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Floating Clouds (1955)

Ukigumo (original title)
A tragic social drama set in post war Japan and concerns a lonely woman trying to find purpose and stability in a devastated Tokyo.


Mikio Naruse


Fumiko Hayashi (novel), Yôko Mizuki (adaptation)
9 wins. See more awards »


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Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hideko Takamine ... Yukiko Koda
Masayuki Mori ... Kengo Tomioka
Mariko Okada Mariko Okada ... Sei Mukai
Isao Yamagata ... Sugio Iba
Chieko Nakakita Chieko Nakakita ... Kuniko Tomioka
Daisuke Katô Daisuke Katô ... Seikichi Mukai
Mayuri Mokushô Mayuri Mokushô ... Nomiya no musume
Noriko Sengoku Noriko Sengoku ... Yakushima no okaasan
Fuyuki Murakami Fuyuki Murakami ... Futsuin no shikensho-chou
Heihachirô Ôkawa Heihachirô Ôkawa ... Isha
Nobuo Kaneko ... Futsuin no shoin - Suitou
Roy James Roy James ... American soldier (as Roi H. Jêmusu)
Kan Hayashi Kan Hayashi
Akira Tani Akira Tani ... Shinja
Seijirô Onda Seijirô Onda


A tragic social drama set in post war Japan and concerns a lonely woman trying to find purpose and stability in a devastated Tokyo.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

6 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nubes flotantes See more »

Filming Locations:

Tokyo, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ranked number 95 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018. See more »


References Going My Way (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

The More Miserable They Are, The More Sincere
8 June 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Hideko Takamine and Masayuki Mori had an affair in Indo-China during the Second World War. Now they have returned a conquered Japan, he to his wife and she to nothing. But they still love each other, although she more than he.

The idea of a woman sacrificing herself for a man, unworthy though he be -- as all men are -- in a "He'll be sorry when I'm dead!" mood, is certainly not unique to Japanese cinema, although Western culture tends to tack on a "Reader, I married him" happy ending. Even so, I often blink and tell myself "I give them six weeks." Either that, or it's MarySue fanfiction of the bleariest sort.

In short, this strikes me as what used to be called shopgirl fiction, piffle, and unworthy of Naruse, whose narratives of downtrodden women suffering in a misogynistic Japan speak of real problems, real anguish. Yes, he gave this movie his usual attention to detail. Yes, Hideko Takamine gives one of her sterling performances, and yes, Masayuki Mori gives a performance that, like many a Naruse film, smacks less of sympathy for the downtrodden than misandry. But piffle is piffle, and it's only by remembering that film is first and foremost commercial art, that this makes sense; it's a shopgirl movie from a novel by Fumiko Hayashi (1903-1951).

She was born the daughter of a poor peddler -- somehow "poor" is always attached to the noun, as if we think of guys who have to tramp hither and yon to sell their cheap wares, as eccentric millionaires. She tried to commit suicide on several occasions. By the end of the Second World War, she was Japan's top novelist; government-sponsored trips to China in which she reported that things were great kept her in the public eye. This was the fifth novel of hers that Naruse had made into a movie, and those are also highly regarded. I like the ones I've seen a lot, particularly MESHED.

This one, however, is shopgirl piffle, even though it is shopgirl piffle of the highest order.

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