Throughout, Ozu strikes a touchingly profound note whilst imbuing proceedings with his usual playfulness. Hirayama's desire to remain anchored in the past is humorously undermined, as a meeting with a former shipmate provokes a gentle satire on the military pomp of Japan's naval past. A potential infatuation with a pretty bar owner is also undercut by the claims of his son, Koichi (Keiji Sada), that she looks nothing like his deceased mother. Meanwhile, Koichi's own marriage provides further comic relief as he spars with his headstrong wife (Mariko Okada) who, along with Michiko, embodies the changing place of women in the Japan of the early sixties. It's Michiko to whom Hirayama's heart truly belongs and the hole that will be left is an enormous one, much like that left in cinema's heart with Ozu's own departure. What better reminder of this can there be than the exquisite majesty of his final composition.