8.2/10
41,613
138 user 135 critic

Tôkyô monogatari (1953)

AL | | Drama | 3 November 1953 (Japan)
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)
Reviews
Top Rated Movies #174 | 3 wins. See more awards »

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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 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

An elderly couple journey to Tokyo to visit their children and are confronted by indifference, ingratitude and selfishness. When the parents are packed off to a resort by their busy, impatient children, the film deepens into an unbearably moving meditation on mortality. Written by Paul Watabe

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the daily lives of ordinary people, a sense of deep affection wells up. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

AL | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

3 November 1953 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Tokyo Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Osaka, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shôchiku Eiga 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

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. 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

Shukichi Hirayama: [Looking at sunrise the morning after Tomi died] It was such a beautiful dawn.
See more »

Connections

Follows Early Summer (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Things are the way that they are and it is perfect
21 April 2003 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

Ozu's Tokyo Story is a serene and contemplative look at the breakdown in the relationship between grown children and their elderly parents shortly after World War II. The film concerns itself with problems many of us must face: the struggle to maintain a self-fulfilling life independent of parental expectations, the changes in relationships wrought by time, and the inevitability of separation and loss. Ozu does not point the finger at either parents or children but, like many of his films, offers a thoughtful meditation on the transitory nature of life.

As the film opens, we see an empty street, empty train tracks and an empty pier, perhaps an early indicator of the sense of loss that pervades the film. An elderly father, Shukishi Hirayama (Chishu Ryu) and his wife Tomi (Chieko Higashiyama) are preparing to travel by train to visit their children in Tokyo. When they arrive, they are met with indifference by daughter Shige (Haruko Sugimura), their grandchildren Minoru (Zen Murase) and Isamu (Mitsuhiro Mori), and son Koichi (So Yamamura), a Tokyo pediatrician. When Koichi is called to visit a patient and Shige cannot leave her beauty salon, the Harayamas postpone a sightseeing trip and start to complain that they expected the children would be living in more comfortable circumstances. Their widowed daughter-in-law Noriko (Setsuko Hara), however, welcomes them warmly and gives them the experience of being appreciated.

To give themselves some breathing room, the children pool their resources and send their parents to Atami, a health spa. Their visit, however, is cut short when the noise and crowds make going home seem like a better alternative. When they get back to Tokyo, Shige tells them she has a meeting scheduled at her house and Tomi decides to spend the night with Noriko. Shukishi, in a very humorous scene, goes out drinking with old friends and shows up late at night at Shige's house completely drunk. When the elderly parents return to Onomichi, the mother suddenly becomes very ill and the entire family, including youngest son Keizo from Osaka, must come and visit them. The moment of epiphany comes when the youngest daughter Kyoko (Kyoko Kagawa) asks Noriko whether or not life is disappointing. Her answer mirrors Ozu's concept of mono no aware, that we cannot avoid the sadness of life, but her beaming face tells us that things are just the way that they are and that it is perfect.


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