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Childhood Days (1990)
"Shonen jidai" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  12 January 1990 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 107 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 2 critic

Bombing during World War II resulted in whole urban populations fleeing to the countryside, and this created a meeting of urban and rural cultures. Shinji (a young boy evacuated from Tokyo)... See full summary »

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Title: Childhood Days (1990)

Childhood Days (1990) on IMDb 7/10

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15 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Tetsuya Fujita ...
Shinji Kazama
Yuji Horioka ...
Takeshi Ohara
Katsuhisa Yamazaki ...
Futoshi Tanabe
Noritake Kobinata ...
Kensuke Sudo
Atsuko Koyama ...
Minako Saiki
...
Shizue Kazama
Toshiyuki Hosokawa ...
Shusaku Kazama
Chôichirô Kawarasaki ...
Tatsuo Kazama
Kazuyo Mita ...
Shige Kazama
Nobuko Sendô ...
Akiko Tanabe
Mitsue Suzuki ...
Maki Kazama
Shinsuke Ashida ...
Principal
Hideji Ôtaki ...
Stationmaster
Kyosen Ôhashi ...
Photographer
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Storyline

Bombing during World War II resulted in whole urban populations fleeing to the countryside, and this created a meeting of urban and rural cultures. Shinji (a young boy evacuated from Tokyo) and his new schoolmates (who are villagers) don't exactly know what is going on in the war. They see the B-29 bombers and the glow of cities on fire, but the problems of being separated from one's mother and surviving among one's peers loom larger than international politics. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

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Drama

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12 January 1990 (USA)  »

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Childhood Days  »

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User Reviews

 
Unsentimental view of childhood in war-era Japan
11 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I doubt many non-Japanese viewers will ever see this movie, but I recommend it if a subtitled version is available. Admittedly I am a bit biased, as I was working as a guest English teacher in the rural Japanese prefecture of Toyama when this movie was being filmed there, and in a way I became attached to the area and my life there in somewhat the same way as the displaced boy Shinji did in the story.

The film gives a glimpse into life for ordinary country people during the war, though perhaps it is a too-rosy depiction. Japanese adults who would have been the same age as the fictional boys during the final months of the war told me tales of greater hunger and deprivation than this film even hints at. But the more important aspect of the story is the complex and often harsh society of children. I wonder whether the filmmaker intended the world of the village boys to represent something of a microcosm of adult society? If I can ever find a version of this film subtitled in English perhaps I will be able to appreciate the nuances much better than my very basic Japanese allows.


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