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Tokyo Chorus (1931)

Tôkyô no kôrasu (original title)
A married Tokyo man faces unemployment after standing up for an older colleague.

Director:

Yasujirô Ozu

Writers:

Komatsu Kitamura (original story), Kôgo Noda (original story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Tokihiko Okada Tokihiko Okada ... Shinji Okajima
Emiko Yagumo Emiko Yagumo ... Tsuma Sugako (His wife)
Hideo Sugawara Hideo Sugawara ... Sono Chounan (First Son)
Hideko Takamine ... Sono Choujo (First Daughter)
Tatsuo Saitô Tatsuo Saitô ... Omura Sensei (Teacher)
Chôko Iida ... Sensei no tusma (Mrs. Omura)
Takeshi Sakamoto ... Rou-Shain Yamada (Old employee)
Reikô Tani Reikô Tani ... Shachou (Company President)
Ken'ichi Miyajima Ken'ichi Miyajima ... Hisho (Secretary)
Isamu Yamaguchi Isamu Yamaguchi ... Kaisha no Douryou (An Employee)
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Storyline

Mr. Omura, a teacher, leads a group of male students in an outdoor drill. One slight, comic young man, Shinji Okajima, has no shirt under his jacket; he scratches at fleas and makes faces behind Omura's back. Jump ahead several years, Shinji is married with three children. He sells insurance, and on the company's annual bonus day, he protests when an older worker is fired. Shinji loses his own job as a result, and he and his wife must find ways to cope. Lassitude, pride, the demands and needs of young children, and relationships from bygone school days all play a part in the outcome of their struggle. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Release Date:

December 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tokyo Chorus See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku Kinema See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the top 10 of Kinema Junpo's Top Japanese Movies of 1931. See more »

Quotes

Shinji Okajima: I feel like I'm getting old. I've lost my spirit.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in I Lived, But... (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ozu's economic exploration of the Depression
16 January 2005 | by agorelikSee all my reviews

In "Tokyo Chorus", Ozu interplays two major of his long-standing themes - economic status and the everyday realities of family life.

The plot is simple (warning, spoilers): A young salary-man loses his white-collar insurance job trying to cover for an aging colleague. Unfortunately, it is 1931 and the Great Depression means few other employment opportunities. He has difficulty covering the expenses of his family. After misadventures, he runs into his former professor-now-health-food-café-owner who promises him aid if the young man assists him with the café. Part of that assistance is handing out handbills in the street, a major loss of economic and personal status. Unfortunately, his wife sees him and is greatly shamed by the family's loss of status. Gradually, she accepts the need for sacrifice and also begins to assist in the café. During the large opening banquet at the café (guaranting it's success), the old professor receives word that the young man has been offered a teaching post, albeit one in a small and distant town. The movie ends on this hopeful yet downbeat note.

Ozu does not hesitate to attempt to show us the realities of Great Depression unemployment. Indeed, he is more truthful than any comparable American movie of that time or ours. Ozu is willing to attempt to dig into the nexus between employment, self-identity and status that is prevalent throughout capitalist economies. This was his primary theme at the beginning of the Depression, in this movie along with his early masterpiece "I Was Born, But..." and "Where Now are the Dreams of Youth?" and "Passing Fancy". In addition, Ozu also flexes his unparalleled ability with family scenes. Excellent performances from Ozu regulars Tokihiko Okada, Emiko Yagumo, Tatsuo Saito, as well as a winning child performance from future star Hideko Takamine. Watch out for the world's cutest fat baby!


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