Humanity 105 Toyko Story Final
Professor CorbettHumanity 10510 December 2015Tokyo Story The first scene that I will be addressing from Ozu’s Tokyo Story is where Koichi’s sons find out that they will not be going out with their grandparents and father because Koichi has to see to a patient. The oldest son Minoru has a temper tantrum towards his mother in front of his grandparents. The interesting part is that the adult’s reaction is to laugh it off and excuse this behavior because they believe it is normal for children this age, as the grandfather stated “boys should be lively.” Throughout this scene Isamu the youngest is following his brother and when they are at their father’s office they are sitting across from each other and both swinging their legs back and forth. I believe Ozu is showing us that Minoru is a huge influence on his younger brother, as often older brother are. Minoru’s temper tantrum is huge contrast to the politeness and respect shown by the adults up this point of the film. I believe Ozu is showing us that often children do not have the capability to control and filter their emotions in order to appear polite and respectful in certain situations, and this behavior is often tolerated due to the fact that they are children. I do not believe Ozu was trying to depict Minoru as a bad child because in a later scene you see him studying late into the evening in his father’s office because his desk was moved to make more room for the arrival of his grandparents. Minoru and Isamu’s often rude behavior is quite typical for children their age and is permitted in hopes that it is just a phase.
The second scene is after the funeral where they are all gathered eating a meal. Ozu uses this scene to show how each family member reacts differently after the funeral process. Shige, the most out spoken of the siblings, asks to have the kimonos of her recently deceased mother. The timing of this request seemed cold and self-absorbed. However this is the process after a death, clothes and other personal items are usually divided up within the family. I believe Ozu’s portrayal of Shige in this moment is not to have her be the villain in his film instead it is to show that life does not stop even after a death and that Shige’s approach and timing to the kimono request was inappropriate but not amiss. Nonetheless because Shige is an adult her lack of respect and timing in this moment rightfully draws the ire of her youngest sister Kyoko. Whereas Minoru’s lack of manners and respect during the last scene was ignored due to his young age because Shige is an adult and should be aware of her actions and have self-control, rightfully deserved to be criticized for her actions. It is clear that throughout this film even though some of Ozu’s characters like Shige seem to lack a moral compass Ozu does not paint her as an anti-hero instead is reminding his audience that people are diverse like Shige and her polar opposite Noriko.