Come and enjoy the spectacular World of Japanese Cinema at The Japan Foundation, New Delhi. 

Theme of the Month is “Japan’s Most Beloved Character Faces the Ups and Downs of Love”


As he usually does, Kuruma Torajiro continues to wander around the country selling knick-knacks at

fairs as his family in Tokyo’s Shibamata worries about his whereabouts. Months have passed with no word

from Tora when Sakura, his sister, just happens to watch a TV program on the recovery after the earthquake

in Kobe. To her shock, there on screen is Tora leading volunteer activities and standing next to none other

than Prime Minister Murayama. Soon thereafter a resident of Nagata Ward in Kobe comes calling on the

Kuruma house to convey his thanks for all Tora’s help and to tell Sakura that Tora has once more set out on

the road due to yet another failed love affair.


In the meantime, Sakura’s son Mitsuo has his own problems. Izumi, the girl whom he’s secretly loved

for years, comes visiting Tokyo to tell him that she might get married. Her confession seems to be a test of

Mitsuo’s feelings, but in true Tora fashion, all he can do is congratulate her. Hurt, Izumi returns to Nagoya to

get ready for the wedding which will take place in Tsuyama, Okayama prefecture. But on the day of the very

fancy wedding, the determined boy who blocks Izumi’s car to the ceremony is none other than Mitsuo. The

wedding is ruined and Mitsuo is run out of town.


He wanders down south as far as he can go until he arrives on the semi-tropical island of Amami

Oshima. Penniless, he is saved by a beautiful bar madam named Lily who takes him back to her beach side

home. There he finds none other than Uncle Tora, who is a longtime friend of Lily’s. After Mitsuo explains

his predicament, Tora scolds him for not giving up in a more gentlemanly fashion, but Lily urges him to tell

Izumi what he really feels. He soon gets that chance when Izumi, who canceled the marriage and went out in

search of Mitsuo, turns up on the Island. When she asks why he did such a thing, he finally blurts out,

“Because I love you!”


With the young lovers reunited, what will happen to Tora and Lily? Tora has secretly loved Lily for

ages, but never can seem to tell her his feelings. The two visit Shibamata to the thrill of all who think Tora

finally may get married, but soon get into a fight that prompts Lily to decide to leave. When Sakura offers to

take her to the station, Tora steps in and says he will do it himself. Asked by Lily in the cab how far he will

take her, Tora Insists, “I always take a woman to her doorstep.”


On New Year’s Day, however, a card from Lily arrives at Sakura’s house. It seems that after staying

together for a few months, Tora and Lily again parted after a fight. Back in Kobe, Tora shows up once more

to give his greetings to everyone he helped.



This, the 48th edition of the longest running film series in cinema history, turned out to be, for all
intents and purposes, the last one when Atsumi Kiyoshi died in 1996. So much was this series a national
phenomenon that Tora-san/Atsumi was mourned by the entire country. As if the death was foretold, the last
edition does try to tie up some loose ends, bringing in Lily, who appeared in episodes 11, 15, and 25, and
finally getting Mitsuo together with Izumi, whom he pined after in episodes 42 through 45. The series was
definitely looking old at this point, with Yamada Yoji making Tora’s anachronistic existence the butt of a
many gags, but this is the way many Japanese want to think of themselves, even if such a world has long
since ceased to exist in reality.


Setting: Tokyo, Tsuyama (Okayama prefecture), Kobe, and Amami Oshima in the 1990s.

Color / Vista / 1995 / 110 min / Shochiku


Director                     : YamadaYoji
Script                        : YamadaYoji
                                   Asama Yoshitaka
Based on the story by : YamadaYoji
Photography               : Naganuma Rokuo
                                   Takaba Tetsuo
Art Director                 : Degawa Mitsuo
Music                         : Yamamoto Naozumi
                                    Yamamoto Junnosuke
Executive Producer     : Nakagawa Shigehiro
Planning                    : Kobayashi Shun’ichi
Producer                    : Fukazawa Hiroshi


Kuruma Torajiro                  : Atsumi Kiyoshi
Lily                                    : Asaoka Ruriko
Suwa Mitsuo, Sakura’s son : Yoshioka Hidetaka
Izumi, his girlfriend              : Goto Kumiko
Suwa Sakura, Tora’s sister  : Baisho Chieko
Suwa Hiroshi, her husband  : Maeda Gin
Ryuzo, Tora’s uncle            : Shimojo Masaki
Tsune, Tora’s aunt              : Misaki Chieko
Reiko, Izumi’s mother         : Natsuki Mari
Boat captain                      : Tanaka Kunie
Company president             : Dazai Hisao
Gen-ko                              : Sato Gajiro