This autumn, a profoundly moving drama about "the noble sense of propriety of the Japanese and the ties between people" will be brought to life by a superb ensemble of the best cast and crew in Japan.
The movie is based on Rin Hamuro's A Samurai Chronicle, which was awarded the 146th Naoki Prize in 2011 after being selected unanimously by the judges. It is a bestselling period novel described as having "an unprecedented degree of perfection" by the writer Jiro Asada. The director and screenwriter is Takashi Koizumi, the trusted long-time assistant of the master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. He continues to direct fine works that carefully depict the inner workings of people such as After the Rain and The Professor and His Beloved Equation. His latest is an inspiring work in which he infuses his own devotion to his mentor into the characters.
Starring in this film is Koji Yakusho, one of the greatest actors of present-day Japanese cinema who continues to mesmerize audiences with his dignified performances. Supporting him is Junichi Okada, the star of the blockbuster movie The Eternal Zero that took Japanese audiences by storm and whose next film appearance is being eagerly awaited. Maki Horikita is a gifted actress who is currently one of the most popular young stars in Japan. Mieko Harada is a superb actress with an unrivaled presence who has appeared in such Kurosawa films as Ran and Dreams. A cast featuring some of the finest actors in the business has been assembled.
The essence of Japanese cinema is portrayed against a backdrop of the beautiful scenery shifting with the seasons.
To take responsibility for an unheard-of incident that he had caused, Shukoku Toda (Koji Yakusho) had been ordered to commit ritual suicide in 10 years' time in the summer. Furthermore, until that time, he was to complete the compilation of the genealogical table that chronicled the domain's history. Only 3 more years were left until the day he was scheduled to commit suicide.
Shozaburo Danno (Junichi Okada) has been ordered to keep an eye on Shukoku, to prevent him from fleeing upon learning about the secrets of the domain through the process of compiling the genealogical table. To watch over Shukoku, who is being held in confinement, Shozaburo begins to live with the Toda family, who are Shukoku and his wife Orie (Mieko Harada), their daughter Kaoru (Maki Horikita) and son Ikutaro (Haruto Yoshida).
Although faced with the cruel fate of having to eventually kill himself, Shukoku cherishes each day that goes by and works on compiling the genealogical table matter-of-factly. His wife Orie loves him deeply and trusts him completely, and spends each day taking care of the family in a mild-mannered way. Their children, Kaoru and Ikutaro, grow up observing how their parents live and try hard to stay strong.
Shozaburo is strongly impressed by Shukoku's unwavering stance and the manner in which his family supports him wholeheartedly. He begins to have doubts about the circumstances around the incident that resulted in Shukoku's death sentence, and begins to investigate what really happened.
Eventually, Shozaburo uncovers the truth behind the incident and obtains a document of grave importance that could shake up the domain's administration.
What future awaits Shukoku, Shozaburo, Orie and Kaoru?
- KOIZUMI Takashi
- Original Story
- HAMURO Rin
- KIDO Shiro
- KOIZUMI Takashi
- KAKO Takashi
- UEDA Shoji
- Release Date in Japan
- Running time
- 129 min