Yudi Xia’s review published on Letterboxd:
The thing I love about Ozu. Is his ability to expressing human compassion.
In this film, all the blood related children are ungrateful, indifferent, materialistic, entitled, and take their parents for granted. They sincerely don’t make effort to love the parents. While the widowed daughter-in-law is so giving, caring, generous and make such effort to accommodate the parents-in-law.
In pseudo China which I assume Japan had similar culture, women widows are supposed to stay widowed and honor their dead husband and establish loyalty and love. But this parents are open-minded, they have sincere affection towards the daughter in law and has profound care for her happiness. That conversation showed such depth of human compassion.