Hana wa sakuragi, hito wa bushi
Naoya Yoshida was one of the most representative directors in NHK, where he directed many programs in the 1950s. In one of these programs, titled “Tokyo”, he shows through the eyes of a woman the contrast between the expanding city of Tokyo and the feeling of isolation of people.
After WWII the face of Tokyo had changed: and in Tokyo they started to live life again, trying to develop a new habit, a new routine. In addition, reconstruction started, activating the willing to go on and the strength to do it. Tokyo, like its inhabitants, was hanging on, trying to survive after the things that happened in the past to create a better future.
Society had changed, as well as the image of the Emperor: the Emperor was no longer considered a God, whom gaze entered the life of Japanese people, but soon started to develop a new image.
“[Tokyo] is desperately hanging on, just like me”, the woman in the movie says, and this is a sort of thread that unites the city and its inhabitants, who identify with the city itself.
Tokyo was a site of re-building, which is also evident from the urban projects that are proposed after the war and in preparation for the Olympic Games. Plus, Tokyo wanted to remind its position as the Capital (and Capital of an empire) and that reconstruction had to start from here. The strength of the city was given by the habitants and the strength of the habitants was given by the city: Tokyo identified with the thoughts and willing of its habitants and they shaped their lives, aspirations and hopes on the city. Whether they loved the city or they hated it, the relationship between Tokyo and its inhabitants is like a circle, in which everyone is interacting with Tokyo and Tokyo is interacting with them.