

Mainichi Film Concours for Best Actress

Blue Ribbon Award for Best Actress

Kinema Junpo Award for Best Actress

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  3. 1 2 Johnson, G. Allen (December 28, 2005). "Director Mikio Naruse retrospective takes insightful plunge into a postwar Japan in flux". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  4. Kirkup, James (11 October 2017). "Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama". electric-shadows.com. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
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  9. Kehr, Dave (3 January 2011). "Hideko Takamine, Lauded Japanese Actress, Dies at 86". New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2012.