When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (, Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki?) is a 1960 Japanese drama film directed by Mikio Naruse. Keiko, a young widow, becomes a bar hostess in Ginza to make ends meet. Now 30, she must decide whether to open her own place or get married. She struggles to maintain her independence in a male-dominated society. ' She is a widow beginning to lose her looks. She has dependents, including a feckless brother and his young son, who needs an operation. Every decision carries a financial consequence. Keiko is obliged to live luxuriously and to invest in expensive kimonos. If she sleeps with a customer, she risks losing her good name. She projects ease and grace but the audience knows how tormented she really is - they also know how much rent she has to pay and the cost of her nephew's operation.'