Excerpt of Wenders’s narrating voice: “If there were still sanctuaries in our century… if there was something like a holy treasure of cinema, for me, that would be the work of Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu. He made 54 films. Silent movies in the 1920s, black and white films in the 1930s and 1940s and finally color films until his death on the 12th December 1963, on his 60th birthday.

Although these films are distinctly Japanese, they are also global. In them I recognized all families, in all the countries in the world, as well as my own parents, my brother and myself. Never before and never again was film so close to its essence and its purpose. Showing an image of the human in our century. A useable, true and valid image, one in which he cannot only see himself but rather learn something about himself.

Ozu’s work doesn’t need my appraisal. And such a “holy treasure of cinema” is just imaginary. So my journey to Tokyo was no pilgrimage. I was curious to see if I could discover something from this time, whether something was left of his work, images perhaps, or people even… Or if in the 20 years since Ozu’s death so much changed in Tokyo that there was nothing left to be found.


West Germany/USA 1983-1985
Length: 92 min, 1007 m
Format: 16mm; Eastmancolor; 1:1.33
Original language: English, Japanese

4K Scan and 2K Restoration 2014, 2K DCP

Festivals & Awards

1985 • London Film Festival (Outstanding Film of the Year)
1985 • Cannes International Film Festival (Un Certain Regard)


Cast and crew

Production: Wim Wenders Produktion (Berlin), Chris Sievernich Filmproduktion (Berlin), Gray City Inc. (New York) Director: Wim Wenders Producer: Wim Wenders, Chris Sievernich Director of Photography: Edward Lachman Editor: Wim Wenders, Solveig Dommartin, Jon Neuburger Sound: Hartmut Eichgrün Cast: Chishu Ryu, Yuharu Atsuta, Werner Herzog

Narrator: Wim Wenders Music: Dick Tracy: Laurent Petitgand, Mèche Mamecier, Chico Rojo Ortega Production Assistant: Lilyan Sivernich, Ulla Zwicker in cooperation with: Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Cologne) First Release (DE): 10/1985, International Film Fesitval Hof First TV-Broadcast (US): 26.04.1985 First TV-Broadcast (DE): 13.11.1988, West 3 World Sales: HanWay Films

Blu-ray & DVD


DVD – Restored Version (IT)
Ripley’s Home Video
Language/Sound: German, English, Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: Italian
Image Format: 1,37:1


Language/Sound: German, English, Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: German
Image Format: 1,33:1


BAC Films
Language/Sound: English, Japanese, French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: French
Image Format: 1,33:1


DVD – Wim Wenders Documentaries 5 discs Box set (GB)
Axiom Films
Language/Sound: miscellaneous
Subtitles: English
Image Format: 1,78:1


DVD – Wim Wenders Collection 2 (USA)
Starz / Anchor Bay
Language/Sound: miscellaneous
Subtitles: English
Image Format: 1,85:1

Book to the film

Wim Wenders
Verlag der Autoren 1985
64 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9783925230028

Available at bookshops

Press Sheet (PDF)

License Requests