Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Story

Tokyo Story

A profoundly stirring evocation of elemental humanity and universal heartbreak, Tokyo Story is the crowning achievement of the unparalleled Yasujiro Ozu. The film, which follows an aging couple’s journey to visit their grown children in bustling postwar Tokyo, surveys the rich and complex world of family life with the director’s customary delicacy and incisive perspective on social mores. Featuring lovely performances from Ozu regulars Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara, Tokyo Story plumbs and deepens the director’s recurring theme of generational conflict, creating what is without question one of cinema’s mightiest masterpieces.

Film Info

  • Yasujiro Ozu
  • Japan
  • 1953
  • 137 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #217

Special Features

  • New digital restoration from a 4K film, transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Yasujiro Ozu scholar David Desser, editor of Ozu’s “Tokyo Story”
  • I Lived, But . . . , a two-hour documentary from 1983 about Ozu’s life and career, featuring interviews with critics and former cast and crew members
  • Talking with Ozu, a forty-minute tribute to the director from 1993, featuring the reflections of filmmakers Lindsay Anderson, Claire Denis, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Aki Kaurismäki, Stanley Kwan, Paul Schrader, and Wim Wenders
  • Documentary from 1988 about actor Chishu Ryu’s career at Shochiku’s Ofuna studios, featuring a lengthy interview with Ryu
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Bordwell

New cover illustration by F. Ron Miller

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New digital restoration from a 4K film, transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring Yasujiro Ozu scholar David Desser, editor of Ozu’s “Tokyo Story”
  • I Lived, But . . . , a two-hour documentary from 1983 about Ozu’s life and career, featuring interviews with critics and former cast and crew members
  • Talking with Ozu, a forty-minute tribute to the director from 1993, featuring the reflections of filmmakers Lindsay Anderson, Claire Denis, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Aki Kaurismäki, Stanley Kwan, Paul Schrader, and Wim Wenders
  • Documentary from 1988 about actor Chishu Ryu’s career at Shochiku’s Ofuna studios, featuring a lengthy interview with Ryu
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Bordwell

New cover illustration by F. Ron Miller

Tokyo Story
Cast
Chishu Ryu
Shukichi
Chieko Higashiyama
Tomi
Setsuko Hara
Noriko
Haruko Sugimura
Shige
Nobuo Nakamura
Kurazo
So Yamamura
Koichi
Kuniko Miyake
Ayako
Kyoko Kagawa
Kyoko
Eijiro Tono
Sanpei
Shiro Osaka
Keizo
Zen Murase
Minoru
Mitsuhiro Mori
Isamu
Credits
Director
Yasujiro Ozu
Written by
Kogo Noda
Written by
Yasujiro Ozu
Photographed by
Yuharu Atsuta
Art direction
Tatsuo Hamada
Lighting
Itsuo Takashita
Editing
Yoshiyasu Hamamura
Music
Kojun Saito

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Sight & Sound Poll 2012: Tokyo Story
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Explore

Yasujiro Ozu

Writer, Director

Yasujiro Ozu
Yasujiro Ozu

Yasujiro Ozu has often been called the “most Japanese” of Japan’s great directors. From 1927, the year of his debut for Shochiku studios, to 1962, when, a year before his death at age sixty, he made his final film, Ozu consistently explored the rhythms and tensions of a country trying to reconcile modern and traditional values, especially as played out in relations between the generations. Though he is best known for his sobering 1953 masterpiece Tokyo Story, the apex of his portrayals of the changing Japanese family, Ozu began his career in the thirties, in a more comedic, though still socially astute, mode, with such films as I Was Born, But . . . and Dragnet Girl. He then gradually mastered the domestic drama during the war years and afterward, employing both physical humor, as in Good Morning, and distilled drama, as in Late Spring, Early Summer, and Floating Weeds. Though Ozu was discovered relatively late in the Western world, his trademark rigorous style—static shots, often from the vantage point of someone sitting low on a tatami mat; patient pacing; moments of transcendence as represented by the isolated beauty of everyday objects—has been enormously influential among directors seeking a cinema of economy and poetry.