Hōshi: A Short Film on the 1300-Year-Old Hotel Run by the Same Japanese Family for 46 Generations

Hōshi is a ryokan (a Japanese traditional inn) located in Komatsu, Japan, and it holds the distinction of being the 2nd oldest hotel in the world, and “the oldest still running family business in the world” (per Wikipedia). Built in 718 AD, the ryokan has been operated by the same family for 46 consecutive generations. Count them. 46 generations.

Japan is a country with deep traditions. And when you’re born into a family that’s the caretaker of a 1300-year-old institution, you find yourself struggling with issues most of us can’t imagine. That’s particularly true when you’re the daughter of the Hōshi family, a modern woman who wants to break free from tradition. And yet history and strong family expectations keep calling her back.

The story of Hōshi ryokan is poignantly told in a short documentary above. It was shot in 2014 by the German filmmaker Fritz Schumann.

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Comments (7)
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  • celina says:

    as a Japanese descendant in Brazil (3rd generation), I would like to thank the production team of this for making this poignant movie and for you guys from Open Culture, so many thanks for sharing – the only way I would have access to it.

    Celina Ishikawa

  • Chris says:

    This short-documentary reminded me of “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” as it tells about the human values of sacrifice and heritage that I still struggle to understand. These values seem to be strong and thick in Japan; I don’t know if I feel admiration or a sense of alienation towards their values. Maybe it is a bit of both.

    Thank you Dan, after years of lurking Open Culture, you really brought me out with this one.

    Chris N

  • Mary E. Townsend says:

    I’ve always wanted to come to Japan and spend some nights in these beautiful inns but just a dream I guess

  • Gediminas Rutkauskas says:

    Great respect the country, its people able to sustain such perceptions and traditions. Hope to spend few inspiring nights there or elswhere in Japanese Ryokan One Day.

  • Virginia Laffitte says:

    Simply, very beautiful. A reality of what we rarely see in our world today.

  • Virginia Laffitte says:

    Simply, very beautiful.

  • Asaf says:

    Open Culture is my choice of entertainment and knowledge, you never ceases to surprise me.

    Thank you Dan for all your hard work.

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