Criterion released Hiroshi Shimizu's prewar works, including "Mr. Thank You (有がとうさん)". This is very exciting, since Hiroshi Shimizu, contemporary of Yasujiro Ozu, is not well-known even in Japan and this release will inspire many people to watch his films and enjoy his humor and relaxed atmosphere. "Mr. Thank You" is probably the most accessible to modern viewers, being a road movie in the countryside of prewar Japan. There is another movie on the bus by Shimizu in 1941, called "Akatsuki no gassho (暁の合唱)". It is not a road movie like "Mr. Thank You" made five years earlier, but it tried to capture its moments.
Tomoko (Michiyo Kogure) pursues to become a female bus driver in a rural area of Akita prefecture instead of going to the college. She experiences many aspects of the job, such as a bus guide, and the life, including an accident while learning driving a car, flirtation with a man next door, confrontation with "another" woman and so on. The film was released in the wake of the war in Pacific, but there is absolutely no reference to it.