Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Most famous in Japan and in the West for his long-running Otoko Wa Tsurai yo series which totaled a record breaking 48 installments, Yoji Yamada has in his spare time made some of Japan's most beloved works such as the Siawasi No Kiroi Hankachi, which won best picture in the 1977 Japanese Academy Awards. In this go around, Yamada treads familiar territory about tradition and change. The film centers on Akio (Rentaro Mikuni), a family patriarch who maintains a traditional household in northern Iwate prefecture, while his three grown children live in various parts of Japan. On the one-year anniversary of his wife's death, they return home to pay their respects at the family altar. The last to appear is Tetsuya (Masatoshi Nagase), a barkeep living the high life in the trendy Tokyo neighborhood of Shinjuku. Akio voices his belief that his youngest son is wasting his life, the two argue, and part on harsh terms. As the film progresses, Tetsuya evolves from being a youthful layabout to an industrious metal worker under the approving eye of his gruff father. Later, the youth falls in love with a beautiful deaf woman (Emi Wakui) and soon Akio's prodigal son becomes a productive member of society.