This eccentric comedy of manners follows a love quadrangle centered on a kendo master (Tokihiko Okada), whose chauvinistic upholding of Japanese culture screeches to a halt when he falls for a progressive (but not too progressive) office worker. He shaves his beard (after protesting memorably that "all great men have beards!" including Lincoln, Darwin and Marx), puts on a suit and learns the Western ways of wooing a woman, attracting a haughty aristocrat and a gangster floozy in the process. The three very different women seem to be presented as three feminine responses to the Western modernization of Japan, with the office girl being the ideal (conversant in Western ways while wrapped fetchingly in a kimono). Ozu's often hilarious depictions of Okada's romantic entanglements owe a good deal to Lubitsch, but his sensitivity to cultural disparity is uniquely his.
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