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AN INN IN TOKYO (Tokyo no yado) (director: Yasujiro Ozu; screenwriters: Masao Arata/Tadao Ikeda; cinematographer: Hideo Shigehara; editor: Hideo Shigehara; music: Keizo Horiuchi; cast: Takeshi Sakamoto (Kihachi), Yoshiko Okada (Otaka), Chouko Iida (Otsune), Tomio Aoki (Zenko), Kazuko Ojima (Kimiko), Chishu Ryu (Police man), Takayuki Suematsu (Masako); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; Platinum Classics; 1935-silent-Japan-with English subtitles)
There are many tender scenes in this episodic and quiet venture.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The final installment of Yasujiro Ozu’s (“An Autumn Afternoon”/”Early Autumn”/”Floating Weeds”) “Kihachi Trilogy,” as written by Masao Arata and Tadao Ikeda. It was the foreunner of such neo-realistic classics as Vittorio De Sica’s “The Bicycle Thieves.” Ozu shot it as a silent, saying he didn’t want to shoot in sound until his studio got it perfected. The Depression-era drama looks aghast at the horrors of poverty and revels in the dignity of the individual who can still care about others despite his suffering.

For three days the almost penniless Kihachi and his young boys Zenko and Shoko travel on foot across Tokyo’s industrial wasteland looking for work but are unable to find any. On the road they meet a starving widow Otaka and her little daughter Kimiko in the same predicament and befriend them. Kihachi has a tough time feeding the kids and getting shelter for them until luckily he runs into his old friend Otsune, who runs a cafe. She finds him a job, and for the next ten days Kihachi is as happy as he’s ever been in life. He catches up again with Otaka working as a waitress in an inn. He learns that Kimiko has dysentery and he tries to help pay the hospital bills by borrowing from Otsune, but failing that he steals the money from a rich bar and his boys deliver it to Otaka at the hospital. Kihachi then pleads with Otsune to look after his boys, as he walks to a police station to surrender.

It should be noted that despite Kihachi’s good-heart and good intentions, it’s the women who remain to look after the kids.

There are many tender scenes in this episodic and quiet venture, with the most affecting one being when Kihachi and Otaka sit in a field watching their children play together and they each confess to wishing to be children again.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”