Tokyo Story - IFFAM - 4th International Film Festival and Awards ‧ Macao

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Tokyo Story
Japan | 1953 | 137’ | DCP | Black & White | Japanese | Group: A
Director: Yasujiro Ozu

2019/12/08 15:00 Cinematheque‧Passion

Programmer’s Note

Very few films deserve to be called timeless, but Ozu’s masterpiece is just that – as beloved, moving and universal today as it was on its release in 1953. It has bewitched audiences and film-makers alike for decades with its simple structure and resonant story of family, love and loss. You can see its influence in Wim Wenders’ loving documentary about Ozu Tokyo Ga (1985) or Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Café Lumiere which was produced to commemorate 100 years since Ozu’s birth. It’s also wonderful to rewatch the highly acclaimed performance of Setsuko Hara as Noriko, the widowed daughter-in-law of Shukichi and Tomi. Hara made six films with Ozu and became something of a muse for the director; their connection was so deep that she never appeared in another film after Ozu’s death in 1963. Ozu’s final film An Autumn Afternoon (1962) was screened in Director’s Choice at IFFAM in 2018.

– Hiromi Aihara


Shukichi (Chishu Ryu) and Tomi (Chieko Higashiyama) set off on a trip to Tokyo, where two of their grown-up children live. The elderly couple have spent most of their lives in the small coastal town of Onomichi in Hiroshima, and hope their visit will be a memorable experience to cherish for the rest of their lives. However, once they arrive in the bustling metropolis, their eldest son and daughter prioritize maintaining their own lifestyles over spending quality time with their parents. Despite an initially amiable reception, Shukichi and Tomi sense an absence of sincere warmth, which makes them feel unwelcome and disappointed. They cut their stay short and return home. Before long, the son and daughter in Tokyo receive a telegram from their young sister Kyoko (Kyoko Kagawa) in Onomichi, informing them that their mother is critically ill.


Yasujiro Ozu

Born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1903, Yasujiro Ozu is a writer/director who started his career as an assistant at Shochiku Film Company in 1923. He started directing short comedy films before turning to drama with I Was Born, But… (1932). His trademark stories – austere, powerful portraits of family, marriage and the generational divide – now compose one of the greatest oeuvres in movie history. His most famous films are Late Spring (1949), Early Summer (1951), Tokyo Story (1953), Early Spring (1956), Floating Weeds (1959) and An Autumn Afternoon (1962). He died on his 60th birthday in 1963.

Cast & Crew

Director Yasujiro Ozu

Scriptwriter(s) Kogo Noda, Yasujiro Ozu


Cinematographer Yuharu Atsuta

Production Designer Tatsu Hamada

Editor Yoshiyasu Hamamura

Music Kojun Saito

Costumes Designer

Cast Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara, Haruko Sugimura, So Yamamura, Kuniko Myyake, Kyoko Kaga, Eijiro Tono, Nobuo Nakamura, Shiro Osaka, Hisao Toake, Teruko Nagaka

Production Companies Shochiku Co. Ltd.


World Sales Shochiku Co. Ltd.

Director's Choice