Koto (1963) AKA Twin Sisters of Kyoto


Two twin girls are separated at birth. One grows up in a loving family. The other one doesn’t. They finally meet by complete accident on a town fair. No one ever told them about the other one so they begin familiarizing with each other.

Director: Noboru Nakamura. AKA 古都 / Twin Sisters of Kyoto.
Writers: Toshihide Gondo, Yasunari Kawabata (novel).
Stars: Shima Iwashita, Hiroyuki Nagato, Seiji Miyaguchi, Teruo Yoshida, Tamotsu Hayakawa, Eijirô Tôno, Yoshiko Nakamura, Michiyo Tamaki.

1964 Academy Awards – Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.


How would you rate this movie?

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  1. Vidor
    January 28, 2022

    Another Foreign Language Film nominee! Awesome.

  2. Paseante
    January 31, 2022

    Thank you very much! What a great actress Shima Iwashita was.
    Don’t you have Akane-Gumo (1967)?

    • Jon W.
      February 1, 2022

      I have it, this week I have a ton of movies to upload but will try to put it up next week 🙂

  3. Dennis Gierich
    February 1, 2022

    Based on the great novel by Nobel Prize laureate Yasunari Kawabata!

  4. Eric L
    February 2, 2022

    Thank you. Love Japanese films from that era. I have never seen this one. Will watch it tonight.

  5. October 8, 2022

    Very delicate, very subtle, very Japanese. A film about the reunion of separated sisters becomes a film about identity itself. There are no bad guys here (not even the shady general manager of the firm, who keeps two sets of books). There are only the suffering souls of two nice, well-meaning young ladies whose reunion gives them as much sorrow as joy. Iwashita is stunning: this is her youthful peak.

  6. Wolfgang Jahn
    February 14, 2024

    I wonder, is there any chance to see KII RIVER (1966) by Noboru Nakamura? Not necessarily on this site, although I am sure it would be a GREAT addition to rarefilmm.com. If anyone knows where I can watch it, please comment here.

  7. February 25, 2024

    I’ve seen hundreds of Japanese films and dozens by Ozu and Naruse and I found this film to be more beautiful, poetic and sensitively handled than any I’ve ever experienced before. I only discovered this film because I was researching the Foreign Language Film category and discovered three Japanese films nominated in the 1960s that, surprisingly, I’d never heard of before. The others are IMMORTAL LOVE (1961), directed by Kinoshita, and PORTRAIT OF CHIEKO (1967), directed, like this one, by Noboru Nakamura. In all my decades of studying Japanese film, I’d never heard of Nakamura before and I just found only brief references to him in two of Donald Richie’s seminal books on Japanese film, and no mention of this film or the other two Oscar nominees I cited. Nakamura deserves to be better known.

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