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An Inn in Tokyo (1935)

Tôkyô no yado (original title)
Unemployed Kihachi and his two sons struggle to make ends meet. But that doesn't keep Kihachi from wooing single mother Otaka.


Yasujirô Ozu




Credited cast:
Takeshi Sakamoto ... Kihachi
Yoshiko Okada Yoshiko Okada ... Otaka
Chôko Iida ... Otsune
Tomio Aoki Tomio Aoki ... Zenko
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kazuko Ojima Kazuko Ojima ... Kuniko
Chishû Ryû ... Police man
Takayuki Suematsu Takayuki Suematsu ... Masako
Learn more

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Unemployed Kihachi and his two sons struggle to make ends meet. But that doesn't keep Kihachi from wooing single mother Otaka.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

child | mother | See All (2) »




Did You Know?


This movie is one of the last prewar films featuring the actress Yoshiko Okada. In addition to Yasujirô Ozu, with whom she made three films, Okada acted in important films with Mikio Naruse, Hiroshi Shimizu and Yasujirô Shimazu. A theater as well as film actress, Okada fell in love with a well-known stage director, the Communist Ryokichi Sugimoto, though both were married to other partners, at a time when Japan was becoming increasing fascist. In early January, 1938, the pair somehow managed to enter the Soviet Union together, seeking political and artistic freedom. Unfortunately, their arrival coincided with a government crackdown on Japanese nationals living in the USSR, even those who professed to be leftists. Both Okada and Sugimoto were captured and tortured. He was then executed and she was sent to a gulag for 10 years. Upon release, she survived partly through translation work. She was eventually allowed to direct theater again, and in 1962, she even co-directed a Soviet film, 10000 malchikov (1962) (with Boris Buneev). In the mid-1970s, Okada, now in her seventies, was allowed to return to Japan, where she resumed her career as an elderly character actress. In the mid-1980s, during the time of perestroika, she returned to the Soviet Union, and died there at the age of 89 in 1992. See more »


Featured in A Story of Children and Film (2013) See more »

User Reviews

A Humbling Poverty Drama
22 September 2016 | by thinbeachSee all my reviews

A classic exercise for one with writers block is to pick a location, then build a story around it. I haven't read anything to suggest Ozu was suffering from writers block at the time, but that is the way much of 'An Inn in Tokyo' plays out, with a good two thirds of the story occurring in the empty fields outside factories. The fields are bare bar for unkempt shin high grass, and old bits of machinery, mostly performing the role of seats, strewn about, with towers and cranes and billowing smoke always looming in the background - a symbol of dirty prosperity amongst the otherwise barren landscape. And who does Ozu put in these fields? Why a father and two sons of course, which will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his other silent work - it seems to be his special subject. The story plays out like a groundhog day - the man and his sons have no money, and wander the fields from factory to factory looking for work, filling their time between rejections by sitting in the fields and having the same conversations as the previous day - different variations of, 'Are you hungry?" What little money they do have, his sons blow on buying a nice hat they saw another boy with, before losing their fathers rucksack. It all looks nigh on hopeless before a chance encounter with a past friend at an inn in Tokyo finds him some work, and offers a floor to sleep on. They befriend a fellow jobless woman and her daughter, unselfishly sharing food with them, before the story takes a dramatic and heartbreaking (albeit not unpredictable) turn when the daughter gets sick, and the question of all adults are begged - what are you prepared to do for the sake of your children, and what is the cost?

It is a typically humble, family driven film from Ozu, where all characters are flawed, yet viewed with a sympathetic eye for the difficulties they face. Such is the down to Earth quality of the film (even Ozu's camera placements are 'down to Earth') that 'entertainment' hardly feels like an apt description, which is both a gift and a disservice. A gift in that it doesn't feel too showy or trivial, and a disservice in that it is a touch lackluster. Ozu's best silent work ('I Was Born But', 'Passing Fancy') contain similar themes in the same style, yet manage to entertain thanks to humour and charm. Those moments are not totally absent here, just more subdued. While the low key repetitiveness of the first act will threaten to turn some viewers away, it ultimately gives the drama of the final act greater impact, and the film is better for it. It is definitely one for those who like their films depressing, but makes a fine entry in the genre, and is preferable to Ozu's earlier, melodramatic silent 'A Story of Floating Weeds'. 6.5/10

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Release Date:

21 November 1935 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

An Inn in Tokyo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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