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Setsuko Hara  

 

TOKYO STORY

                     
 

Shochiku Kinema Kenkyű-jo, 1953.  Directed by Yasuhiro Ozu.  Camera:  Yuuharu Atsuta.  With Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara, Haruko Sugimura, S˘ Yamamura, Kuniko Miyake, Ky˘ko Kagawa, Eijir˘ Tono, Noburo Nakamura.

As with much of director Yasujiro Ozu's work, a plot summary of this film does not do justice to the emotional power that Ozu lends to this sad, understated tale.  An elderly couple, Shukichi (Chishu Ryu) and Tomi Hirayama (Chieko Higashiyama), leaves their small coastal village in southern Japan to visit their married children in Tokyo.  Their eldest son, Koichi (So Yamamura), a doctor running a clinic in a working-class part of town, is too busy to show them around town, and their eldest daughter is occupied with her beauty salon.  Only their widowed daughter-in-law, Noriko, played memorably by Setsuko Hara, is willing to take time off work to show the couple the sights of Tokyo.

The older children arrange for their parents to visit Atami Hot Springs, but the unimpressed couple soon returns to Tokyo.  Tomi stays with her daughter-in-law while Shukichi goes out drinking with some of his buddies, and the bunch complains about their vague sense of disappointment toward their children.

Later, he stumbles into his daughter Shige's (Haruko Sugimura ) house late at night.  On the way back to their village, tragedy strikes. The callous inattention that son and daughter paid to their parents becomes un-fixable.  Shige and Koichi quickly return to their busy lives in Tokyo after the funeral, as Noriko and youngest daughter Kyoko (Kyoko Kagawa) remain.

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