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Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written by Akira Kurosawa
Hideo Oguni
Shinobu Hashimoto
Starring Yoshitaka Zushi
Kin Sugai
Toshiyuki Tonomura
Music by Tōru Takemitsu
Cinematography Yasumichi Fukuzawa
Takao Saitô
Edited by Reiko Kaneko
Distributed by Toho
Release dates
  • October 31, 1970 (1970-10-31)
Running time
140 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Dodes'ka-den (どですかでん Dodesukaden?, literally, "Clickety-clack") is a 1970 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa and based on the Shūgorō Yamamoto[1] book Kisetsu no nai machi ("The Town Without Seasons").


The film focuses on the lives of a variety of characters who happen to live in a rubbish dump. The first to be introduced is a mentally challenged boy who lives in a world of fantasy in which he is a tram conductor. He is both the tram and the tram driver and follows a set route and schedule through the dump; his dedication to the fantasy is fanatical. The film title refers to a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound made by a tram or train while in motion ( "Do-desu-ka-den do-desu-ka-den do-desu-ka-den"). The sound is made by the boy as he makes his daily faux-tram route through the dump.



Dodesukaden was Kurosawa's first color film. After the success of Red Beard, it took Kurosawa five years before this film appeared. Very few of the actors from Kurosawa's stock company of the 1950s and 1960s were in it, and most of the cast were relatively unknown. Dodesukaden was unlike anything Kurosawa had made before. It gained an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film in the 44th Academy Awards.[2] Dodesukaden was a financial failure, and came during the worst possible time in Kurosawa's life.[citation needed] Dodesukaden was only made by the cooperation and co-producing of three other Japanese directors, Keisuke Kinoshita, Masaki Kobayashi, and Kon Ichikawa.[citation needed]


Its commercial failure sent Kurosawa into a deep depression, and in 1971 he attempted suicide.[3] Despite having slashed himself over 30 times with a razor, Kurosawa survived his suicide attempt;[citation needed] however, he would not return to filmmaking for five years, releasing Dersu Uzala in 1975.


The film won the Grand Prix of the Belgian Film Critics Association.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ pen name of Satomu Shimizu
  2. ^ "The 44th Academy Awards (1972) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-11-27. 
  3. ^ Anderson, Joseph L.; Richie, Donald; The Japanese Film: Art and Industry, p.460

External links[edit]