Daigaku wa deta keredo

Silent . Black and White . 11 minutes (incomplete)

Shochikiu Kamata Studio

Written By

Shimizu Hiroshi
Aramaki Yoshio


Mohara Hideo


Takada Minoru (Nomoto Tetsuo)
Tanaka Kinuyo (Machiko)
Suzuki Utako (mother)
Oyama Kenji (Sugimura)
Sakamoto Takeshi (secretary)

Takada Minoru goes for a job interview and turns down the offer of receptionist, thinking it's beneath him. However, when his mother arrives, along with his fiancee Machiko, he conceals his unemployment until the marriage. When Machiko discovers his situation, she has a fit. Later that evening, Takada patronises a bar and finds Machiko moonlighting there. He is furious with her but eventually he becomes aware of her sacrifice, and pleads with his interviewer for the job he rejected. Instead, he is told that the previous offer was a test, and he is given a better position.

Thoughts from Ozu
I cast Takada Minoru and Tanaka Kinuyo for the first time in this film. I had made a good number of student films, but when it came to filming young actors, it was hard to go beyond the old themes of salarymen or college life. However, in those days, the images of white-collar types were limited. As for students, they were of course a different breed from the ones nowadays, who get into fights with the police. They were all very carefree, and comparatively easy fodder for jokes in nonsense comedies. Shimizu Hiroshi originally wanted to direct this film, but somehow, the script fell into my lap. I thought, if I was determined to be a director, then I must get to grips with any genre and make every film as well as I could. It's all very well for the so-called film auteur to have artistic ideas but one also needs the professional flair for handling all the different aspects of filmmaking. Admittedly, excessive professionalism could spell trouble, but I was nonetheless extremely grateful for the chance to develop my professionalism through making these kinds of films.


The 10th film, shot from the end of June to the beginning of September 1929. The shooting took quite long. A rain scene could not be shot because of the unusually good weather, followed by the summer vacation in the studio. This is Ozu's first film in which big stars appear. Takada Minoru and Tanaka Kinuyo. Maybe this is due to the fact that the director Shimizu Hiroshi, a good friend of Ozu, actually planned to shoot this film himself, after his own story, and then Ozu took his place. The title of this film became a very popular phrase because it represents the social situation of the early Showa era. That carved the name of Ozu not only in film history but also in social history. After World War 1, the Japanese economy was in chronic depression and on October 1st 1929, the number of unemployed persons rose to more than 300,000 in the whole country. The intelligentsia had an especially hard time getting a job. The ratio of employment of fresh graduates was only around 40%. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government opened an Employment Security Office for intellectuals in the same year. Moreover, on October 14th the stock exchange crash on Wall Street caused a worldwide panic. The famous gag in this film, using Sunday Mainichi magazine ("For me, everyday is like this"), is based on the bitter reality of that time. In the filmography of Ozu, this film is regarded as the turning point from the cheerful student comedies to the films about salaried workers. Pumpkin (Kabocha, 1928) of the year before was the pioneer of his salaried worker films, but dominated by a comical touch. After I Graduated, But..., Ozu became the central figure of the shoshimin films, about the lower middle-class, which form one mainstream in Japanese film history. In Ozu's films, the description of environment is more important than that of characters. The living place of the protagonist is particularly significant. In this story, the protagonist still lives in a rented room when his bride suddenly shows up. We can easily imagine the couple will soon move to a rented house in the suburbs. The transitional character of the film becomes clear. Actually, the protagonist of the next film, The Life of An Office Worker (Kaishain seikatsu, 1929), is a salaried worker who lives in a suburb. Ozu gradually expanded his view of society. Therefore, his films began to break away from the sentimental "Kamata-touch", shaped by Kido Shiro, the head of the Kamata studio. On the other hand, the "tendency film" (Keiko eiga), which was based on Marxist ideology became popular in this same year. The followers of this movement criticized Ozu's film as "lukewarm" and "loitering".

Film Images
Video of I Graduated, But...
(special thank you to Jill / Golden Silents Videos)