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Tokyo Story is a Yasujiro Ozu masterpiece whose rewarding complexity has lost none of its power more than half a century on. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

The elderly Shukishi (Chishu Ryu) and his wife, Tomi (Chieko Higashiyama), take the long journey from their small seaside village to visit their adult children in Tokyo. Their elder son, Koichi (Sô Yamamura), a doctor, and their daughter, Shige (Haruko Sugimura), a hairdresser, don't have much time to spend with their aged parents, and so it falls to Noriko (Setsuko Hara), the widow of their younger son who was killed in the war, to keep her in-laws company.

Cast & Crew

Chishu Ryu
Shukishi Hirayama
Setsuko Hara
Noriko Hirayama
Haruko Sugimura
Shige Kaneko
Sô Yamamura
Koichi Hirayama
Kuniko Miyake
Fumiko Hirayama
Kyôko Kagawa
Kyoko Hirayama
Eijirô Tôno
Sanpei Numata
Nobuo Nakamura
Kurazo Kaneko
Shiro Osaka
Keiso Hirayama
Kôgo Noda
Writer
Yuharu Atsuta
Cinematographer
Tatsuo Hamada
Production Design
Kojun Saito
Original Music
Itsuo Takahashi
Production Design
Taizo Saito
Costume Designer
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News & Interviews for Tokyo Story

Critic Reviews for Tokyo Story

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (48)

  • In this exquisite merging of specific and universal, infinite and infinitesimal, Tokyo Story perhaps most clearly illuminates that Ozu is not the most Japanese of filmmakers, but the most human.

    November 24, 2010 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Ozu's long shots, knee-high camera placement, and collapsed perspective -- as gorgeous and unsettling as a Cézanne -- gather power over the duration, but time itself is the master's most potent weapon.

    November 23, 2010 | Full Review…
  • This remains one of the most approachable and moving of all cinema's masterpieces.

    January 5, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Ozu may have made subtler films, but the clarity of his social critique here is wrenching and unassailable.

    January 5, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Ostensibly a snapshot of postwar Japan in the midst of profound cultural change, it is the movie's painful depiction of familial disintegration that remains universal today.

    January 5, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Ozu only has to train his camera on a face to uncover a sense of resignation, or longing, or loneliness, and the mood, if you allow it, becomes quite overwhelming.

    January 5, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tokyo Story

  • Dec 14, 2016
    Good luck staying awake.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 08, 2014
    A moving, emotional story about a retired elder couple (Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama) who visit their children in Tokyo, only to be greeted coldly and as if they are not wanted, for unknown reasons. A tough, difficult, but ultimately frighteningly realistic portrayal of how parents are treated as being a "nuisance" as they get older, and how when their children grow up, they view them as a potential hindrance for them accomplishing and maintaining their adulthood. It is a slow-paced movie, very slow, but it is done so in order to show the importance of a long life lived well, in this case the parents of this family. The last half hour is heartbreaking and hits home for me concerning when I lost my grandmother rather suddenly and unexpectedly, so this film definitely has a piece of my heart concerning the topic of parents/grandparents and how we can sometimes, unfortunately and often unintentionally, not show them the love they deserve to have at all times.
    Dan S Super Reviewer
  • May 18, 2013
    I have not cried so hard in a while, thanks to Tokyo Story, I was able to experience the raw and powerful drama. The premise is simple, an elderly couple visiting their children in the big city, but their children do not have time to serve them except for their daughter-in-law, who showed them unconditional kindness and yet not related by blood. Ozu used the still camera technique which created the quietness and the low angle shots allowed the viewers to observe the characters in great detail. The set was brilliant, it fully presented the post-war Japan. The dialogue was amazing, pure and honest. Tokyo Story is a must see for anyone
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2012
    A beautiful film about the ever-changing nature of life and a people on the mend after the cataclysm of World War 2. This exploration of life's unpredictability and the consequent generational discord is treated solemnly, but with a warm sense of understanding that permeates the screen. The characters are often distraught by the hand they have been dealt, but they seem to have an odd grasp of it. Pain and joy often come hand in hand and Ozu magically captures this push and pull between happiness and sorrow flawlessly. He also succeeds in making these grand statements about change, death, selfishness, guilt, generational disputes, and life's disappointing continuity, without feeling too didactic. On top of these qualities, the way Ozu plays with space is something I have never seen before. Even in the most intimate of places, we can become disoriented. Although we often take the same steps over and over again, life is always a labyrinth of constant change. Like Kurosawa's Stray Dog, Ozu also focuses on the oppression of the heat. From the kids worrying about how to get rid of the parent's burdensome visit, to the Grandparent's trip to a spa meant for a younger generation, each character clutches a fan, attempting to comfort themselves from the uncomfortable atmosphere. It is just one of the many symbols of a people trying to do what they can to cope with such a tentative existence. I can see why this film has been raved about over the many decades since its initial release. It's message is timeless, but the approach feels so fresh. It is an outstanding film and one that should not be missed.
    Reid V Super Reviewer

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