Mr. Shosuke Ohara

May 30, 2024
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『小原庄助さん』 
Ohara Shosuke-san

Imported 16mm Print. Set in a quaint, rural village on the foothills of Mount Fuji—one still governed by traditions of respectability and family standing—Hiroshi Shimizu’s 1949 fable centers around the life of wealthy, good-natured Saheita Sugimoto, better known among the villagers as Shosuke Ohara-san. While the nickname pertains to a figure from a popular folk song who brings about his own ruin by squandering his fortune on drink and leisure, Shimizu’s picture has Sugimoto surrounded by townsfolk insatiably clamoring for his assistance—uniforms for the local baseball team, sewing machines for local women—and as he cannot say no, his generous support for their endeavors only brings him closer to poverty. As Sugimoto’s impending downfall becomes a loss foretold, Shimizu’s tragicomedy touches upon the encroaching presence of modernization, as well as the changing times and values of the postwar era. Leaving behind the traditions of the past, Mr. Shosuke Ohara—a favorite film of director Shinji Somai—looks towards a new Japan built upon the hard work of its people and not the fortunes of others.

Print courtesy of the Japan Foundation.

Dir. Hiroshi Shimizu, 1949, 97 min., 16mm, b&w, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Denjiro Okochi, Akiko Kazami, Reiko Miyagawa.

Part of the John and Miyoko Davey Classic Film Series
Hiroshi Shimizu – Part II: The Postwar and Independent Years
May 16—June 1, 2024



© Kokusai Hoei

Hiroshi Shimizu is co-presented with Museum of the Moving Image, the National Film Archive of Japan, and Japan Foundation, New York.

Hiroshi Shimizu – Part II: The Independent and Postwar Years is generously supported by The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund for Classic Japanese Film.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Film programs are generously supported by ORIX Corporation USA, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and Yen Press. Endowment support is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family and Friends of Film. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the official Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film. Housing assistance is provided by the Kitano Hotel, the official hotel sponsor of Japan Society Film.

  • Thursday, May 30, 2024
  • 7:00 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Reserved Tickets
  • $16 Nonmembers
  • $12 Members
  • $14 Seniors/Students
  • $14 Person with Disability

There is an additional $1.50 service charge for all non-member ticket types purchased.