Tokyo Story (1953)
"Tôkyô monogatari" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  13 March 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 23,480 users  
Reviews: 117 user | 127 critic

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chieko Higashiyama ...
Tomi Hirayama
Noriko Hirayama
Haruko Sugimura ...
Shige Kaneko
Koichi Hirayama
Kuniko Miyake ...
Fumiko Hirayama - his wife
Kyôko Kagawa ...
Kyôko Hirayama
Eijirô Tôno ...
Sanpei Numata
Kurazo Kaneko
Shirô Ôsaka ...
Keizo Hirayama (as Shirô Osaka)
Hisao Toake ...
Osamu Hattori
Teruko Nagaoka ...
Yone Hattori
Mutsuko Sakura ...
Oden-ya no onna
Toyo Takahashi ...
Rinka no saikun (as Toyoko Takahashi)
Tôru Abe ...


An elderly couple journey to Tokyo to visit their children and are confronted by indifference, ingratitude and selfishness. When the parents are packed off to a resort by their impatient children, the film deepens into an unbearably moving meditation on mortality. Written by Paul Watabe

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 March 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tokyo Story  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Voted as the 3rd greatest film of all time in Sight & Sound's 2012 critic's poll. See more »


Kyoko: Isn't life disappointing?
Noriko: [smiles] Yes, it is.
See more »


Referenced in F. (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

The excuses we make to justify our neglect of others
14 May 2002 | by (Bloomington, IN) – See all my reviews

An appreciation of this movie may demand some understanding of Japanese culture. The Japanese are rather reserved, and were even more reserved back in the early 1950's, when this film is set. No embracing, even of parents, children, siblings; no dramatic histrionics; even a death scene in this movie is much quieter than a Westerner might expect.

Consequently I can't really blame several reviewers here for calling this movie boring and slow-paced. But it is not at all slow-paced from a different cultural perspective. It just depends on what you're used to.

If you do take the time to watch and try to understand it, you'll find an engrossing analysis of the dynamic of a middle-class family, the rift that grows up between generations, and of the many excuses we find ourselves making to justify our neglect for others, even those dearest to us. These themes are universal, but are couched in a postwar Japanese idiom, and so probably less accessible to the average Western viewer.

I have wondered awhile about a speech at the end by Noriko, the widowed daughter-in-law, in which she denies that she's such a good person (though her actions in the movie indicate otherwise). I'm still not sure I understand her motives in saying this. For the most part, however, this movie will not leave you puzzled, but it may leave you a bit wiser, and a bit more reluctant to make those excuses.

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