Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Floating Clouds (1955)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Floating Clouds (1955, Jp.) (aka Ukigumo)

In director Mikio Naruse's romantic yet tragic and depressing social melodrama (amour fou), told in flashbacks, and set in the years following WWII:

  • the main character: Yukiko Koda (Hideko Takamine), a young and timid Japanese typist-secretary who had just been repatriated and returned from French Indochina to be resettled in a devastated and defeated Tokyo, Japan
  • the scene of her visit to the Tokyo home of womanizing, opportunistic forester and agricultural surveyor Kengo Tomioka (Masayuki Mori), who was married to an aging, sickly wife Kuniko (Chieko Nakakita) - Yukiko hoped Kengo would fulfill his promise to divorce Kuniko and marry her
  • the flashbacks to their love affair in Japanese-occupied Da Lat (French Indochina) during WWII, and her continued obsessive search, blind devotion and hopeless unrequited love for him in subsequent years
  • Yukiko's life of struggle to survive (symbolic of Japan's own post-war challenges) - including rape from her despicable brother-in-law Sugio Iba (Isao Yamagata), prostitution as a "hostess" in Tokyo's red-light district, an affair with an American GI (Roy James) and with a rich man, and continued rejection from the promiscuous, fickle and half-hearted Kengo Tomioka
  • the many scenes of Yukiko's and Kengo's emotionally detached and aimless walks or wanderings (as if floating), as they discussed their concerns as a co-dependent couple
  • the scene of gravely-ill Yukiko's ultimate death on the rugged and rainy southern island of Yakushima when there was finally some hope (but dashed) that Kengo might find love with her - and his tearful denouement over Yukiko’s lifeless body

Typist-Secretary Yukiko Koda

Yukiko with Kengo

Detached, Aimless Wanderings


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z