Tsuitachi – or: the first day of a new month. In Japan it means that you can buy movie tickets for 1000 Yen (they usually cost about 1800 Yen if you buy them directly at the cinema). There is usually a “Tokyo Movie Lovers” meet-up on that date, but I felt that today’s movie (“P.S. I Love You”) isn’t something that I have to watch in a movie theatre. So I went alone to Wald-9 to check out what interesting Japanese movies are running.
The movies I knew were already sold out, so I picked one that looked interesting (the poster): Maboroshi no Yamataikoku. The film is a drama as well as a history film, starting in Taisho period and ending in Showa age. It’s about a railroad worker (Yohei) who is passionate about bananas and an ancient country called “Yamataikoku”. Kazuko, who is working for NHK, later records his story and becomes interested in Yohei, despite his harsh temper. With him being blind, she vows to be the eyes of her husband to find the place where Yamataikoku is supposed to be.
Yohei is a character who both shows strengths and weaknesses. It’s not easy to like him when he shouts at his wife for no good reason or puts others in danger with his unreasonable behaviour.
I liked the film because of the interesting lead character and the setting which shows the Japanese country side. Though they mention it from time to time (“There’s thing called TV – it could be big!”) the changes in the society and technology are not a big topic. The film is also known as “Where the Legend lives” in the west.