Thursday, June 25, 2009


Today I went to Kochi city (where I used to live) and saw this movie, The Harimaya Bridge. Yes, the one that I was an extra in a year ago. Was I in the movie? No, I couldn't find myself today. But if I rent a DVD and play it slow over and over, there might be a surprise, so I still have a hope.

To me it was a lovely movie like a handmade gift made with lots of love. Nothing gorgeous, but warm, touching and personal. Frankly, this film appealed more to my right brain rather than left. The serene beauty of Japanese countryside so sensitively captured. Lush emotional, lush green, and the bright red color of the Harimaya bridge... Many movies and TV dramas/documentaries have been filmed in Kochi, but none showed the beauty of Kochi as stunningly as this film did, I think. I loved the camera work, especially the use of the mirror and glass. And it had to be Ben Guillory and Saki Takaoka to fit in this serene tone of the scenes.

More than anything -- the paintings used in this film! They HAD TO be those paintings -- nothing else -- to perfectly match this story. I'm not just talking about the paintings by Mickey but including those painted by the little girl. They were just right. To me they looked far more convincing and persuasive than any of the lines in the story.

I have to admit that I felt something in this movie made it look like an "educational movie." Maybe the storytelling? Editing? Dialogue? It's not that the Japanese lines were strange or grammatically wrong. And they were wonderfully translated into local dialect, not like the poor work by some Japanese TV dramas. But ... I don't know how to explain this... I felt those lines were meant to explain the message or the theme of this film (and possibly written in English first?) rather than to be real and be touching by being real. Am I making any sense? So I had this slight strange feeling that those Japanese people I saw in the film were "Japanese as seen through non-Japanese eyes," which made my empathy as a Japanese fade a little, to be perfectly honest.

That said, I was and still am charmed with the warmth and sensitivity of this movie. And I can proudly say that this is a handmade gift from our beautiful countryside, Kochi, Japan to all the people who find themselves being between two different worlds and making their own choices step by step.
posted by obachan, 6/25/2009 09:51:00 PM


my sister's friend directed this movie :)
commented by Blogger yamo, 6/30/2009 10:36 AM  
Really?! Small World! :D
commented by Blogger obachan, 6/30/2009 7:40 PM  
I hope you are doing well! Thanks for passing by!


commented by Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums, 7/17/2009 8:41 PM  
I moved to the US from Japan 22 years ago. I have not gone home for 10 years but in a couple of months I can finally go home. I was asking by my sister where I wanted to visit. I thought about your blogs and have decided to visit to Shikoku for the first time. I love taking photographs. I would love to hear your suggestions about where to visit. Thank you.

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7/21/2009 1:00 PM  
Dear Obachan,

This is what happens if someone doesn't proofread what she writes and hastily clicks "send." In the previous response I wrote, I meant "I was asked by my sister." Anyway, I really enjoy reading your blogs.

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7/21/2009 1:13 PM  
Thanks for coming by. Hope you visit my foodblog, too, once in a while.

Hi. Thanks for your comments.
Unfortunately I don't know much about other places in Shikoku except central Kochi city and my hometown... I've never been rich enough to travel around. Anyway, if it's summer, I was going to recommend the big dance festivals in Kochi and Tokushima. But if you visit Japan in autumn, I wonder what would be nice to see in Shikoku. I'm not saying that there's nothing worth seeing in Shikoku then, but you can see similar (or even better) things in other, perhaps more accessible places on main island.

That said, there's one place in Shikoku I want to visit for my own pleasure. It is this udon school. But I bet you wouldn't want to come all the way to Shikoku just to dance on the udon dough, and you may want to combine other plans, but again I don't know much about what else are there to do/see. A site like this might help?

Sorry I can't be of better help.
commented by Blogger obachan, 7/24/2009 7:54 AM  

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