Yasujiro Ozu's first postwar film, Record Of A Tenement Gentleman (1947), is an overlooked gem. In fact, film critic David Bordwell said in his book, Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema, that if Ozu had made only this seventy-two minute film, he would have to be considered one of the world's greatest directors. Many critics and reviewers have described the film as a light comedy. On the surface level this is an accurate description. However, Ozu’s treatment of this scenario is so seamless that if obscures how deeply the effects of World War II are reflected in every shot, setting, and character of the film. Once realized, Record of a Tenement Gentleman becomes less a story about the thawing of an elderly widow’s heart than a testament of the Japanese postwar blues delivered in Ozu's comic and bittersweet lyric style. In fact in a conversation through letters with novelist David Peace, Japanese writer Kyoko Nakajima reveals that her short story, "Things Remember and Things Forgotten" for Granta 127, was inspired by this film. All of the characters are in some way itinerant: lost or have been separated from something dear to them. Tané (Choko Iida) is a widow, perhaps even a recent war widow, with a cold heart. Her kitchen with it hearth becomes a focal point in the film. The lost child, Kohei (Hohi Aoki), has been separated from his father (Eitaro Ozawa), a carpenter without a home. Tané’s two neighbors, Tashiro (Chishu Ryu) and Tamekichi (Reikichi Kawamura) are also rootless. Tashiro ekes out a living as a fortune teller. Tamekichi is an actor who also practices calligraphy and is estranged from his frivolous daughter Yuki (Hideko Mimura). Everyone in the neighborhood, including the soft spoken neighborhood leader and Kiku (Mitsuko Yoshikawa) gets by relying on the black market and on each other. The film ends at the statue of Saigo Takamori, the hero of the Meiji Restoration, and a place where war orphans gathered and gives promise for a new hope for Japan in the postwar era.