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Kurosawa's own artwork
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Produced by Yuzo Irie
Yo Yamamoto
Hisao Kurosawa
Written by Akira Kurosawa
Ishirō Honda (uncredited)
Hyakken Uchida (essays)
Starring Tatsuo Matsumura
Kyōko Kagawa
Hisashi Igawa
George Tokoro
Music by Shinichirō Ikebe
Distributed by Toho
Release date(s) April 17, 1993
Running time 134 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Budget US$11,900,000

Madadayo (まあだだよ Mādadayo ?) is a 1993 Japanese film. It is the thirtieth and final film to be completed by Akira Kurosawa. It was screened out of competition at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.[1]



The main story of the film is based on the life of a Japanese academic and author, Hyakken Uchida (1889–1971). The film opens with him resigning as professor of German, in the period immediately before the Second World War. The plot of the film is centered on his relationship with his former students, who care for him in his old age. The title, Not Yet in English, is an allusion to an ancient Japanese legend mentioned in one scene of the film, of an old man who refuses to die. This story is constantly referred to in the movie, as every year on the old man's birthday, his students throw him a party in which they all ask him, "Mou ii kai?" ("Are you ready?"). He responds by drinking a large ceremonial glass of beer and shouting "Mada dayo!" ("Not yet!"), implying that death may be near, but life still goes on. The movie also covers the events that transpire in between these birthdays, such as his moving into a new house, his discovery of (and loss of) a beloved house cat, etc. As the years progress, the annual celebrations shift from a fraternity party atmosphere to a gathering of families, and the ceremonial large glass of beer that Uchida drinks changes as well, but he always completes his full glass.

Other uses

Madadayo is also the title of a collection of posthumously published essays by Uchida, which forms, together with his other autobiographical works, the background material for the film's screenplay . The portrayal of Uchida in the film might be interpreted as a metaphor for Japan of the Meiji, Taishō and early Shōwa periods, trying to cope with the fast changing world of the later Shōwa period.

Romanization and usage

The official romanization of まあだだよ is not madadayo but mādadayo (the additional あ "a" sound after ま "ma" draws it into a long 'a'). The meaning of the two spellings is the same except that the latter is an expression Japanese children use in the game tag. This usage shows the character with Uchida's humour.

End Credits

The cloudy-sky artwork during the end credits sequence was painted by the writer/director Akira Kurosawa and is coupled with Antonio Vivaldi's L'estro Armonico Op. 3, Concerto No. 9.

Home video

English-subtitled DVDs have been released by Winstar in the U.S., Madman in Australia, Yume Pictures in the UK, and Mei Ah in Hong Kong. A Blu-ray edition, without English subtitles, is available in Japan as part of a box set with Rashomon, Ran, and The Quiet Duel.[1]


External links

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