Those Who Make Tomorrow

Japan Release: 1946
Running Time:
82 minutes

Those Who Make Tomorrow

Japanese Title

[Asu o tsukuru hitobito]

Distributor: Production:


In the early years of the Occupation, labor unions and union activities started popping up all around Japan, much to the dismay of Gintaro Okamoto. A white-collar man with anti-union sentiments, he dreaded the idea of his own family succumbing to the temptation of organized protest. But with one daughter, Yoshiko, working as a script girl at a big movie studio and the other, Aiko, performing in a revue dancing troupe subject to the wrath of a malicious stage manager, it was only a matter of time before his progeny became entrenched in this movement for improved working conditions. One day, a railroad employee boarding in the Okamoto household goes on strike with his comrades. This inspires the employees of the movie studio (including Yoshiko) to do the same, feeling their company thinks too much about profits and not enough about the financial well-being of its own staff. A while later, one of the girls in Aiko's dance troupe is fired by the stage manager, prompting her friends to start picketing themselves. Gintaro maintains his anti-union sentiments, opposing his daughters' involvement with his every breath, until he loses his own job. Realizing the errors of his beliefs and knowing now from experience the unfairness infiltrating even the white-collar realm, Gintaro joins his daughters in mutiny. Together with other unhappy workers, they join hands, singing pro-union songs, demanding a better future for everyone...

Live Action

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews


International Title


Initial US Title

US Distributor: - / Time: -

Alternate Titles

Those Who Make Tomorrow
[Literal translation]




Directed by Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Sekigawa, Kajiro Yamamoto
Writing credits Yusaku Yamagata, Kajiro Yamamoto
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ryo Takei, Keiji Matsuzaki, Sojiro Motoki
Music by Noboru Ito
Cinematography by Takeo Ito, Taiichi Kankura, Mitsuo Miura
Production Design by Takeo Kita, Keiji Kitagawa
Fujita Susumu Fujita
Takamine Hideko Takamine
Gintaro Okamoto, Father Kenji Susukida
Seizo Hori, Chauffeur Masayuki Mori
Kin Okamoto, Mother Chieko Takehisa
Sumino, Theatre Manager Takashi Shimura
Okamoto's Colleague Yonosuke Toba
Section Chief Masao Shimizu
Director Hyo Kitazawa
Kume Kenzo Asada
Matsui, Light Man Ichiro Chiba
Chiyoko Hori Sumie Tsubaki
Shizumi, Dancer Sayuri Tanima
Haruko, Dancer Sachiko Mitani
Fumie, Actress Itoko Kono
Yoshiko Okamoto, Elder Sister Chieko Nakakita
Tokiko, Dancer Yuriko Hamada
Aiko Okamoto, Younger Sister Mitsue Tachibana
Kimiko, Dancer Michiko Kayama
Seizaburo Kawazu Seizaburo Kawazu

Background and Trivia

  • Was co-directed by Akira Kurosawa, Kajiro Yamamoto, and Hideo Sekigawa, though it remains unclear which director handled which portions of the film. It is known, however, that Kurosawa shot his portion in a week. This information comes from The Films of Akira Kurosawa (ISBN: 0520220374)
  • Akira Kurosawa disowned Those Who Make Tomorrow, describing it as "a film made by committee" and something that "cannot be described as mine more than anyone else's." He went on to state it was "a good example of how uninteresting [films made by committee] can be." This is noted in The Emperor and the Wolf (ISBN: 0571211526).
  • Has not been shown in Japan since its original release and has never been made available in any home media format anywhere in the world. Cited in The Emperor and the Wolf (ISBN: 0571211526).
  • Was made during the early years of the Allied occupation of Japan, at a time when studio employees were encouraged to form labor unions and produce pro-union movies. In March 1946, shortly before this film's release, Toho's own union went on strike. The strike lasted 15 days and ended with the studio agreeing to the following: employees would receive a minimum monthly salary of 600 yen (plus overtime); the union's committees would be allowed input in the hiring of new talent and the selection of scripts to be filmed. Mentioned in The Emperor and the Wolf (ISBN: 0571211526).
  • Toho contract players Susumu Fujita, Hideko Takamine, and Seizaburo Kawazu appear as themselves, suggesting the unnamed studio in the film is, in fact, Toho. It has also been speculated the railroad company is a stand-in for Hankyu Electric Railway Company, whose chairman Ichizo Kobayashi merged Photo Chemical Laboratories, J.O. Studios, and other small companies to form Toho. Noted in The Emperor and the Wolf (ISBN: 0571211526).