Shomin-geki (庶民劇) is a pseudo-Japanese word invented by Western film scholars.[1] It describes a genre of realist film and television or theater plays in Japan which focuses on the everyday lives of ordinary people.

Mikio Naruse (1905–1969) and Yasujirō Ozu (1903–1963) were two prominent directors considered to work primarily in the field of shomin-geki. Others included Heinosuke Gosho, Keisuke Kinoshita, and occasionally Kenji Mizoguchi. In Japanese the correct word for this genre of films is shōshimin-eiga.[1]


  • Shomin (庶民) - common people, populace, masses, plebeian[2]
  • Shōshimin (小市民) - petty bourgeois, lower middle class[2]


  1. "shosimineiga". Hitachi Solutions.
  2. Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, Kenkyusha Limited, Tokyo 1991, ISBN 4-7674-2015-6

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