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Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947)

Nagaya shinshiroku (original title)
A young boy follows Tashiro home to his tenement housing complex on the outskirts of Tokyo, the boy who was separated from his carpenter father somehow and somewhere in Kudan. All Tashiro ... See full summary »


Yasujirô Ozu


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Credited cast:
Chôko Iida ... Otane
Hôhi Aoki Hôhi Aoki ... Kohei the boy
Eitarô Ozawa Eitarô Ozawa ... Father
Mitsuko Yoshikawa ... Kikuko
Reikichi Kawamura Reikichi Kawamura ... Tamekichi
Hideko Mimura Hideko Mimura ... Okiku
Chishû Ryû ... Tashiro
Takeshi Sakamoto ... Kihachi Kawayoshi
Eiko Takamatsu Eiko Takamatsu ... Tome
Taiji Tonoyama ... Photographer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yûichi Kôno Yûichi Kôno
Seiji Nishimura Seiji Nishimura
Fujiyo Osafune Fujiyo Osafune
Yoshino Tani Yoshino Tani


A young boy follows Tashiro home to his tenement housing complex on the outskirts of Tokyo, the boy who was separated from his carpenter father somehow and somewhere in Kudan. All Tashiro knows is that the boy and his father came to town from Chigasaki that morning. Despite Tashiro's want to house the kid until they decide what to do more permanently, Tashiro's roommate, Tamekichi, the tenement's head, won't let the kid stay, not liking children and not wanting to get involved. So Tashiro foists the kid onto their neighbor, the widowed Tane, who too protests, she also not liking children and not wanting to get involved. Tane treats the boy with disdain, which only increases by the next morning due to an overnight incident. Amongst the tenement residents, Tane is charged with going to Chigasaki to see if she can find the father or find out what happened to him. On that trip, what she learns by putting the pieces of the story together is that the father purposefully abandoned the boy as... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | japan | post war | widow | tenement | See All (16) »









Release Date:

20 May 1947 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Historia de un vecindario See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Kikuko: I feel sorry for the boy.
Otane: I know. But maybe a kid like him will grow up to become something. It's said that as kids, many great men were slightly clumsy and careless, rather than extremely bright.
Kikuko: You do hear that.
Otane: And he was kindhearted, collecting cigarette butts and nails for his heartless father. He was a rather fine boy.
Kikuko: It's too bad he's gone. You miss him, don't you? You've grown to care for him a lot, haven't you? You already have affection for him, don't you?
Otane: Do I, now?
Kikuko: Of course you ...
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Referenced in I Lived, But... (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

2 February 2008 | by GyatsoLaSee all my reviews

Slightly different from the Ozu's I've seen before, but still a rather wonderful little film. Its his first film after the war. Only Ozu could film the desolate streetscape of a devastated Japan and make it seem so homely and normal. Every scene is magnificently composed - the first few shots, showing ramshackle homes framed by a wirescape of crooked electric cables sets the scene perfectly. Even the simplest domestic scenes are presented so beautifully they give a dignity to the ordinary people represented in the film.

The story is (as usual with Ozu) as simple as can be. A small flea-bitten boy, a stray, follows a man home, and a small group of neighbours argue amongst themselves what to do with him. He is left with a bad tempered widow. What happens is familiar - he slowly melts her heart. But how its done is not so familiar. The boy is never shown as particularly lovable - he's a quiet bedwetter 'pees like a horse' as the woman says. There is little or none of the saccharine you'd expect from other film makers, Japanese or otherwise. Its just shown very straight, with no sentimentality. Oh, and its a comedy - some lovely, very funny scenes. The acting is fantastic. One particular scene, where the neighbours accompany a singer with a rhythm tapped with chopsticks on places is brilliant, it alone is worth getting the DVD to see it.

The only let down is the ending, which becomes a little preachy. But its forgivable in the context, just 2 years after the end of the war, where Ozu perhaps felt he should give the audience a bit of a message (although as all scripts went through rigid censorship at the time we can't be certain it was all his idea). There is an obvious 'we should all be nicer to each other' message in the movie, and it doesn't shirk for a moment from the poverty at the time, despite the light hearted tone. Its hard to put yourself in the shoes of the contemporary audience, but they must have been heartened to see people so real to their own experience on the screen, with no false optimism or over-dramatic pessimism, just a very real slice of life.

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