I can't take my mind off this movie. The story is both universally human (old age, the end of life, parents and children) and specifically Japanese. The movie tells the viewer so much about Japanese middle class life in the 1950s: eating and sleeping; mourning the war dead; clothes and home furnishings; spoiled kids; a doctor's office; a schoolroom; life in Tokyo and small towns; how family members talk to each other; old men's drinking habits; a resort hotel. But while we see all these details of a real time and place, we are constantly drawn into reflection on the meaning of human life and relationships. The reflection emerges effortlessly from the simple narrative and the specifics. The director never annoyingly tells us how to feel, he is not preaching and not drawing attention to himself. (There is none of that "hey, I'm making a moving movie" crud that you get in Hollywood treatment of these topics). He just lets the story unfold in a quiet, natural way. It's not for folks who only like "action" movies. I put "action" in quotes because this movie is about the real action in life--enjoying life, sharing it with others, facing the end of it.