Every Day a Good Day (2018) - full transcript

Noriko is a university student. By her mother's recommendation, Noriko begins attending a Japanese tea ceremony near her house with her cousin Michiko. There, Noriko learns from Teacher ...

When I was ten, my parents took me
to see a movie called 'La Strada'...

...by a director named Fellini.

It was about poor street performers,
depressing, and in black-and-white.

I couldn't see the point.

We should've seen the Disney!


Just let me get by here.


At 20, I was in university.

I was searching for something
to dedicate my life to.

But my student days were flying by too fast.

The lecture was cancelled!

Didn't you hear?


She blew the interview.

Everyone was starting out job-hunting.

I had no idea of what I wanted to do.

There'll be things
you don't like about any job.

But if you like it...

Stay here tonight.

I was planning to.

Cousin Michiko lived alone.
She'd come to Tokyo for school.

You go with the flow.

Whereas Noriko...


You analyze too much.

Shut up.

With Michiko, everything seemed clear-cut.

But people said I was dull,
too analytical, a plodder.

You know...

...she's really something.

Mrs Takeda. No one bows like her.

Mrs Takeda bows differently?

It's a regular bow, but it's different somehow.

'My name is Takeda.'
Just the way she said that and bowed.

It was beautiful.


I'm told she teaches Tea.

You didn't know?


She's been doing it for years.
All alone in that big house.

Why don't you study Tea?


Why not?

I'd prefer flamenco or Italian.

Great idea!

I'd like to.

Then do it! It's a fine thing.

Every girl used to before she got married.

So why not?

Michiko's going to.

Come with me, Noriko.

What a klutz!

Yes, they called me a klutz, too.

I hated it.

Anyway, now I was going to study Tea.

It was spring.

Around here, right?

Let's see...

This way.

That way.

There it is.


I'm nervous.



Oh, hello.

Please come in.

The other students come on Wednesdays...

You're all right?

But you're students,
so we'll do Saturdays. Come in.

Thank you.

Just wait here, will you?


It's huge.


What does that say?

I don't know.

'Every day a good day,' it says.

Haru Kuroki

Kirin Kiki

Mikako Tabe

Noriko Morishita

Written & Directed by Tatsushi Omori


All right...

'A balmy breeze comes from the south,'
the wall hanging says.

The spring breeze blows
in two nice young ladies.

It's perfect.

Now, this silk cloth...

...is the napkin.

If you don't fold it properly
it won't unfold the right way...

...so remember this.

Take the unstitched side...

...not the stitched sides,
and put it on the right.


Now from the left, you fold it over.

Then bottom to top.

That's right.

Pick it up...

...fold again.

With your right hand, like this...

...take it and put it into your kimono.

Pretend you were wearing one.

Now take it out again.

Open it...

...and lift it by this corner.

Now bring the two corners together.

Yes, like that.

And hook it in your sash.

Pretend you had one.

All right? Now you fold it in half...

...and in half once again, and pull it out.

Then take this triangle...

Yes, let it drop.

Hold it with your forefingers
and turn it sideways.

Snap it to shake off any dust. You try it.

Once more.

That's the sound.

Now raise it in your right hand...

...and fold it in three.

In three.

Like this...

Now fold that in half again...

...and holding it like that, fold once again.

Towards that other hand,
and fold back where it sticks out.

Hold it away, then fold again.

Then with your right hand,
place it on your knee.

That's the 'napkin folding'.

That's how it's done.

Now, here we have the tea caddy.

Take one.

With your napkin...

...you wipe the lid to purify it.

Left to right, far side and near side.

Far side, near side.

You wipe it clean.

Then back to the knee.

Now, since today is your first day...

...l'll make you some tea.

Help yourselves.

To the sweets.

There's no tea.

In tea ceremony, you eat the sweets first.

They're so cute!

'Iris buns'.

Use the paper there.

I give thanks.

You drink all the tea in the bowl,
and make a noise at the end.

A noise?

Yes. That's a sign that
you've finished all the tea.

That's so weird!

It is?

Really weird!

The next week

Now we'll practice the basic motions.

We'll do them separately.

You'll need to master each of them.

This is the tea whisk,
and this is how you use it.

You lay the whisk...

...in the far side of the bowl,
draw it towards you like this...

...and back with a turn of the wrist.

Set it down gently,
hold the bowl with your left hand...

...and raise it, turning it as you go.

I'll do that again.

Turn it the first time,
yes, all the way around.

Once more, turning it.

And the third time.

What does this do?

That's to soften the whisk while making sure...

...the tips aren't frayed.

When you bring it down the fourth time...

...you don't raise it again.

Swish, swish, swish, swish...

You draw it towards you, then around, and out.

Why do you roll the wrist like that?


Um...that's just how it's done.

You put it back in...wail, no you don't.

You roll the bowl around to warm it.

One, two, three, and again.

Hold it, let go...

Hold it lengthwise, one, two, three.

Then fold it away from you three times. Once...

Hold it facing down, and then into the bowl.

Then take it again, and in the bowl...

...bring it down on the left...

...then circle to the right, back up,
then down, out, and back in.

Why that pattern?

'Why,' you ask?

I wouldn't know.

It doesn't matter what it means.

That's how it's done.

It might not make sense to you...

...but that's the Way of Tea.

The week after that

Today we'll practice making the tea.

This we call 'the procedure'.

First comes the simple 'thin tea' procedure.

This is the preparation area.
It's like the tea room kitchen.

She was my Tea sensei.

Pick that up and take it
to the tea room entrance.

Where you went in.

Oh, OK.

Set the water jar down in front of your knees.

With your left hand,
slide the door open part way.

Then change hands.

And bow.

The guest, too.

Hold the water jar at chest height,
and come in.

Don't let the water splash.

Keep your elbows in.

Fingers together. When you set the jar down...

...it's as if the mid part of both baby
fingers was touching the tatami mat.

As if you were carrying an egg under your arm.

No noise.


And say 'yes'.


Carry heavy things as if they were light,
and light things as if they were heavy.

No! Come in on the left foot.

On the left foot.

And never step on the edging.

And now...

...you walk towards the kettle...

...taking six steps on the tatami mat.

Which is that, the seventh?

You cross on the seventh.


That should be your left fool.

Like a cat burglar!

Was the count right?

Don't take the water from the top.

Scoop it from the bottom.

In Tea we say 'middle cold, bottom hot'.

Water in the middle is cold,
and water at the bottom is hot.

And no noise.


Hold the ladle over the middle of the bowl.


Don't put the ladle down so far into the bowl.

Pour from about one length above it.

Don't shake it.

Hold it until that last drop falls.

Don't wait forever.

It doesn't have to foam that much.

Just until you can see a crescent moon
along the edge of the tea.

A crescent moon?


My legs are numb.

It hurts!

You must be tired.

With Tea, the form comes first.

First you create that form.

It's the container that
you put the spirit into later.

That's just formalism, isn't it?
Tracing out a pattern?


That's all right.

What does it mean?

I guess that's what you'd think
when you try to analyze everything.

Tea is very difficult.

I feel like a baby. I don't know anything.

Mrs Takeda has gone somewhere
far away and become 'Takeda-sensei'.

Can I keep on with this?

Two months later 'Season of Minor Heat'

Left hand above the knot.


And bow. Good.

Reposition yourself, take a breath.

Bring the rinse-water jar to your knee.

And then?

What are you going to wipe with that napkin?


That's not right, is it?

You curve your hand to pick up the tea caddy.

Rinse jar, tea bowl, caddy, then napkin...

Don't think about it. Absorb, don't learn.

With practice your hands will
come to move by themselves.

We're off for all of August.
I'll forget everything.

An announcement.

I'm going on a trip to France and England.

Really?! That's not fair! How can you do that!

I'll miss the first week of September.

I'll be there alone?


I can't believe this!

Bow. A breath. Rinse-water jar.

What are you going to do with that mike?

I'm going to sing with it!

I can't stand it!

'Kiss me like tequila

'So even my bones melt away

'Under the hot summer sky

'Let's dance and go wild'

The summer vacation flew by.

In that time I didn't even touch a napkin.

'And at the last, look at me again

'As if you were burning to a crisp'

One month later 'Season of White Dew'

Michiko's not coming today.

Why not?

She's in Europe.

I wish I could do that!

It's ready!

I give thanks.

There's loads of it!

Eat lots.

I give thanks.

Should we leave about 2?


You've got Tea.

Where are you going?

For dim sum.

I want to come!

You've got Tea.

I'll skip it.

Should you?

I don't want to go.

It's up to you.

I'll skip it.

I'll call Sensei later.

What's wrong?

I'll go to Tea.

You will?

Shall we bring you some?

No, thanks!

Yes, please!

Now spread the tea.

Hit it twice, lightly.

Not the hot water yet.

You're forgetting something.

l am?

The cold-water jar. Take the lid off.

Pull the rinse jar.


You see?

My hands moved by themselves.

Yes. Your hands know it.

Don't think. Just trust in your hands.

My hands had moved
as if something controlled them.

ll fell strange, and wonderful.


Two months later 'First Day of Winter'


Turn your body towards the hearth.

You turn, holding the ladle rest
in your left hand...

...so your knees line up
with the edge of the hearth.

Set the ladle rest inside the mat edging.

Third weave. Third.

Now set the ladle to your right...

...parallel to your leg.

Since it's winter, we'll be using the hearth.

You maintain this angle
to it as you make the tea.

But we've always...

That was Summer Tea. This is Winter Tea.

It's all right. Forget about Summer Tea now.

Just change the feel.

In hearth season, focus on the hearth.

Line the tea holder and the whisk
there on the fifth weave.

With the same hand draw the tea bowl back.

With the napkin in your right hand,
lay it beside your right knee.


Just when I'd started to enjoy it,
I was back at the start again.

As if I! was a cruel joke.

'Focus on what you see,' she said.

- Huh?I

As if you were picking it up
in a piece of paper.

The sea!

I'll bet it's cold.


No, it's not.

It's not that cold.

So you're not getting a job?

No offers.

There's more than just publishing.
There's banks and manufacturers, too.

That's not what I want to do.

You always wanted to write.

I'm getting a job.

Join a trading company, work hard,
and get sent abroad...

You'll love it.



I'll be alone at Tea again.

Zampano! Zampano!

When I was a kid I saw
a movie called 'La Strada'.

I didn't understand it at all.

But then...

...a while ago I saw it again.

It was fantastic!

If that film doesn't move you,
your life's not worth living.



Yeah. And?

Maybe that's what Tea means to you.

You love Tea.

No, I don't.

Don't be so contrary.



Hold it!

New Year


Please come in.

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year.

Thank you for coming in this cold weather.

Thank you for inviting us
to this First Kettle of the year.

All of us who study under you will
devote ourselves again this year.

We humbly ask your instruction.


Happy New Year.

As this is the year's First Kettle,
we'll do the full 'thick tea' ceremony.

Please watch me carefully,
because I make mistakes.

I usually just watch you.

All I do is talk, so I'm not very good at this.

Please help yourselves. How is the food?

It's very good.

There was a fluidity to Sensei's movements.

It was like a mountain stream
flowing through me.

Comforting, and refreshing.

Not very good?

It was!

This is for the thin tea.

- Boar?
- 'Dog', of course.

This is the Year of the Dog.

So you only use this bowl
once every twelve years?

That's right.

So three or four times in your life?

Yes, you're right.

That's a dog?

What's this?

I don't know.

One month later 'Season of Great Cold'

'My oh my oh my'!

I thought it'd be more dignified.
Like in 'The Makioka Sisters'.

Sensei's saying it, too.


Noriko and Michiko, don't get lost.

Hold onto your shawl!

Every Day a Good Day

Thank you for waiting. Please come in.

This way, please.


There's room over here.

Two on each half-mat, please.

Push in as far as you can.

There's room right here.

It's like a bargain sale!

There's space over here.

Oh, I couldn't!

There's room over there.

I wouldn't dare sit at the end!

Excuse me.

I wouldn't think of it!

No, allow me!

Could someone act as Guest of Honor?

Uemura-sensei, would you?

Uemura-sensei, if you please.

I couldn't possibly! I'm a complete beginner.

We can't start without a Guest of Honor.

Please, Uemura-sensei.


You come, too.

Thank you.

Although I am unworthy,
I will then occupy the seat of honor.

I beg your indulgence.

As we beg yours.

Handmade earthenware. Made by Raku Ronyu IX.

Examine it carefully.

The weight, the texture.

How it fits naturally into your hand.

See as many of these bowls as you can.

Train your eye.

It's light and warm. Like a squirrel.

Sensei had this one.


But what does it really mean?

'Every day a good day?

So what?

So maybe every day is a good day?

Even I understand that.

Just that?

What do you mean, 'just that'?


The letters are hard to read.

The scent of the plum blossom
penetrates three thousand realms

The bamboo leaves send a cool breeze

Ten thousand leagues of autumn breeze

Two years since we'd taken up Tea.

Somehow we'd both managed lo graduate.

I had part-time publishing work.

As she had planned,
Michiko joined a trading company.

New people joined.

Snap it clean.

Yumiko, a housewife.


Ms Tadokoro, a policewoman.

Sanae, a beautician.

Left fool onto the next mat.

That was you once.


Wrap it around from above.

I'll say this: I'm still in the fog.

Summer Solstice

And than one day...

The sound of rainy season.

It was different than the sound in autumn.

First Day of Autumn



Don't read the characters.
See them as a picture.

These hangings are great!

It's hot today, so I ran more water
in the stone basin outside.

The sound of the water seeped into my soul.

First Day of Winter

One day I noticed a slight difference in sound.

Hot water.

I will conclude.

Cold water.

They were different.
The hot water made a deeper sound.

'Season of Great Heat'

I thank you.

I want to go to the festival!

The loneliness of being
a sickly child came back to me.

Forgotten feelings would
awaken and disappear again.

Something in me had changed.

Three years since I'd finished school.

Yumiko was too busy at home now.

Officer Tadokoro had a baby now,
and was taking time off.

Other young wives joined, had babies,
were transferred, and left.

And Michiko...



I'm quitting work.


You're sure?

Yes. I'm sure.


I'll get married.

Who to?

I don't know. I'll go home
and do an arranged marriage.


There's no future for me at work.

And it's not work I want to do.

Three years out of university,
and I was still writing part-lime.

Just drifting.

While Michiko was forging ahead.

I decided to take the publisher's test again.

I'm sorry, Sensei.
I'm afraid I can't make it today.

You have an important test tomorrow, don't you.

Good luck.

I'm sorry. Thank you.


Yes? Noriko?

I just couldn't concentrate.
I came to have some tea.

Am I too late?

Come in.

That's all right. I'll make the tea.

You've got an important test tomorrow.

I thought the Bodhidarma glaring
at you might help.

He's the darma of victory, after all.

And I suppose there's always 'try, try again'.

I guess, uh...

...thank you.

Hurry up and eat your sweet.


I still failed the exam,
and didn't get hired on.

But gradually I became what
they now called a 'freelance writer'...

...so I could relax.

I hope that you will build
a happy family together.

I pray for your happiness.



Michiko married a doctor
from where she was from.

She had children, and put down family roots.

Happy New Year 2003

Michiko was forging ahead.

And all of a sudden I was 30.

Hitomi, a 15 year-old in Grade 10,
was the latest newcomer.

I'm sorry!

My fool's gone to sleep!

That's all right. We were all the same.

Will I ever be able to do this right?

But it turned out that Hitomi was a natural.


Isn't that cute! Perfect for fall.

Do we use the bamboo rest today?

I think so.

But today we use the utensil stand.
Shouldn't it be the ceramic?

You're right. I'm sorry.

The bowl in the middle?

No! Two thirds of the way over.

Towards the guests.


Rinse jar?

You know, I've been thinking for a while...

...the way you hold the ladle looks very rough.

Try to be more gentle, will you?

It's been more than ten years now.
It's time you took this to heart.


I'm clumsy, and slow to catch on.

There's no place for me here.

I had a long-time boyfriend.
We were getting married.


Two months before the wedding
I found out he'd been cheating.

I could have just accepted it,
married him, not made waves...

...and not disappointed my parents.


Shall we go eat?

You have to eat.

But I couldn't find it
in my heart to forgive him.

Let's stay home.

I guess so.

Mom, Dad, I'm sorry.

I told Takeda-sensei about it...

...and took three months off.

'Season of Great Cold'

I'm leaving.

Off you go.



I'm fine.


She likes Tea that much?

I don't know. But she keeps at it.


Let's have a drink.

What? It's still only noon!

Who cares?

Another name for witch hazel is 'winterbloom'.

Even at the coldest time of year,
there's still one flower that blooms.

Can you read this?

It's a pun on 'good fortune in',
like you say on the last day of winter.

It means 'the wise are untroubled'.

And today is the last day of winter.

So as of tomorrow we're looking at spring.

This sweet is 'underground shoot'.

It expresses how the plant buds
in the barren winter soil.

Please help yourself.

It's good.

You can quit anytime.

Or you can just come for a nice cup of tea.


The first day of spring comes
at the coldest time of the year.

'Spring is almost here'...

...people used to say to
get through the cold season.

I was just like those people.

Just managing to breathe,
to get through the winter.

And a year later, after another winter ended...

...I was in love again.

That this day would come again!

At 33, I finally got my own place...

First Day of Spring

...about half an hour
by train from my parents.





Saturday, huh?

I have to stop in at home,
but let's meet later for dinner.

I'm back!


Let's have dinner.

Sorry. I have to go right back out again.

At least stay a while sometimes.

He's lonely without you.

No, I'm not.

I'll have a drink, then.


Ah, that's good.

Next week, then.


- Have this.
- Can I?

I miss Mom's cooking.

She's the best.

It's great.

We've been practicing 'tea gatherings'...

'Season of Rain Water'

...for larger groups of people.

For your husbands, for your guests...

...you must cherish each of these
as 'once in a lifetime' events.

Take them very seriously.

Yukino was related to Sensei.
I really admired her taste.

Even if you are always serving
the same husbands and guests...

...that one particular day
will never come again.

Perform the tea ceremony
as if it will only ever happen once.

Sensei was really something today.

'Once in a lifetime'.

It's a very old saying, from when
Rikyu was evolving the tea ceremony.

A friend who was fine one day
might turn up dead the next.

It was common.

Anyone you met you might never see again.

And there were no planes, trains or phones.

Once you'd parted, you never knew
if you'd see someone again,

That's true.

Today's the day Shinoda-sensei died.

She was Sensei's teacher.

That photograph?


I never met her.

Sensei stopped studying Tea
when she got married.

Shinoda-sensei cried at the wedding.
'I've lost a daughter,' she said.

Then she died.

Quite soon after.

She was quite old by then,
but Sensei took it hard.

She blamed herself.

Season of 'Clear and Bright'


Hi, Dad. What's up?

I'm close by. I thought I'd drop In.

I'm just heading out.

All right. I'll see you next time.

OK. Sorry.

No problem.

Hello, Mom?

Why are you calling so late?

ls Dad there?

He's in bed.




He called me earlier today.

He did? That's unusual.
We'll see you after Tea, won't we?

Yes. See you Saturday.


- Noriko?
- Mom?

Your dad 's been taken ill.

Dad said...

...'Noriko's coming tomorrow,
so let's have rice and bamboo shoots.'


When was it?

When did we last eat together?

On April 5th, with the cherry blossoms
at their peak, Dad died.

So Noriko...

...now cherry blossoms
will hold sad memories for you.

That's right.

He's gone, just like they go.

Just like they go.



...you mustn't blame yourself, you know.


I know.

Like the finale of a drama,
the cherry blossoms fluttered down.

So much that happens in life comes suddenly.

You can't prepare for it.

All you can do with grief is take time
and get used to it.

Hurry up, now.


Allow me to go first.

Thank you for this tea.

Very good.


Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you!

'Listen to the Rain'

On a rainy day, listen to the rain.

Savor the moment with all five senses,
with your whole body.

On a snowy day, look at the snow.

In summer, feel its heat.

In winter, the freezing cold.

'Every day a good day'.
So that's what it means!

12 years later 'Season of Minor Cold'

It's 24 years since I took up Tea.
The world has changed.

Things have happened that
no one would have believed.

Still, every Saturday, I go to Tea.

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year.

It's a new year. That's wonderful.

Thank you very much for staying so long...

...with one as unworthy as myself.

You have my heartfelt gratitude.

Gathered here for another
First Kettle like this...

...we are simply doing
the same thing year after year.

But lately I've come to think...

...that being able to do the
same thing every year this way...

...is true happiness, wouldn't you say?

This is for the thin tea.


'Dog', of course.

This is the Year of the Dog.

So you only use this bowl
once every twelve years?

That's right.

So three or four times in your life?

Yes, you're right.

I wonder what the world will be
like next time we use this bowl.

I hope we're both all right.

I'll be 100 years old then!

It's true!

Some things. ..

...are quickly understood,
and some things take time.

The things easily understood need
only be gone through once.

But those other things...

...you come to understand
only with time, little by little.

As a child I saw Fellini's 'La Strada'.

Now when I see it, I can't hold back my tears.

Yukino, Noriko...

...you should teach Tea as well.

By teaching, you are taught.

Perhaps my real beginning comes now.

Production Committee

Subtitles Ian MacDougall