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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.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chieko Higashiyama ...
Nobuo Nakamura ...
Shirô Ôsaka ...
Hisao Toake ...
Teruko Nagaoka ...
Yone Hattori
Mutsuko Sakura ...
Oden-ya no onna
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 busy, 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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Inspired by the Leo McCarey film Make Way for Tomorrow (1937). Although 'Yasujiro Ozu' never saw the film, his scriptwriter 'Kogo Noda' did. 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 »


Tomi Hirayama: [saying good-bye at the train station] You were so nice to us, children. Now that we've seen you all, you need not come down, even if anything should happen to either one of us.
Shige Kaneko: Don't talk like that. This isn't a farewell.
Tomi Hirayama: I mean it. We live too far away.
See more »


Follows Late Spring (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

Very interesting movie however it needs some patience from the moviegoer
24 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Tokyo monogatari (or Tokyo Story) is a very human story. It contains a lot of everyday life which at times can make it difficult to follow since it may feel a little bit slow.

However who is patient gets rewarded. And Ozus way of telling this story is very quiet but effective. The images he produces and the very minimalist camera work creates a rhythm that sucks the viewer in and slowly opens him/her up for the sad but essential ending of this movie.

Ozu never tries to impose his story to the viewer. It looks like he follows his actors very disciplined and calm. This very structured and clear camera-work will alienate many modern moviegoers who are used to much more dynamic images. However lovers of purist cinema and fans of Aki Kaurismaki will probably love it.

Impressing also to see how close the everyday life of Japan in the mid 50s is to the western way of life.

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