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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.



(scenario), (scenario)
4,805 ( 186)

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


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 impatient children, the film deepens into an unbearably moving meditation on mortality. Written by Paul Watabe

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 March 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tokyo Story  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


American cinema expert Donald Richie took Satyajit Ray to see the film. Ray was overcome with emotion by the end. See more »


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 »


Kyoko: Isn't life disappointing?
Noriko: [smiles] Yes, it is.
See more »


Referenced in Bento Monogatari (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

A Classic
5 November 2003 | by (Chester, England) – See all my reviews

It was only last week that i saw this film for the first time, and i instantly loved it. It perfectly sums up the feelings from post war Japan, and the loss of values the community had to deal with. Our sympathies are instantly placed with the older generation, who are symbolic of the traditional values, while we see the younger generation as selfish, and too busy to spend time with their parents. We have a backward view of change and progress not necessarilly being so

Ozu shot the film from a waist height viewpoint, which to the traditional Japanese viewer respresents the view of someone below eye level sitting on a mat. This was the pose of the onlooker, and this constantly reminds us that the film is under the gaze, and we should take note. Like traditional Japanese cinema the camera does not move. Panning is replaced by clever cutting, and the mis-en-scene is very artistic. Using the foreground and background very cleverly to show film as an art in its purest form.

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