Definitely the kind of movie a director can make only once they reach a certain age, like Yamada was when he made this, well into his 80s.
It’s a movie that looks back into the past - not always with rose tinted glasses - and unpacks memories both personal and historical/cultural.
There’s quite a lot of history packed into this, owing to the flashback setting of 30s/40s Japan. I’d say that stuff is more interesting than the parts concerning romances, as that part of the film is serviceable but nothing remarkable.
It’s shot with the care you’d expect from this legendary Japanese director, and performances across the board are good. Nothing amazing in terms of plot, but it has a nice feel to it, a good deal of emotion, and an engaging historical setting.