Tokyo in 1940. Kayo Nogami never regrets a single day of marriage to her husband Shigeru. At the time, her father was very much against the match, but that was all a long time ago and now, they have daughters who call their parents “Kabei” and “Tobei” with whom they lead a perfectly happy family life. But then, all at once, their happiness comes to an end when one cold winters’ morning Shigeru is arrested and imprisoned for political reasons. With no idea how long her husband must remain imprisoned, Kayo is left to fend for herself. One of Shigeru’s students, Toru Yamasaki, who now works for a tiny publishing company, is the only one who supports the family during this difficult time. Their mutual affection grows every day that Yamasaki comes to see them and it is not long before the daughters address him as Yama-chan. Their beautiful Aunt Hisako and their loud and infamous Uncle Senkichi also do their best to help the despondent family keep up their spirits. And so the Nogamis manage to struggle along. Shigeru is in his second year of imprisonment when the Japanese air force attacks the American fleet in Pearl Harbor unleashing the war in the Pacific. The New Year begins without any news from Shigeru. And then, the family receives a telegramme. –Berlinale
Yōji Yamada (山田 洋次, Yamada Yōji?, born September 13, 1931 in Toyonaka City, Osaka, Japan) is a Japanese film director best known for his Otoko wa Tsurai yo series of films.
He was born in Osaka. But because of the work of his father, who was an engineer for the South Manchuria Railway, from the age of 2 he was brought up in Manchuria. Following the end of World War II, he came back to Japan and subsequently he lived in Yamagata Prefecture.
After receiving his degree from Tokyo University in 1954, he entered Shochiku and worked under Yoshitaro Nomura as a scriptwriter or as an assistant director.
He has won many awards throughout his lengthy career and is well-respected in Japan and by critics throughout the world. He wrote his first screenplay in 1958, and directed his first movie in 1961. Yamada continues to make movies to this day.
He is a guest professor of Ritsumeikan University. —wikipedia