The Only Son (1936)


The Only Son – Yasujirô Ozu

Hitori musuko (original title)

Summary: In a poor province of Japan, a widowed silk factory worker (Chôko Iida) is faced with the decision whether to send her only son (Shin’ichi Himori) to Tokyo for a better education.  After the boy’s school teacher visits her and assures her that her son would do well in going to Tokyo, she decides to send him, despite the financial hardship she must now endure.  Thirteen years later she travels to Tokyo to visit her son to find he hasn’t become the great man he promised her he’d be.

My Review:  A simplistic plot surrounding no more than three central characters, just as Yasujirô Ozu does in Late Spring.  Despite the plot and the character’s emotions being delivered gracefully, the sense of disappointment from great hope is incredibly poignant.  Interestingly I felt this was more from the son than the mother, who tells him not to give up.  A quietly sweet, yet melancholy tale.

My Rating: 1.5/5

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