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Tokyo Story (1953)
"Tôkyô monogatari" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  13 March 1972 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 19,871 users  
Reviews: 110 user | 121 critic

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

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Title: Tokyo Story (1953)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Chieko Higashiyama ...
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 ...
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 impatient children, the film deepens into an unbearably moving meditation on mortality Written by Paul Watabe

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

trip | elderly | village | train | telegram | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 March 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tokyo Story  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Voted the greatest movie of all time in Sight & Sound's 2012 director's poll. See more »

Quotes

[as children get older, they drift away from their parents]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Godfather (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Things are the way that they are and it is perfect
21 April 2003 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See 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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