Hideko the Bus-Conductor

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Hideko, the Bus Conductor (秀子の車掌さん, Hideko no Shasho-san), based on the short story "Okomasan" by Masuji Ibuse, is a 1941 Japanese film directed by Mikio Naruse. It is a short film of 54 minutes.


Okoma, a young lady working as a conductor with a bus company in Kofu, Yamanashi, has an idea for her bus that could avert the dwindling number of passengers. She asks the visiting author Ikawa to write for her a commentary to the local sites that she can read out to her passengers as they travel through the countryside. However, they are out on their practice run, when ...


Hideko Takamine, in the principal role as Okoma, was already a famous film star for her childhood roles, and the title of the film refers to her name rather than that of the character. This was the first film that Naruse, who had experience with literary adaptations, made with Takamine. Most of the film is shot on location in Kofu.

This was the last film that Naruse made before Japan declared war in December 1941. The world presented in the film, however, is peaceful and pleasant, far removed from Japanese people's life at the time of shortages and censorship.

Naruse scholar Catherine Russell has described this film as "a remarkable film about a young woman 'coming out' as a professional, articulate, speaking subject."[1]


This film has not been released on DVD.


  1. ^ Catherine Russell, The Cinema of Naruse Mikio: Women and Japanese Modernity (Duke University Press, 2008), ISBN 978-0-8223-4312-7, p. 161. Excerpt available at Google Books.

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