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Ikiru Filming Location?

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    Vili Maunula

    At the Ikiru Film Club thread, Rashomon asked a question which I think rather deserves its own thread. Here is the question:

    Rashomon: Hello everyone. Does anyone know where Ikiru was filmed? IMDB only states “Japan”, and I can’t find any other information. 🙁 For example where is that bridge and the playground underneath located? Thank you.

    Anyone know the details? I’ll dig into the literature in a bit.

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    Vili Maunula

    Rashomon, I couldn’t find information about the exact location of the bridge or the playground, but especially the playground could simply be a studio set. I think that the film was mostly shot in Toho’s Tokyo studios, with some location work done in Tokyo.

    Maybe someone else can add to this?

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    Ugetsu

    I really wish I could help with this – I’ve always had an ambition to go travel around Japan photographing some of the settings of my favourite films, but its quite hard I think to find information on this. On imdb you will occasionally get people who post photographs from favourite locations – I posted a link before on one from High and Low.

    I do think that its likely there is little left of any Ikiru locations though – Tokyo has been so comprehensively redeveloped since then, especially places like Ginza where (I assume) parts of the night-town sequences were shot.

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    Rashomon

    The playground could be added. But the bridge itself? I mean building that in a studio seems almost a little too big for me, it looked like an existing one, with all the houses around it.

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    Vili Maunula

    Indeed, the bridge probably is real. Not that it couldn’t have been done as studios have entire fake city blocks in their lots, but I would imagine it probably being easier to find on location.

    I skimmed through Teruyo Nogami’s Waiting on the Weather with the help of Google Books, but unfortunately it didn’t seem to have any details on Ikiru’s shooting locations. That’s one book that would badly need an index!

    Galbraith’s Kurosawa-Mifune biography wasn’t helpful with this question either (now there’s a sentence that cannot be used often!), so it seems like none of the usual suspects have the information. One would probably have to dig into archive materials or interview those members of the crew who are still alive.

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    Ugetsu

    I’ve always assumed that apart from the office and domestic scenes, most of Ikiru was filmed mostly on location – if they are mainly sets, they are incredibly good sets, very convincing.

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