Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




The Japanese film "The Great War of Archimedes"



I saw the film "The Great War of Archimedes" directed by Takashi Yamazaki, who is known as the director of "The Fighter Pilot" and "The Man They Called Pirate"


The main character, a mathematical genius is a fictional one, but many other characters existed. For him, who is a mathematician, everything in the world can be expressed in a mathematical formula. "Numbers never tell a lie" is the absolute truth, which was his justice.


However, the interpretation of justice depends on the person. In the scene of a meeting, the theme "protecting the country" had missed the point and become a personal attack.This kind of things may have happened in Japan today as well.


Hiroshi Tachi, who played Isoroku Yamamoto, the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, was stylish and so cool. Isoroku Yamamoto was played by famous actors such as Toshiro Mifune and Koji Yakusho etc. Hiroshi Tachi also played carefully Yamamoto's intellect, humanity and great ambitions as a military man.


Late in the film, Lieutenant General Hirayama said, "Japanese people don't know how to get defeated" "Japanese people will fight to the last man". I think that these are the keywords of this film. The tragic battleship Yamato was one of the world's largest and built with the best technology and aesthetic of Japanese people. On April 7th, 1945, the Yamato was under fierce attack from U.S. fighters and sunk.


From start to finish, the film was breathless. I thought that there were messages to today's Japan in each line and made me think. And, I want to visit Yamamto Museum one day. (H.S)



The Japanese film "The Journalist"



I saw the film "The Journalist", which criticizes the current government. I don't think that this kind of film had been created in Japan.


The subjects of the film are an accusation by a female journalist Shiori Ito and Kake Gakuen scandal, which can be said that it is a controversial one that depicts the dark side of Japan in real time.


When I saw the scene that a bureaucrat of Japan's Cabinet Intelligence Investigation Room, Sugihara said, "I am a person on the government.", I questioned what he said. I wondered that just what "on the government" was, and the government and the citizens were enemies in the first place.


While seeing the film, I tried to figure out the meaning of the words that a journalist Yoshioka's father who had died left, "Believe and doubt yourself more than anyone else."


A Korean actress Shim Eun-kyung plays Yoshioka. Previously, her image was a merry girl because she played a younger sister in a Korean TV drama. But I was happy to see that now she became quite a charming woman. The quiet scenes with she and Tori Matsuzaka, who played Sugihara, were impressive. When the film ended, I thought it was really good that she played Yoshioka.


You can enjoy the film as a good piece of work regardless of your political beliefs. It made me realize that swallowing coverages and that thinking process comes to stop is the worst thing for Japanese people who have been pointed out that they are peace-addicted. So, I really felt that I should collect information as much as I can and think anything for myself first. (H.S)


Academy Award-winning film “Green Book”



I went to see the film "Green Book", which won the Oscar for best picture this year.


The film was set in 1962 in the United States. Tony was hired by an African-American classical pianist Don Shirley for a concert tour into the Deep South states. Tony's job is to keep the Doctor safe during his playing tour in the American South that racial segregation existed, and drive him home at Carnegie Hall in New York City safely.


In the film, the Doctor said, "You never win with violence." At the time, in the United States, there was discrimination against not only African-Americans, but also Italians and Chinese. Living in Japan, it is difficult to imagine, but I wonder how much people were required patience to live under such severe discrimination. Even so, the Doctor stated, "You never win with violence." If I replace the phrase with in today's Japan, perhaps it can be said, "You never win with bullying, domestic violence or power harassment."


Mahershala Ali, who plays the Doctor, is elegant and intellectual and I thought that was just wonderful. Viggo Mortensen also played very well Tony, who was rough but somehow lovable. It was a lovely film that filled me with warm feelings after I saw it.


One of my favorite scenes in the film. The Doctor touches up the letter that Tony writes to his wife.


Green Book: travel guide for safe travel through America's racial segregation had been published from 1936 to 1966 every year. The fact that this kind of book existed was itself shocking.


The film won the Oscar for best picture, best original screenplay and best supporting actor.


The movie "Echitetsu Monogatari" (Echizen Railway Story)



a pamphlet of the movie

On November 23rd, the movie ”Echitetsu Monogatari” (Echizen Railway Story)

(the website is only available in Japanese) will finally be released throughout Japan.

The movie is about the local train line in Fukui, "Echizen Railway" and its kind attendants.

On the 23rd, the main actress Natsuko Yokozawa, the actor Naoto Ogata and the producer of

the movie Yoshihisa Kodama will give speeches at Yurakuza Subaru movie theater in Tokyo.

*The speeches will be given after the movie that will starts at 11:35 ends.


You can check the movie theaters that show the ”Echitetsu Monogatari” from here.

(the website is only available in Japanese)


The movie was released on November 3rd in Fukui Prefecture before its nationwide release, so I went to a theater to check it.


It was great to see the amazing scenery of Fukui, the nice local people, Echizen Railway and its attendants on the large screen. They all looked familiar to me because I was born and raised in Fukui. It was also impressive to see the actress/comedian, Natsuko Yokozawa's heartfelt acting with her cheerful smiles.



an attendant on one of the trains of Echizen Railway

The attendants on the trains of Echizen Railway, they sell tickets, tell them how to get to

their destination if they need and show them recommended local attractions.

They are kind and friendly, so I always feel comfortable asking them questions.


the scenery that can be seen from the window of the train of Echizen Railway
scenery that can be viewed from a train of Echizen Railway

It is very soothing and refreshing to see the Japanese houses, beautiful sky, large rice fields, mountains and rivers from the train.



If you have a chance to see the movie "Echitetsu Monogatari" (Echizen Railway Story)

(the website is only available in Japanese) and ride the train, enjoy seeing the great scenery of Fukui, and interacting with the nice local people and the wonderful attendants.




The film "Bohemian Rhapsody"



I have been waiting eagerly for the release in Japan and I went to see the film on the opening day.



The film "Bohemian Rhapsody" depicts Queen, which is a British legendary band, and half the lifetime of Freddie Mercury, the lead vocalist. Actually, I am a big fan of Queen. When I was in junior high school, I heard the cool guitar riff of "Keep Yourself Alive" by Queen for the first time on the radio and I still remember the shock.


It is a well known story that Queen first became popular in Japan. Also, Freddie loved Japan so much and his house had a Japanese garden. He even had read "The Book of Five Rings" by Musashi Miyamoto (a Japanese swordsman). In the film, there was a line "If you get a hit record, you can go on a tour in Japan." , and there also was a paper charm of Kinkakuji Temple (Kyoto, Japan) was pasted by the door in a house set that was supposed to be in Munich.


Mr. Itami, who was Freddie's personal security guard in Japan, even now wears a wristwatch by Cartier that was a gift from Freddie.


The film is a masterpiece the you can experience real Queen's life by the actors' outstanding performances, especially Rami Malek, who played Freddie. The running time, 2 hours and 15 minutes, passes by like a flash with excitement and tears for Queen fans or rock fans. I didn't want the film to end. I would probably never see such a film again. Next, I am going to see the film at an IMAX theater , so I am very looking forward to it. (H.S)