On Our Screens: Tokyo Story (1953)

Movie: Tokyo Story

Year: 1953

Country: Japan

Director: Ozu Yasujiro

Starring: Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama and Setsuko Hara


Is a smiling parent necessarily a happy parent?

The parents who always wear the same familiar, warm and assuring smile; the parents who you can feel safe with; the ones to whom you can expose your feeblest side without worrying about being betrayed: they are the ones you count on for love, protection and comfort.

And when they cheer at your achievements, however trivial, you think you have made them proud, you think your have fulfilled their aspirations.

But do you really know the true faces behind those smiles?

Yasujiri Ozu’s 1953 classic, “Tokyo monogatori“ (Tokyo Story) makes you ponder the question.

Without ruining the story, retired couple, Shukichi and Tomi Hirayama set off on a long, tiring journey from their home in Onomichi, a seaside town in Hiroshima Prefecture, to Tokyo, where they visit their middle-class pediatrician son, Koichi, and Shige, their daughter who now owns a hairdressing salon.

Once in the capital city, they also meet Noriko, their widowed daughter-in-law, who adds to the drama.

Tokyo Story is slow-paced and plain as still water, but if you manage to stay awake to the end, it brings you a tinge of sadness that lingers and reverberates for days.

And you will never see your folks in the same way again.


Rating (one to five whistles, five being the best): Five Whistles


How to Watch:




Love Letter (1995)


Stock Photo Courtesy of Jaboo2foto/Shutterstock.com