The title of this documentary film is a pun based on the title of a famous classic American film from the 1930s starring Jimmy Stewart, called "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." That film is about an ordinary guy going to the capital of America and fighting for a just cause amongst a challenging political system. In this film, Mr. Smith goes to Tokyo instead. This tells the story of the censorship of the Japanese film industry during the post war occupation years of 1945 to 1952.
The effect of American censorship on the film industry of Japan included the banning of topics considered anti-American or counterproductive to the efforts to rebuild Japan under American influence. Stories with themes of Japanese nationalism, suicide, revenge, military efforts, discrimination on either racial or religious grounds were prohibited. All the cinematic efforts had to be in alignment with the Potsdam Declaration and this meant there could not be any stories about degrading females, exploiting children, or anything that was un-American in any fashion.
The Japanese film industry had to make films acceptable to American standards and the influence as a part of the American propaganda efforts to remake Japan was tremendous. Information from declassified documents is shown in this historical examination of what occurred when the U.S. directly controlled all of Japan.
Japanese culture was strongly influenced. Mass communication was regulated and heavily influenced by the power of the American efforts of censorship. This is an interesting time when the influence of the dominant American culture enforced by military command changed Japan and the films presents the rebuilding of Tokyo in this light as a fantasy story.