Lightning (1952 film)

Lightning (稲妻, Inazuma) is a 1952 black-and-white Japanese film directed by Mikio Naruse. It is based on a novel by Fumiko Hayashi.

Japanese movie poster featuring Hideko Takamine
Directed byMikio Naruse
Written byFumiko Hayashi (novel)
Sumie Tanaka
Music byIchirō Saitō
Release date
  • 9 October 1952 (1952-10-09)[1]
Running time
87 min.


23-year-old Kiyoko works as a tour guide in Tokyo and lives with her single mother and her three older adult siblings. Her brother Kasuke is an unemployed war veteran and, while everyone in her family pushes Kiyoko to find a man to marry, there is little pressure on him to find a wife. Her oldest sister Nuiko wants Kiyoko to date the baker Tsunakichi, who secretly is her own lover. From her siblings, Kiyoko is closest to her sister Mitsuko. When Mitsuko's husband dies, his mistress and her newborn child come to the house to ask Mitsuko for money from her husband's life insurance. Also Nuiko, Kasuke and the mother want to borrow money from Mitsuko for their own pursuits. Mitsuko eventually decides to use the money partly for her husband's illegitimate son and for opening up her own coffee shop.

Kiyoko becomes frustrated with the tensions in her family and being pushed to date Tsunakichi, in whom she is not interested at all. She moves out and falls in love with her neighbour, who plays the piano. She feels sad over having left the family, but feels like it was the right thing to do. When her mother comes to visit, both cry over her having moved out and Kiyoko watches a thunderstorm passing by. Kiyoko offers to buy her mother new summer clothes and walks her home.



The film won 1953 Blue Ribbon Awards for best director (Mikio Naruse), best film (Mikio Naruse) and for best supporting actress Chieko Nakakita. It also won Mainichi Film Concours for best film score by Ichirō Saitō and again for best supporting actress Chieko Nakakita.[2]


  1. (in Japanese) accessed 13 June 2009
  2. Awards for Inazuma. IMDB, accessed 13 June 2009.

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