Tokyo Sonata

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In the changing society, Japanese family is facing many challenges. Some of them are fail to adapt the changing environment. Tokyo Sonata portrays some problems in contemporary Japanese dysfunctional families such as communication problems. In this article, we are going to illustrate them one by one.

Portrait of Japanese family
To illustrate the dysfunctional families portrayed in Tokyo Sonata, we have to understand the traditional Japanese and how does it work functionally.

Traditional Japanese family is a patriarchal family. Father is the head of the family and takes the superior power. Others in the family have to unconditionally follow the father in any circumstance. The support of father’s power not only come from the social norms, but also come from his breadwinner’s role. Father makes money to the family and thus his control the lifeblood in the family. When there is a contradiction among family, everyone should follow the father and make no objection.

During the film, there are lots of hints shows that this family is the patriarchal family. One of the biggest hints is in the dining table. During their dinner, no one can have their meal before the permission of the father. They have to wait until the father said “let’s have a dinner”. This situation not only exits in Sasaki’s family, but also in other family such as the family of Ryuhei’s friends. The father has superior power in the family.

Problems in contemporary Japanese families
There are lots of problems in contemporary Japanese families. Those problems are hidden in past and no one concern about it. As there are no stimuli, everyone just tolerate and do nothing. However, there problem still exist and it can be trigger by any small change. In the film, or even the whole country, the trigger is that the father loses his breadwinner’s role. In other words, just like the case of the father, Ryuhei, in the film, he lost his job in his middle age.

The first problem is that...
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