A sentimental but sincere variation on the carpe diem theme by Akira Kurusawa. Beautifully filmed as I’ve come to expect from Kurusawa. I’ve noticed that his films I’ve seen so far all highlight western influences on Japanese culture in various ways. This time we have the western theme, a fairly western soundtrack, and a bureaucratic setting (though I don’t know for certain how much of Japan’s bureaucracy resulted from western influence). The story seemed a bit too cliche to me, but Kurusawa does put his twist on the theme at the end.