12
Oct
11

Tokyo Story

I finally got round to watching Tokyo Story (1953) which Netflix sent me a while back. In short the story’s about an older couple who travel from their little town to Tokyo where two of their grown children live. Busy with their own work and children, the successful grown kids view their parent’s trip as an annoyance even though the parents spend most of their time staying out of everyone’s way. The grandchildren are spoiled brats given to whining and complaining. The cold welcome causes the parents to consider the gap between their hope for their old age and the reality. Clad in kimonos, this couple is on the other side of a gaping cultural divide from their Western dressed young.

Ozu uses this simple story to examine where Japan and Japanese families were going after the war. Yes, people could achieve more, but is the accompanying busyness and success worth it?

I enjoyed the simplicity and sincerity of the film. Also seeing little cultural things like the grandma taking medicine that comes in an envelope, the mosquito incense coils and a kind of Japanese play pen which was basically a mesh tent that kept a baby safe and mosquito free in a room while a parent worked was interesting.

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