7.8/10
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Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947)

Nagaya shinshiroku (original title)
A young boy follows Tashiro home to his tenement housing complex on the outskirts of Tokyo, the boy who was separated from his carpenter father somehow and somewhere in Kudan. All Tashiro ... See full summary »

Director:

Yasujirô Ozu
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Cast

Credited cast:
Chôko Iida ... Otane
Hôhi Aoki Hôhi Aoki ... Kohei the boy
Eitarô Ozawa Eitarô Ozawa ... Father
Mitsuko Yoshikawa ... Kikuko
Reikichi Kawamura Reikichi Kawamura ... Tamekichi
Hideko Mimura Hideko Mimura ... Okiku
Chishû Ryû ... Tashiro
Takeshi Sakamoto ... Kihachi Kawayoshi
Eiko Takamatsu Eiko Takamatsu ... Tome
Taiji Tonoyama ... Photographer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yûichi Kôno Yûichi Kôno
Seiji Nishimura Seiji Nishimura
Fujiyo Osafune Fujiyo Osafune
Yoshino Tani Yoshino Tani
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Storyline

A young boy follows Tashiro home to his tenement housing complex on the outskirts of Tokyo, the boy who was separated from his carpenter father somehow and somewhere in Kudan. All Tashiro knows is that the boy and his father came to town from Chigasaki that morning. Despite Tashiro's want to house the kid until they decide what to do more permanently, Tashiro's roommate, Tamekichi, the tenement's head, won't let the kid stay, not liking children and not wanting to get involved. So Tashiro foists the kid onto their neighbor, the widowed Tane, who too protests, she also not liking children and not wanting to get involved. Tane treats the boy with disdain, which only increases by the next morning due to an overnight incident. Amongst the tenement residents, Tane is charged with going to Chigasaki to see if she can find the father or find out what happened to him. On that trip, what she learns by putting the pieces of the story together is that the father purposefully abandoned the boy as... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | japan | post war | widow | tenement | See All (16) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

20 May 1947 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Historia de un vecindario See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Quotes

Kikuko: I feel sorry for the boy.
Otane: I know. But maybe a kid like him will grow up to become something. It's said that as kids, many great men were slightly clumsy and careless, rather than extremely bright.
Kikuko: You do hear that.
Otane: And he was kindhearted, collecting cigarette butts and nails for his heartless father. He was a rather fine boy.
Kikuko: It's too bad he's gone. You miss him, don't you? You've grown to care for him a lot, haven't you? You already have affection for him, don't you?
Otane: Do I, now?
Kikuko: Of course you ...
[...]
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User Reviews

Languid postwar Ozu
18 March 2012 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Postwar Ozu, and by contrast to prewar films, little has changed; clear, composed eye, quietly enduring lives, even in the face of near-complete destruction.

Once more, a primary point lies in the edifying fable of the thing. The father is absent, authority if you will, core social integrity, always a looming absence in Ozu, and the orphaned kid will have to rely on the fundamental kindness of the world. Of course that world rises to the occasion, overcomes ego, harshness, in this case no doubt fostered by the hard reality of the times. Instead of scavenging alleys for nails to piece back together destroyed homes, it is asserted that selfless love should take care of that.

This is asserted in a clumsily unsubtle way, straight to the camera. Ozu was back at Shochiku from wartorn Manchuria, and it should not be underestimated, so were many Japanese, back from whatever gruelling role they were forced to play in the war.

To better understand this conservative need for closure, you have to note the way Ozu closes the film. The woman wanting to take care of another orphaned kid is pointed to the direction of Saigo's statue in Ueno Park - where it stands to this day. Saigo was a popular hero famous in conventional history for the last stand of the old samurai faction against plans for a modernized Japan. The ill-advised Tom Cruise film portrays the events.

This is enough to give us pause. Here's a director who had been unerringly forward-looking 15 years ago, had fervently embraced modern foreign film and widely referenced Western mores, no longer a youthful cinephile but sobered from the experience of war, who points for inspiration to this paragon of samurai virtue and ethos. Japan might as well forget the bold experiment with an empire that ended in such humiliating defeat, and look back instead to the simpler times when feudal lords and their police maintained coherence of the world.

This is a pity. The eye is clear but dulled by emotion, making for languid flow but without insight. Japan would have to wait another 10 years for the next generation of forward-looking filmmakers to look deeper into the ruins.


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