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Tokyo Story (1953)

Tôkyô monogatari (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 13 March 1972 (USA)
An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director:

Yasujirô Ozu

Writers:

Kôgo Noda (scenario), Yasujirô Ozu (scenario)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chishû Ryû ... Shukichi Hirayama
Chieko Higashiyama ... Tomi Hirayama
Setsuko Hara ... Noriko Hirayama
Haruko Sugimura ... Shige Kaneko
Sô Yamamura ... Koichi Hirayama
Kuniko Miyake ... Fumiko Hirayama - his wife
Kyôko Kagawa ... Kyôko Hirayama
Eijirô Tôno ... Sanpei Numata
Nobuo Nakamura ... Kurazo Kaneko
Shirô Ôsaka Shirô Ôsaka ... Keizo Hirayama
Hisao Toake Hisao Toake ... Osamu Hattori
Teruko Nagaoka Teruko Nagaoka ... Yone Hattori
Mutsuko Sakura Mutsuko Sakura ... Oden-ya no onna
Toyo Takahashi ... Rinka no saikun (as Toyoko Takahashi)
Tôru Abe Tôru Abe ... Tetsudou-shokuin
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Storyline

Elderly couple Shukishi and Tomi Hirayama live in the small coastal village of Onomichi, Japan with their youngest daughter, schoolteacher Kyoko Hirayama. Their other three surviving adult children, who they have not seen in quite some time, live either in Tokyo or Osaka. As such, Shukishi and Tomi make the unilateral decision to have an extended visit in Tokyo with their children, pediatrician Koichi Hirayama and beautician Shige Kaneko, and their respective families (which includes two grandchildren). In transit, they make an unexpected stop in Osaka and stay with their other son, Keiso Hirayama. All of their children treat the visit more as an obligation than a want, each trying to figure out what to do with their parents while they continue on with their own daily lives. At one point, they even decide to ship their parents off to an inexpensive resort at Atami Hot Springs rather than spend time with them. The only offspring who makes a concerted effort on this trip is Noriko ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

a masterwork by OZU See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

13 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tokyo Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Osaka, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For a film that sides with the parents, it's not so surprising to learn that Yasujiro Ozu never married and lived dutifully with his mother all his life. See more »

Goofs

At timer mark 1:45:46, when the children are visiting their mother at home and leave the room to talk with the father in an adjoining room, just as they sit on the floor, you see the shadow of the boom-mic just drop into the scene and back out again, just over the sons head on the top right of the screen. This shadow is well into the frame against the edge of what appears to be a bookshelf and should not be considered a masking mistake of the projectionist. See more »

Quotes

Tomi Hirayama: [speaking to her little grandson Isamu]
  • What are you going to be when you grow up? A doctor like your father?

[Isamu doesn't answer and continues to pick grass]
Tomi Hirayama: By the time you become a doctor, I wonder if I'll still be here.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Extraordinary Portrayal of Real Life
14 July 2004 | by spqrclaudiusSee all my reviews

A fantastic film that belies the simplicity of its plot, Tokyo Story is the tale of a vacation gone sadly awry, with an elderly man and woman visiting from the countryside pushed to the sidelines by their busy children in the city. The younger generation (and by extension the "new" Japan) turns its back on the family from which it arose- because of selfishness, because of necessity, or because it's simply the way of the world. The movie provides no easy answers- its melancholy ambiguity is part of its charm. Whatever the case, Ozu delights in portraying the details of everyday life. The emotional resonances of this movie are extraordinary, and some shots (a child picking flowers, an old couple framed by the sea, a woman sitting forlornly at her work desk) are enough to give a sensitive film-goer the shivers. Despite the testimony of some critics, the film is not totally devoid of melodramatic elements (some stock characters and cloying musical motifs spring readily to mind), but the film is founded upon such an obvious love and respect for the importance of real-world interactions that it's hard not to be anything other than enthralled by it.


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