Tokyo Sonata is a Japanese family drama directed and written by 53-years-old Kiyoshi Kurosawa. This film was quite different from his movies in the horror genre which gave him recognition. The film was first released on 27 September, 2008. The story of this chilling drama revolves around a middle class family, the Sasaki, consisting of Ryuhei Sasaki (Teruyuki Kagawa), his wife and two sons. The film is perfect portrayal of salary man’s life when something bad and unexpected happens. It shows that the salary man can easily go into denial and cannot easily accept dismissal of his prior prosperous life. The estimated budget of this famous film is $2,500,000 and the total life time grosses of the film on domestic level are $278,356 (29.6%) and on foreign level are $662,074 (70.4%). The most part of the film was being shot in Japan. This film attained Best Film award in the third Asian Film Awards in 2009.
The story started with energetic Ryuhei employed at a sound job in a reputable office. Everything was going smoothly when suddenly Ryuhei was fired due to availability of Chinese workers at much lower rates. There could be three Chinese hired in the rate of one Japanese worker. This was the turning point of Ryuhei’s career. He did not want to disclose this news to his wife and family and continued to act as if he was still employed. He joined numerous of those downsized Japanese whom we called “secretly unemployed” who wanted to save their faces from their families hence pretended to work each day. Ryuhei used to spend his office working hours in parks and libraries with a number of other well-suited Japanese who were carrying the same deception. Ryuhei kept founding jobs and putting up his CV in many offices which in return just offered humiliation and unjustified low salary packages. Once Ryuhei met his old class met, Kurosu (Kanji Tsuda), while wandering on streets. He found Kurosu in the same situation as himself. Kurosu told him that he used a mobile phone feature that rang after specific intervals, so that people around him believed that he was still employed and got calls from his clients/employer. Kurosu took him to a place where they stood in queue to get free food which was available for homeless Japanese in the name of charity. The inspiration for such an outline of this film came, partly, from Kurosawa’s own childhood curiosity because his father never discussed the particulars of his job at home.