IMDb > I Was Born, But... (1932)
Otona no miru ehon - Umarete wa mita keredo
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I Was Born, But... (1932) More at IMDbPro »Otona no miru ehon - Umarete wa mita keredo (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   2,525 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Akira Fushimi (scenario)
Geibei Ibushiya (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for I Was Born, But... on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 June 1932 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Two young brothers become the leaders of a gang of kids in their neighborhood. Their father is an office... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
User Reviews:
Funny, charming and lots more See more (19 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Tatsuo Saitô ... Chichi
Tomio Aoki ... Keiji (as Tokkan-Kozou)
Mitsuko Yoshikawa ... Haha (Yoshi's Wife)
Hideo Sugawara ... Ryoichi
Takeshi Sakamoto ... Juuyaku (Iwasaki, Executive)
Teruyo Hayami ... Fujin (Iwasaki's wife)
Seiichi Katô ... Kodomo (Taro) (as Seiichi Kato)
Shoichi Kofujita ... Kozou (Delivery boy)
Seiji Nishimura ... Sensei (Teacher)
Zentaro Iijima ... Asobi nakama (Friend)
Shôtarô Fujimatsu ... Asobi nakama (Friend)
Masao Hayama ... Asobi nakama (Friend)
Michio Sato ... Asobi nakama (Friend)
Kuniyasu Hayashi ... Asobi nakama (Friend)
Akio Nomura ... Asobi nakama (Friend)
Teruaki Ishiwatari ... Asobi nakama (Friend)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Chishû Ryû ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Yasujirô Ozu 
 
Writing credits
Akira Fushimi (scenario)

Geibei Ibushiya (adaptation)

Yasujirô Ozu (idea) (as James Maki)

Original Music by
Donald Sosin 
 
Cinematography by
Hideo Shigehara 
 
Film Editing by
Hideo Shigehara 
 
Art Direction by
Takashi Kono 
 
Set Decoration by
Yoshiro Kimura 
Takejiro Tsunoda 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kenkichi Hara .... assistant director
Akira Kiyosuke .... assistant director
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Yûharu Atsuta .... assistant camera
Masao Irie .... assistant cinematographer
Toshimitsu Nakajima .... lighting engineer
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Otona no miru ehon - Umarete wa mita keredo" - Japan (original title)
"A Picture Book for Grown-ups: I was Born, But..." - Japan (English title) (long title)
"Children of Tokyo" - USA
See more »
Runtime:
100 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in I Was Born, But... (2004)See more »

FAQ

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Funny, charming and lots more, 16 March 2003
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

To say that I Was Born, But…is funny and charming is like saying The Godfather is a crime drama. It is that but much more. Featuring outstanding child performances, this silent film by the great Yasijiro Ozu is both a satire on the rigid structure of Japanese society and a coming-of-age story about children learning to live in a less than perfect world. It is an enduring masterpiece that has maintained its universal appeal over the years.

In the film, eight-year old Keichi (Tomio Aoki) and his ten-year old brother Ryoichi (Hideo Sugawara) come to live in a small town in the suburbs of Tokyo after their father, Mr. Yoshii (Tatsuo Saito), an office clerk, receives a promotion. The transition to the suburbs, however, is not smooth. Neighborhood bullies taunt the boys, but they soon gain the upper hand with the help of a delivery boy (Shoichi Kojufita) who sends the main bully home crying. One of the neighborhood boys is Taro (Kato), the son of their father's employer Mr. Iwasaki (Takeshi Sakamoto) who seems to always be dressed in a black suit, befitting his station in life. The boys' behavior mirrors the adults with their games and power strategies including the very funny "resurrection" ritual.

The two boys' are in awe of their father and consider him great; however, their loyalty is tested when they see him clowning and acting like a buffoon in front of his employer while watching home movies at Iwasaki's home. Mr. Yoshii explains later that as Iwasaki owns the company where he works, he has to treat him with respect. In disgust the boys ask if they will have to bow to their friend Taro, the boss's son, when he grows up. Resentful after a spanking and dissatisfied with the answers they have received to their questions, they go on a hunger strike but it is short lived. After the father talks with them about the meaning of being an employee, everyone learns something about the realities of life.

Ozu seems to endorse acceptance of the status quo but, on reflection, it seems he is merely making observations rather than judgments. He is critical of the father for kowtowing to his employer, yet also sympathetic with the realities the family must face. The children have lost their innocence and must accept the fact that life isn't fair, but they also see that happiness can be achieved by rising above their prescribed status. Sadly, many of the boys shown in the movie had to fight and die in a bloody war only ten years later, in part a consequence of the rigid social structure Ozu satirized in the film.

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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The only silent film I've seen that I've genuinely enjoyed FilmKoala
Music recommendations Sanjuro-15
Anybody speak Japanese? ericrahn
Film a revelation to me! *spoilers* SusanJL
DVD? xbhaskarx
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