Yasujirō Ozu

Summary

Yasujirō Ozu (小津安二郎, ”Ozu Yasujirō”?, Tokyo, December 12, 1903 – ibid, December 12, 1963) was an influential Japanese film director.His career spanned from the 1920s silent films to his later color films in the 1960s. In his early works he tackled conventional film genres, such as comedy, but his best-known works deal with family issues and present the generational and cultural conflicts characteristic of postwar Japan.

He is widely considered one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century and enjoyed considerable critical and public success in his country during his lifetime. International critical acclaim for his filmography came to him over the years. Ranked as an original and influential director, his film Tōkyō monogatari (Tokyo Tales) was voted the third best film of all time in Sight & Sound magazine”s 2012 poll.

First years

Yasujiro Ozu was born on December 12, 1903, in the year 35 of the Meiji era. He was the third of five brothers and son of Toranosuke, his father, and Asae, his mother. He had little relationship with him because of his constant absences due to his business of selling fertilizers. With his mother, on the other hand, he had a deep bond and they lived together whenever possible, until her death in 1962. He came into the world and spent his first ten years of life in Fukagawa, a populous commercial district in the eastern part of Tokyo belonging to the former imperial city of Edo.

Due to his father”s business, they moved in 1913 to his hometown, Matsuzaka, in Mie Prefecture, where the boy Yasujiro spent his adolescence and discovered his passion for cinema. There he attended secondary school at the Uji-Yamada school from 1916, where he did not exactly stand out for his dedication to his studies. It seems that he was not a very bright student, who missed classes and preferred to spend his time reading, watching movies, practicing judo and sake, a hobby that would stay with him for the rest of his life.

At this school he had an unpleasant experience in 1920 when, according to various sources, he was found to have written an off-color note to an older fellow student in the dormitory where he was a boarder. For this reason he was expelled from the dormitory he occupied – not from his studies – and had to go home to sleep every day. This allowed him, using his mother”s seal, to forge his attendance and absence book, so that he could devote much of his time to enter the dark halls of the incipient Japanese cinematograph, where, as he himself would say on many occasions, he found his passion and his vocation when he saw Civilization, by Thomas H. Ince.

During those first years of voracious devotion to cinema, he liked American films more than Japanese ones, which he said he despised. He was particularly fond of the actresses Pearl White and Lilian Gish, among others, and his favorite directors were Rex Ingram, Chaplin, King Vidor and Ernst Lubitsch.

After his father demanded that he take the entrance exams for the prestigious business school in Kobe, and failed the test, Yasujiro decided, at the age of 19, to go to work as a substitute teacher in a lonely mountain village, Miyanomae. There, it seems that he devoted himself to sake with fruition with friends whom he invited to spend time with him; however, he did not leave bad memories among those who were his students.

In 1923 he returned to Tokyo, following his family, and left behind that period in which he had lived in a rural environment far from the bustling Tokyo environment. This contrast between the city and the countryside will be a recurring theme in many of his films.

First silent films

Upon returning from the army, Ozu found himself faced with the closure of the Kamata studios, which specialized in jidaigeki films, and where he had been trained. From then on, at the Sochiku studios in Kamakura, he devoted himself to the production company”s favorite genres: nansensu comedy and social dramas – shomingeki – very much in vogue in those times of economic hardship during the Great Depression, which deeply affected Japan. After making several medium-length films that have not been preserved, in 1929 he shot Days of Youth, the first of his films that has come down to us, and achieved his first success with The Rogue.

During this period, Yasujiro Ozu adopted a Westernized dandy air in his external appearance and tastes due to his taste for all things American. In fact, he signed some of his scripts during those years under the pseudonym “James Maki”. Curiously, from that time on he was known as the most Western of the Sochiku directors, contrasting with the idea of being the “most Japanese of Japanese directors” that has remained in the cinephile imagination.

In those days he worked in precarious conditions despite the public recognition that began to reach him. In 1928 he made 5 films, 6 in 1929 and up to 7 in 1930, his most prolific year. His chronic insomnia and his addiction to sleeping pills, sake and tobacco undermined his health, and he would always remember those times as a life of perpetual exhaustion.

From this period, his filmography includes The Tokyo Chorus and I Was Born But… With the latter, a brilliant comedy with social content, he achieved for the first time the best place in the annual list of Kinema Junpo magazine, a fact that would be repeated on several occasions throughout his career.

As for his personal life, Ozu always maintained, apart from the ups and downs of film production and his military experiences, complete discretion. After his father”s death in 1934, he returned to live with his mother, for whom he felt an intense attachment and with whom he lived forever. Nothing certain is known about his intimate relationships with other people. There was talk of several romances with various actresses, although none of them was recognized or proven, and we only know that throughout his life he maintained an intimate relationship of great complicity with a gheisa named Sekai Mori or Senmaru. In any case, those who worked with him remember him as a shy, meticulous, discreet and kind man. He never had serious conflicts with those he worked with. Indeed, in Sochiku he was always free to write and shoot his films, although he himself knew how to adapt to the themes and genres that, especially in these early years, were imposed on him.

It was not until 1936 that Ozu made a fully spoken film, using a sound system developed by Hideo Mohara, his camera operator at the time. It was The Only Son. It is often said that Ozu was resistant to new formats, such as color or widescreen, which he never used. However, he himself in 1935 regretted that he had not yet had the opportunity to shoot with sound.

War years

In September 1937, Yasujiro Ozu is mobilized to go to the Manchurian front. He joins the chemical weapons battalion as a corporal and remains on the battlefield serving in various positions for 22 months. During this time he serves as an ordinary soldier, unlike other famous people who are reserved for propaganda work. He nevertheless gives quite a few interviews during this period, in which he insists time and again that he is taking advantage of the war experience to prepare a film of this genre upon his return to Japan. However, we know from his diaries that his thoughts from this period go in a different direction. It does not seem that Ozu was very close to the militaristic spirit of the time, and he is deeply impressed by the harrowing scenes he contemplates on the battlefield, as shown in a note from April 2, 1939:

“Next to them a baby who had just come out of his mother”s womb was playing with a sack of dry bread (his face looked serene, as much as he must have cried. The man dressed in blue, next to him, looked like his father. The scene was so unbearable that, before she burst into tears, I lightened my pace.”

Their experiences of that time will not be reflected later in any war film, but they are very present in the conversations that the aging veterans have in their works of the 50s and 60s.

During that time he had a memorable meeting with Sadao Yamanaka, a great promise of Japanese cinema, as well as a friend and companion of Ozu, who sadly died a few weeks later of dysentery.

On July 16, 1939 he was demobilized and on his return to Japan he worked on some projects that did not come to fruition, the most complete of which was a first version of The Taste of Green Tea with Rice that was never shot and which, with a rather altered script, he ended up making in 1952.

In 1941 he was finally able to direct Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family, and in 1942 There Was a Father, one of the director”s favorite films along with Tales from Tokyo and Early Spring, which featured for the first time the absolute protagonist of Chishū Ryū, one of his favorite actors. He later worked on a project about the experiences of a group of soldiers in Burma, The Distant Land of Our Fathers, which was never made despite the advanced stage of its preparation.

In 1943 he was sent to Singapore with his operator to make a documentary on the Indian independence movement. The preparation of this documentary, which was never made, left him plenty of time to watch American films. He had the opportunity to see Citizen Kane, for which he felt the greatest admiration despite how far away it seems to be from his style and interests.

In August 1945, with the arrival of the British in Singapore, Ozu was taken prisoner of war and remained six months in the Cholon camp, after which he returned to the humiliated and devastated Japan of 1946.

Maturity

In February 1946 Ozu returned to a Japan devastated by the war. After a few months of adaptation in which he wrote some scripts that did not succeed, he became active in some filmmakers” associations and finally, in 1947, he shot and released his first film in five years: Nagaya Shinsiroku (Story of a Tenant), also called Story of a Neighborhood or Memoirs of a Tenant, which was followed by Kaze na naka no menodori (A Hen in the Wind) in 1948. Although Ozu was not very satisfied with these two works, they allowed him to get back on the pulse of the film world and prepare himself for another period of absorbing dedication, like his beginnings, in which he gave birth to his most remembered and recognizable films.

With Banshun (Early Spring), in 1949, Yasujiro Ozu reaches one of the first zeniths of his career. This film represents the beginning of a final period in which the Japanese director already settles in his peculiar and refined style beyond the treatment of the mise-en-scene, as can already be seen, since the mid-1930s, that he has been doing progressively. From that moment on, Ozu devoted himself completely to themes – the family, the conflicts between tradition and modernity – that he would never abandon again, and to narrative procedures that were very personal and completely different from the usual ones.

Early Spring was his reunion with screenwriter Kogo Noda after 14 years, and it was from the absolute complicity between the two that the scripts of the unforgettable series of films that lasted until 1962 came out. Both would retire for one or two months to Noda”s house, or to remote hostels or hotels where, in a curious routine of baths, walks, naps, whiskey, sake (Noda”s wife estimated that 100 bottles per film were required), they would gestate in endless conversation, first the plot and then the dialogues of each film.

Banshun was also Ozu”s first collaboration with Setsuko Hara. It was the first part of the so-called Noriko Trilogy, never intended by Ozu, on the other hand, in which the great Japanese actress played three Norikos, all of them daughters or daughters-in-law who hesitate whether to marry or not. The trilogy is completed by Bukashu (The Beginning of Summer), 1951 and Tokyo Monogatari (Tokyo Tales), 1953.

In 1950 he filmed, for the first time in his career, outside Sochiku, and made The Munakata Sisters for Shintoho. In 1951 he obtained for the sixth and last time the number 1 in the list of Kinema Junpo magazine with Bukashu, (The Beginning of Summer). No other director has won this award six times.

These were years of success and recognition in Japan, where he was undoubtedly the director most loved by the public. Curiously, it was in 1950 when Japanese cinema made the great leap to the rest of the world with the victory of Akira Kurosawa”s Rashomon at the Venice Film Festival. Ozu said he was pleased about it and praised his colleague”s film. He never received any major recognition or awards abroad during his lifetime, which he blamed on the fact that his films were not well understood or interpreted outside Japan. It should be noted that he did win the British Film Institute”s Sutherland Trophy in 1958.

He moved with his mother to live in Kamakura, many of whose streets, as well as its famous Buddha, were the setting for some of his films.

In 1952 he returned to The Taste of Green Tea with Rice, the script parked in 1939, although he shot it with many alterations to the original idea. In 1953 came Tokyo Monogatari (Tokyo Tales), perhaps his best known film for the general public, along with Good Morning, and was undoubtedly one of the peaks, not only of Japanese cinema, but of world cinema, as recognized in 2012 by Sight & Sound magazine when it won that year”s poll.

For four years Ozu was unable to work due to various conflicts with production companies. At that time, some of them demanded exaggerated prices for lending actors to each other, which greatly limited the availability of directors to work with whomever they wanted. These were years of labor conflicts in which Ozu”s physical decline also began to manifest itself in the form of insomnia, throat discomfort and an aged appearance of which he himself was aware.

In 1957 he released his last black and white film, Tokyo Boshoku (Twilight in Tokyo), with a sordid and melodramatic plot, typical of his pre-war films, and then came Higanbana (Flowers of Equinox), the first film photographed in color, a technique he would adopt in all his subsequent films.

In 1959 he released two films: the light-hearted Ohayo, (Good Morning), a reworking of his 1932 original I Was Born, But…, and Ukigusa (The Wandering Grass), a new version of the story he had already made in 1934 and which he would make with the Daiei production company.

During this time he achieved the highest distinctions in the world of Japanese culture: the Violet Band with national merit distinction and admission in 1959 to the Academy of Arts.

The physical decline intensified and the first symptoms of the cancer that would end his life appeared.

His later films seem to indirectly reflect Ozu”s own inner world, as they are full of autumnal, nostalgic characters, reminiscing about wartime in sake-filled evenings or spending time under the hypnotic influence of pachinko. The same atmosphere covers Akibiyori (Late Autumn), 1960, Kohayagawa-ke no aki (The Autumn of the Kohayagawa), 1961, and Sanma no aji, 1962, his last film, usually translated as The Taste of Sake, although “sanma” is a fish eaten in autumn, which is what the title refers to. These twilight yet light-hearted films are the involuntary farewell of a man who continued to work until the end. In fact he left a screenplay written with Noda that was brought to the screen after his death.

1963 was a year of illness and agony for Yasujiro Ozu. He had a tumor in his neck for which he underwent surgery on April 16, and after several months of hospitalization and treatment with cobalt, he finally died after painful agony on December 12, his kanreki, or 60th birthday.

His ashes lie in a cemetery in Kamakura and on his tombstone there is only one kanji that represents the concept Mu: nothingness.

Yasujiro Ozu”s cinema has a visual character immediately recognizable by those who know his filmography: low camera angle, preference for fixed shots, absence of fades and chained shots, non-existence of the fourth wall of interiors, transitions with “pillow shots”… These elements are however the product of a process of purification and meticulous stripping of other more conventional ones that were a natural part of the staging of his early films. Thus, his silent films, nansensu comedies and conventional films, which follow the canons of Sochiku at that time, contain cross-cuts, panoramas, fades, close-ups and the whole panoply of usual resources, which, by the way, he uses with skill and success.

Ozu is known and recognized for his use of the camera in a very low position, just a few centimeters off the ground. He used special cameras mounted on a small base, which forced the operator to work lying on the ground. Ozu”s preference for this type of angulation was once said to be due to the fact that he got used to it so as not to have to deal with the cables tangled on the floor, and there are some testimonies from his operators, according to which Ozu never justified or explained this decision beyond “I like it” Although it is common to hear that it is a “Japanese” shot intended to show the point of view of the one who is kneeling on the tatami, as the inhabitants of the traditional Japanese house, it is not at all a common type of angulation in Japanese cinema, although there are occasional examples of this “view from the tatami”, for example in Mizoguchi”s The Sisters of Gion. This peculiar angulation is common in Ozu”s films since the mid-1930s and is the norm in all his mature films. A good reason for the use of these shots is that it allows the entire background and the entire doors and walls of the interior spaces to be observed, increasing the sense of familiarity and depth.

In addition, Ozu was known for shooting with only a 50 mm lens, the closest focal length to the human eye. This decision gives his films visual continuity and puts the viewer in a natural and close relationship with the characters who usually converse in interiors and in medium and wide shots. However, it is difficult to show the depth of the spaces, so Ozu provides his scenes with longitudinal levels artificially created through doors, everyday objects (tables, teapots, braziers, cupboards) or even through two or more characters who may be conversing at a distance from each other in a totally artificial way and without looking each other in the eyes.

The composition of the shot was everything for Ozu. He fixed the camera and strictly forbade anyone to touch it, and then, according to graphic scripts he drew up himself – he was a good draftsman – he composed the mise-en-scène with the help of his operator and only started shooting when every object, stage and actors were millimetrically arranged according to his own taste.

Another remarkable visual element is the hieratism and frontality with which the human characters are normally shown. The conversations between them are not shown following the usual rule of the contra-plane shot with angles or foreshortenings that place the viewers spatially between them or in their line of sight. On the contrary, Ozu”s characters usually speak looking at the camera or at a point very close to it, in a shot of which they are the center, and usually from the front. The Japanese filmmaker on many occasions expressed his disinterest in the 180º rule and had no objection to “skipping the axis”, confident -rightly so- that viewers would eventually get used to his mode of representation just like any other. Another curious effect that is constantly repeated in his films -and this one, yes, from the very first ones, since its origin is perhaps a typically Nansensu comic device- is the so-called sojikei effect, which consists of two characters acting at the same time, mimetically. Originally a comic device originating in silent comedy, it returns in the hands of the master of delicacy and sober sensitivity that Ozu is in the unforgettable images of father and daughter in Late Spring, for example. And perhaps the most characteristic, imitated or paid homage to visual -and above all narrative- element of Ozu”s films are his famous pillow shots, which serve as a significant link between scenes, replacing fades and chained shots. They usually show a limited number of elements with a certain metaphorical charge that are repeated over and over again in all his sound films: clotheslines in the wind, landscapes of neighborhoods under construction, trains, tracks and stations, partially shown landscapes (the side of a mountain, part of a beach, one or two clouds), office or bar streets, etc.

As a summary, we can speak of a sober visual mise-en-scene, very characteristic, and of a progressive stylization and elimination of the superfluous in the sets and the performances of the actors. The Ozu of maturity makes films recognizable at the sight of a single frame.

Ozu”s narrative style, as mentioned above, varied over time from the greater conventionality of his early films to a recognizable and recognizable personal refinement in his later ones. In his beginnings, following the designs of the production company and the tastes of the time, he devoted himself to making genre films, physical comedies or nansensu in Japanese (The Beauty and the Beard, I Was Born, But…), about students (I Graduated, But…) and even film noir (A Woman Outside the Law) However, and without ever abandoning the fashionable themes of each moment, there is a constant progression in the treatment of the stories.

Over time, narrative clichés were eliminated: for example, the emphasis on dramatic moments, which tend to be avoided. Narrative linearity is replaced by a certain fragmentation of information, or the total abandonment of any kind of Manichaeism or moral schematism of the characters, whose actions always end up being, in the films of his last period, understandable and coherent. It is difficult to establish a year or moment in his filmography from which to speak of a “paradigmatic Ozu”. Without taking sides in this matter, it may be useful to continue talking about his narrative, bearing in mind his films from Late Spring (1949) onwards, although much of what we are talking about is already present, although not in a continuous and essential way, in others from the mid-1930s onwards.

Ozu”s characters are also presented in a fragmentary way; it is not unusual that in the first act of some of his films the spectator gets lost and does not know what relationship two characters have with each other when they have been talking about any irrelevant subject for minutes. Ozu usually omits the introduction of his protagonists and prefers the naturalness of banal conversations to introduce us to the story. Since moments of high drama or high points of the plot (weddings, deaths, declarations of love) are avoided, it is rare for the characters to expressly declare their deep emotions, which are evident in small gestures, such as the apple peeled by the father at the end of Late Spring.

It is normal for there to be a core of main characters, usually the consanguineous members of a family, who carry the burden of the dramatic conflict – getting married or not and its derivations is the most common – while there are other secondary characters who act as a chorus that orients and judges the behaviors of the protagonists. They can be former comrades-in-arms or colleagues as in Early Spring or The Taste of Sake or playmates, as in Twilight in Tokyo.

In Yasujiro Ozu”s films there are some cases of ellipsis, even years of elision, as in Había un padre or Amad a la madre, but in the later works from after the war the action takes place in a linear way and in a limited period of time that hardly exceeds a few days or weeks, with a total absence of flashbacks and very few parallel montages of simultaneous actions. Time, then, is linear, and its passing is marked, rather than by narratively relevant events, by home routines, silences and pillow shots with a certain metaphorical charge. The austerity and frontality of the mise-en-scene, as well as the hieratism of the actors – sought by the director in obsessive repetitions of shots in which he exhausted them – give rise to a very particular diegetic, exclusive to this director, absolutely inimitable and personal.

Objects, moreover, are as relevant characters in his films as flesh and blood ones. Not only those that usually appear in pillow shots, such as shopkeepers, teapots, clocks, clouds… but also those that form a preeminent part of the mise-en-scène -sometimes overlapping the ideal compositional space of the human characters. For example, braziers or teapots in the foreground or posters of American films and universities in silent films.

The cliché that Ozu is the “most Japanese” of the great classic Japanese directors – alongside Mizoguchi and Kurosawa – has become a commonplace with which both he himself and his great scholars seem to both agree and disagree.

Yasujiro Ozu once stated that indeed we Westerners could not understand his style or that we cannot help misunderstanding or misunderstanding the explanations about his films when everything is obvious to the Japanese viewer of his time.

It is true that during his lifetime his films enjoyed continuous critical and public success in Japan, while in the West they were practically unknown or ignored. It is also true that his films, even if all the preserved ones are gendaigeki, that is, “contemporary” films, are very attached to Japanese culture and to the way Japanese people live their traditions, routine and family customs. However, it would be wrong to say that Ozu”s style corresponds to a certain Japanese way of making films. It has been said before that his style -low camera angles, absence of camera movements, etc- is uniquely his own. Kenji Mizoguchi, for example, who devoted so many films to purely Japanese legends and themes, was characterized by the use of a dynamic and complex mise-en-scène, the opposite of Ozu.

It is true that Ozu”s filmography is a brilliant gloss on the history of contemporary Japan. The central themes of his films are the concerns of the average Japanese citizen between 1930 and 1963: the conflict between modernity and westernity, the abandonment of old traditions, the contrast between the rural world and life in the big cities, the consequences of the defeat in World War II and, above all, the central theme of his last films: family relationships and the decisions regarding the convenience or not of getting married, whether it is an arranged marriage or the product of romantic love.

There is an evolution in the treatment of social issues: while the first ones, shot against the backdrop of the Great Depression, deal with the situation of poor people or those who are not able to make their way in life (I Graduated but… A Hostel in Tokyo, I was Born but…), over time the middle class and even the upper middle class were the main social groups in his films.

The peculiarities of Japanese daily life also play an eminent role: for example, the religiosity and the cult of the dead, the passion for sake and beer in evening gatherings that last all night long, or the love for games: in particular mahjong and pachinko, which are common scenes in many of his films, such as Tokyo Twilight and The Taste of Sake.

Ozu”s cinema is often associated with some principles of Zen thought. Specifically, the best known analysis of these supposed interrelations is that of Paul Schrader, in his book “The Transcendental Style in Cinema. Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer” in which he analyzes some of Ozu”s works – not all of them, which has been the subject of criticism – from the point of view of what he calls transcendental style. “In Ozu”s films, Zen thought and art are the civilization, while the cinema is the surface” For the American screenwriter and director, this Zen art or aesthetic entails the natural entry into the three phases or characters that, according to him, constitute what he calls “transcendental style”. Specifically: the everyday, the disparity -or disunity of the subject with his environment- and the Stasis or transcendental resolution, passing over the conflict itself.

Yasujiro Ozu was certainly no stranger to Zen aesthetics and thought, and elements that we can associate with it can be traced in his films: for example, the permanence of the fleeting (mono no aware in Japanese) and the assumption of life cycles, the passage of time, the dissolution of individuality and other ideas are present in the visual treatment of his films, for example in the pillow shots that are repeated film after film as object witnesses that survive each particular drama or in paradigmatic scenes. There are also dialogues or human actions in this sense, such as the conversation between two characters completely unrelated to the action at the end of The Autumn of the Kohayagawa while they contemplate the smoke of the corpse incinerator.

In addition, the fact that Ozu himself wanted his tomb to bear only the kanji Mu, usually translated as “nothingness”, which is associated with this spirituality, as well as the koan, serves as a recurring argument for this association between Zen and his filmography. However, Ozu himself once treated this issue with derision and associated it with the ignorance that we Westerners have of Japanese idiosyncrasy, as we tend in his opinion to see complexities and hidden meanings in what for them is perfectly natural, fluid and reasonable.

In addition to numerous awards from critics and audiences, including no less than 6 first positions in the annual Kinema Junpo ranking, a milestone unmatched by any other director to date, Ozu received a medal from the Japanese government in 1958, the year in which he also won the Japan Academy of Arts Award. In 1959 he became the first representative of the film world to be inducted into the academy. In 1961 a retrospective of Ozu”s films was held at the Berlin Film Festival, where the director and his work received worldwide attention. Donald Richie wrote, in 1974, the first biography of Ozu in English. And in 1979 there was an extensive cycle at the Valladolid International Film Week, which had begun to be known in film clubs and film libraries.

During his lifetime he received only one foreign award: the Sutherland Trophy awarded by the British Film Institute in 1958. Today he is unanimously recognized as one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema for creating an absolutely personal and representative style at the same time of a vertebral epoch in the history of Japan, showing at the same time in a subtle and close way the most universal feelings and concerns.

Several directors have paid tribute to their master in their own works:

Category:Films directed by Yasujirō Ozu

Sources

  1. Yasujirō Ozu
  2. Yasujirō Ozu
  3. Días de cine: 50 años sin Yasuhiro Ozu – RTVE.es, 13 de diciembre de 2013, consultado el 16 de julio de 2020 .
  4. ^ 宇治山田高等学校
  5. ^ 神戸高商, Kobe Kosho
  6. ^ 三重県立師範学校, Mie-ken ritsu shihan gakko
  7. ^ Ozu”s military service was of a special type called ichinen shiganhei (一年志願兵) where the usual two-year term of conscription was shortened to one year on condition that the conscriptee paid for himself.
  8. ^ ヂェームス・槇
  9. Note : Dans la biographie d”Ozu rédigée par Kiju Yoshida dans le livret du coffret DVD « Yasujirō Ozu, 5 films en couleurs », il est noté : « Bien qu”il soit né à Tokyo […] Ozu n”est pas véritablement un tokyoïte. Ozu est né à Furukawa, dans cette partie basse de la ville qui s”étend à l”intérieur d”un réseau de canaux et de voies navigables à l”embouchure de la Sumida ». Le lieu de naissance semble avoir été mal retranscrit, Furukawa à la place de Fukagawa.
  10. a b c d e f g h et i Jacques Mandelbaum, « “Il était un père” : révélation d”une œuvre charnière d”Ozu », sur www.lemonde.fr, Le Monde, 2005 (consulté le 22 avril 2007)
  11. Michel Mourlet, « Les cerisiers sont merveilleux », dans Michel Mourlet, Sur un art ignoré : La mise en scène comme langage, Ramsay, coll. « Ramsay Poche Cinéma », 2008, p. 242-249.
  12. Mark Weston, Giants of Japan, Kodansha International, 1999, s. 303
  13. Yasujiro Ozu Movie Directors
  14. Hasumi, Shiguehiko (1998), Yasujirô Ozu, Paris: Cahiers du cinéma, ISBN 2-86642-191-4
  15. Sato, Tadao (1997b), Le Cinéma japonais – Tome II, Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, ISBN 2-85850-930-1
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