5 user 2 critic

Himitsu (1999)

A man is shocked to find out that after a deadly car accident involving his wife and daughter, his wife died, but her mind somehow got transferred into their daughter's body.


Yôjirô Takita


Keigo Higashino (based on the novel by), Hiroshi Saitô (scenario)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Ryôko Hirosue ... Monami / Naoko-daughter and Mother
Kaoru Kobayashi ... Heisuke / Husband and father
Ken Kaneko Ken Kaneko ... Fumio Kajikawa
Yuriko Ishida ... Taeko / Teacher
Hideaki Itô ... Haruki Soma
Tomoe Shinohara Tomoe Shinohara ... Kuniko Kimura
Kayoko Kishimoto Kayoko Kishimoto ... Naoko Sugita
Rie Shibata Rie Shibata ... Kazuko Yoshimoto
Ren Osugi ... Hiroyuki Kajikawa (as Ren Ôsugi)
Hatsuo Yamaya Hatsuo Yamaya ... Naoko / Mother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kimihiro Reizei Kimihiro Reizei ... Tomio


A man is shocked to find out that after a deadly car accident involving his wife and daughter, his wife died, but her mind somehow got transferred into their daughter's body.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy


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Release Date:

25 September 1999 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Secret See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Remade in English as The Secret (2007). See more »


Remade as The Secret (2007) See more »


Tenshi no tameiki
Performed by Mariya Takeuchi
Music and Lyrics by Mariya Takeuchi
Produced and Composed by Tatsurô Yamashita
Warner Music Japan
See more »

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User Reviews

A whimsical cross between "The X-Files" and classic weepy family dorama fare
19 March 2002 | by regi0n2fanSee all my reviews

"Himitsu" stars the Waseda-educated Hirosue Ryoko ("Oyajii", "Long Vacation", "Wasabi") in a poignant paranormal family dorama wherein salaryman Sugita Heisuke (Kobayashi Kaoru) loses his wife Naoko in a ski bus accident that also injures his daughter. Strangely, however, his daughter Monami(Hirosue) has assumed the personality of his late wife - or rather the latter has assumed the physical embodiment of the former. At any rate, the main premise of the movie involves the sticky little "situations" that present themselves when your wife suddenly becomes your daughter (relatively speaking). For example, the one-time housewife must now come up to speed in her daughter's high school classes, including a sudden immersion into her daughter's social circles and a mild annoyance at seeing her math teacher (cameo by the lovely Ishida Yuriko) flirting with her dad/husband. Of course (much to the torment of the Ryo-chan fanboyz, no doubt), there is the issue of sleeping arrangements (!) at home. Just how far can a guy go now that this person who is essentially his wife has a twenty-something year facelift and is the frustrated dream date of more than half the Japanese male population? Okay, I've exaggerated, but the director seems to delight in making the audience wonder what the outcome will be. One of the most memorable scenes takes place when Heisuke intercepts his wife/daughter's phone calls from an interested sempai in the school sailing club who asks her out. Torn between protecting his daughter and defending his marriage, he confronts the young man in public, declaring that he cannot date his daughter because they are from outer space (see, X-Files?). An interesting yet convenient facet of the movie is the close relationship between mother and daughter that is implied early in the movie and reinforced later. Very little is presented about Monami per se, but it is indirectly through Naoko's eyes that we see what kind of a person she is, and how the close relationship with her mother makes it that much easier for Naoko to act the part of Monami when needed. Overall, the scene composition and musical score work very well together and what the movie lacks in special effects it more than makes up for in weepy sentimentality and the cathartic ending. The "TBS"-esque feel so prevalent in the countless TBS trendy dramas is quite apparent, and this might not sit well with some viewers, but I didn't mind it. Hirosue Ryoko gives a rather satisfying performance in her dual roles as both carefree yet dutiful mother and semi-slacker daughter. My only complaint is that the movie left me feeling cheated out of a final scene with Ishida Yuriko, but I guess that wouldn't serve to advance the plot significantly.

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