This is the first, silent version of a film that Ozu remade with sound and in color in 1959, shortening the title to just Floating Weeds. I haven't seen the remake yet, but it's available on Hulu Plus. Yes, 1934 is late to be making silent films, but Ozu was following the lead of the Japanese film industry, which didn't switch to sound until 1931 -- and Ozu waited till 1936 to make a talkie. It's the story (written by Tadao Ikeda and Ozu himself under his pseudonym James Maki) of Kihachi Ichikawa (Takeshi Sakamoto), the head of a troupe of traveling players who find themselves in a village where Kihachi has a former mistress, Otsune (Choko Iida), with whom he had a son, Shinkichi (Koji Mitsui). The now almost-grown son has always known Kihachi as "Uncle," because Kihachi has kept his parentage secret, not wanting him to follow in his footsteps as an actor. But when Otaka (Rieko Yagumo), an actress in the troupe and Kihachi's most recent mistress, discovers the secret, she decides to take revenge by asking a younger actress, Otoki (Yoshiko Tsubouchi), to seduce Shinkichi. The revenge backfires when Otoki falls in love with the young man. As usual, Ozu's sympathetic view of human relationships carries the film, giving depth to the somewhat slight story. And the glimpses of the world of the traveling players is both fascinating and funny. The lovely cinematography is by Hideo Shigehara, who filmed and sometimes edited many of Ozu's pre-war movies.