7.9/10
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Nagaya shinshiroku (1947)

In post-war Japan, a man brings a lost boy to his tenement. No one wants to take the child for even one night; finally, a sour widow, Tané, does. The next day, complaining, she takes the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Chôko Iida ...
Hôhi Aoki ...
Eitarô Ozawa ...
Father
Mitsuko Yoshikawa ...
Kikuko
Reikichi Kawamura ...
Tamekichi
Hideko Mimura ...
Okiku
...
Tashiro
...
Kihachi Kawayoshi
Eiko Takamatsu ...
Tome
...
Photographer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yûichi Kôno
Seiji Nishimura
Fujiyo Osafune
Yoshino Tani
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Storyline

In post-war Japan, a man brings a lost boy to his tenement. No one wants to take the child for even one night; finally, a sour widow, Tané, does. The next day, complaining, she takes the boy to his neighborhood and finds his father has gone to Tokyo; it seems the boy has been abandoned. Tané wants to leave him there, but he follows her home. The next morning he disappears fearing a scolding after wetting the bed. Tané realizes she likes having him there, searches for him, and keeps him when he's found that night. Within days, she considers him her son. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

boy | japan | post war | widow | tenement | See All (16) »

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Drama

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Release Date:

20 May 1947 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Historia de un vecindario  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Referenced in Ikite wa mita keredo - Ozu Yasujirô den (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Languid postwar Ozu
18 March 2012 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Postwar Ozu, and by contrast to prewar films, little has changed; clear, composed eye, quietly enduring lives, even in the face of near-complete destruction.

Once more, a primary point lies in the edifying fable of the thing. The father is absent, authority if you will, core social integrity, always a looming absence in Ozu, and the orphaned kid will have to rely on the fundamental kindness of the world. Of course that world rises to the occasion, overcomes ego, harshness, in this case no doubt fostered by the hard reality of the times. Instead of scavenging alleys for nails to piece back together destroyed homes, it is asserted that selfless love should take care of that.

This is asserted in a clumsily unsubtle way, straight to the camera. Ozu was back at Shochiku from wartorn Manchuria, and it should not be underestimated, so were many Japanese, back from whatever gruelling role they were forced to play in the war.

To better understand this conservative need for closure, you have to note the way Ozu closes the film. The woman wanting to take care of another orphaned kid is pointed to the direction of Saigo's statue in Ueno Park - where it stands to this day. Saigo was a popular hero famous in conventional history for the last stand of the old samurai faction against plans for a modernized Japan. The ill-advised Tom Cruise film portrays the events.

This is enough to give us pause. Here's a director who had been unerringly forward-looking 15 years ago, had fervently embraced modern foreign film and widely referenced Western mores, no longer a youthful cinephile but sobered from the experience of war, who points for inspiration to this paragon of samurai virtue and ethos. Japan might as well forget the bold experiment with an empire that ended in such humiliating defeat, and look back instead to the simpler times when feudal lords and their police maintained coherence of the world.

This is a pity. The eye is clear but dulled by emotion, making for languid flow but without insight. Japan would have to wait another 10 years for the next generation of forward-looking filmmakers to look deeper into the ruins.


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