Tokyo March (Tokyo Koshinkyoku 1929) is a 23 minute silent film by Kenji Mizoguchi. There are two striking things about this early film: the location footage of Tokyo and the themes that Mizoguchi would develop over his career are readily apparent in this film. I was surprised to see so much location of the late 20s Tokyo. I was under the impression that most silent films were produced on sound stages. That being said I was also intrigued to see that Mizoguchi incorporated a journal entry and a letter reading into the film to propel the story along in addition to the benshi (narrator) cues read in between scenes to comment on the action. It is a complicated love story that result in a somewhat bittersweet conclusion. Essentially, Michiyo, a poor fatherless girl loses her mother to illness and must become a geisha to support her uncle and aunt who she lives with since the uncle has lost his job. A woman turning to the “water trade” to support a family is a recurring theme in the films of Mizoguchi and a reflection of what happened in his own life as his sister became a geisha to support him and his family. It was more compelling than I expected it to be.