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Where Chimneys Are Seen

Where Chimneys Are Seen
Directed byHeinosuke Gosho
Written byHideo Oguni (screenplay)
Rinzō Shiina (novel)
Produced byYoshishige Uchiyama
StarringKen Uehara
Kinuyo Tanaka
Hideko Takamine
CinematographyMitsuo Miura
Edited byNobu Nagata
Music byYasushi Akutagawa
Distributed byShintoho
Release date
  • 5 March 1953 (1953-03-05) (Japan)
Running time
108 minutes

Where Chimneys Are Seen (煙突の見える場所, Entotsu no mieru basho), also titled Four Chimneys, is a 1953 Japanese comedy-drama film directed by Heinosuke Gosho. Based on the novel Mujaki na hitobito by Rinzō Shiina,[1] Where Chimneys Are Seen is regarded as one of Gosho's most important and well-known films[2][3] and a typical example of the shōshimin-eiga genre.[4]



Hiroko Ogata and her second husband Ryukichi (her first husband Tsukahara is believed to have died in a bombing in the Second World War) live in the lower-class outskirts of Tokyo. The upper floor of the Ogatas' flat is rented to Kenzō and Senko, a young man and a woman who show interest in each other, but are not a couple. One day, the Ogatas find a baby in the house entrance with a note signed by Tsukahara, stating it was Hiroko's daughter. The marriage is engulfed in a crisis, with Hiroko nearly committing suicide. Kenzō searches the city for Tsukahara and finally finds him and his new wife, the actual mother of the abandoned child, who initially had wanted to abort it. Although the Ogatas have developed an affection for the baby, which fell seriously ill at one point, they agree to return it to Mrs. Tsukahara who, after some hesitation, accepts it as her own.



Production and release


Where Chimneys Are Seen was produced by Gosho's own production company Studio Eight (1950–1954)[4][5] and distributed by Shintoho studios. The film was shown in competition at the 3rd Berlin International Film Festival.[6]



In his Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors, film historian Alexander Jacoby described Where Chimneys Are Seen as "an exemplary depiction of the balance between aspiration and despair in a country recovering from war".[2]




  1. ^ a b "煙突の見える場所". Kinenote (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  2. ^ a b Jacoby, Alexander (2008). Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors: From the Silent Era to the Present Day. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1-933330-53-2.
  3. ^ "Where Chimneys Are Seen". Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  4. ^ a b Anderson, Joseph L.; Richie, Donald (1959). The Japanese Film – Art & Industry. Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company.
  5. ^ Hirano, Kyoko (1992). Mr. Smith Goes to Tokyo: Japanese Cinema Under the American Occupation, 1945–1952. Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press. ISBN 1-56098-157-1.
  6. ^ "Programme of the 1953 Berlin International Film Festival". Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  7. ^ "ブルーリボン賞ヒストリー". Cinema Hochi (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  8. ^ "毎日映画コンクール 第8回(1953年)". Mainichi (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 July 2023.
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Where Chimneys Are Seen
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