Hanagatami (2017) - full transcript

Fulfilling his filmmaking dream of 40 years, Nobuhiko Obayashi's luminous new feature "Hanagatami" delivers a timeless story of the pureness of youth beset by the chaos of war.

An Illusion? I pass flowers

in bloom.

It's as agonizing as it's honorable.

Kazuo Dan

A Film by Nobuhiko Obayashi


"HANAGATAMI" is Kazuo Dan's
first book.

His best friend Osamu Dazai

suggested a cover design
by Haruo Sato.

The publication was announced

the day he was drafted
as Japan was at war with China.

Dan's poet friend, Chuya Nakahara,
died of TB that year.

Then the filmmaker,
Sadao Yamanaka died in Manchuria.

They all died at such a young age.

Dan wrote, "1937 was
truly a bleak year."

He was 25.

This book is a memento of those
young people

who struggled to live in wartime.

Seen through the wrong end of
a telescope

an ordinary scene becomes
an ancient story.

No, it's not nostalgia!

It's heartache for all that's lost.

Jump, jump.

Can I jump?

Go on, jump!

It's spring but in what year?

I'm on Tategami Rock in Karatsu,
west of Japan.

It could be a fictional town

in any time in history.

I was 17 and a war was raging.

"Welcome home, Private"

"Karatsuhama College"

The first act begins here.

My college is equivalent to
a high school.


I'm Toshihiko Sakakiyama,
1st grade!

Stomach of toothache?

Just checking if I'm poltroon.

- Poltroon?
- A coward.

An archaic word for gutless.


Can I jump?

What an imaginative excuse.

A stomach or toothache?

Read the text and translate it.

I want to know what you're capable of.

Edgar Allan Poe was an American
writer in the 1800's.


But we are about to go to war
with America!

War has no place in my class!

Here's a passage from Poe's

supernatural and absurd
"The Black Cat."

"I'll take a pen"

"to write a frantic and homely"


"I expect no one to believe"

"any of it."

A coward lacks integrity.

My stomach. I mean my tooth.

Sorry to be dull

but I'm neither amused or shocked.

You find your inverted values and
boring stunts

novel and strange.


I can not understand why
you waste your intellect!


surely comes down to my skill
as a teacher.

You too?

It's Kira too.

May I ask why?

I see no reason to explain.

That defies logic.

It's man's nature to defy logic.

It's a waste spiritually.

A courageous man acts quietly.

Is that too much?

My reason is

that I don't want to be a coward, sir.

That's not a reason.

What it is

is just an excuse.


Oh, no... I don't even know his name.

Mina, it's time for your medicine.


That's my blood..


You shouldn't have done that...

It's better to throw up
all the bad blood.

If it's difficult, I'll suck it out.

I'll suck it all out for you.

And Ryo's?

Your brother, Ryo went
far away from me and

died in Manchuria.

He hid his sickness and
fought for Japan.

In Japan today, all men are sent
to die in the war.

What should women do then?

Was that the first time
you threw up blood?

I called Dr. lchijo. You might need
to change medicines.

I guess my condition is getting worse.

The war is getting worse but

I'm okay because I've
become immune.

My brother...


It's Toshihiko.


Live here if you're homesick!

I climbed Tategami Rock today!

I was up in heaven!

And while I was there, I grew up!

I had a house built for you.

A house?

It's out the back and it's yours!
Want a look?

- One day.
- Take your shoes off.

My own house!

More importantly, how's Mina today?

One day I'll look after you
and your future wife.

As I promised your mother in Amsterdam.

Oh, my morn?

For years you've been your parents'
kitten to cuddle.

It's my turn to take care of you.

That's why I stood by the sea

and challenged myself to jump!

You better not see Mina today.

The left lung's worse.
See how the shadow is bigger?

The right lung is the same.

It was the same with my husband.

She only coughed up blood once!

Your husband was reckless.

He wasted his life.

He went to the front
so he wouldn't waste his life.

"I'll survive in the
red, setting sun of Manchuria."

Yes, you're right.


What wouldn't be a wasted life?

In Imperial Japan, our lives
belong to...


Have some tea.


Master Toshihiko,
I made it how you like it.

Thank you!


Tea for you?

Your family has always served
Ceylon tea.

Imported goods are scarce these days.

You know, the patient shouldn't have
come home.

I'll refer you to a sanatorium
to take her to.

How kind of you.

But I'm her only family and
she hates being alone.

So until she marries a nice man...

That's good!

I missed the tea, and you!

Thank you, Doctor.

This isn't the time to indulge her.

She'll end up like your husband.

Ryo had me.

Are we going to war with America,

What about Amsterdam?

I want to protect Mina.

So she'll be happy.


Hi, Mina!


The sun set
and I started to feel lonely.


Sister, I'd like to live.

I'll be good if I can stay, Doctor.

You're willful, miss.

Just like your brother.

You two talk it over.

And consult me any time.

Thank you.

Take care of yourself.

Stay here.

Watch out for the chilly nights.

Mina! Why don't you stay
here with me?

Good idea. Look after her, Toshihiko.
Okay, Mina?

Thank you so much.

Ride safely.

You've always prized
your English bicycle.

Is it still working well?

Yes, you, me and the bicycle are okay!

But if we go to war with England
I won't be

riding it.

You've had it for so long.

Is that right'?

I might get called a traitor.

Take care of her. Good night.

Off I go!

You came to tell me that!

But they're amazing!

Who wouldn't want to tell their aunt
about 2 new friends?

Yummy soup!
I'll have to tell my mom in Amsterdam.

It's actually soymilk.


It warms you up inside and out.

The doctor recommended it.

I bet we'll be getting updates
every day from you!

I'd like that.

What's this?


It's with barley not rice.

Mix it well before you eat it.

This is tofu curd.

From Akine's?


She is Mina's schoolmate.

It's tofu galore tonight!

How amazing!

Karatsu is an old town with
many traditional foods.

Has it been there since
the 1700's?

The shop's been there
since 1789 or 1801.

I'll bring my friends
over to try this!

- If that's okay?
- Certainly.

I'd like to meet them.

Kira has this mental strength!

How can you tell?

- He's like a monk!
- A monk?

A Zen monk.

He always sways his head like this.

And he wears green!

The other one is like a brave lion.

He plays flute and smokes!
I don't know his name yet.

And you?

- The flute?
- You smoke?

What, me?

You get taller every day...

You have to tell me
if you drink or smoke.

That's why you grew up!

I'm not a delinquent!

As night falls, the moon rises.

Because the world turns.

I guess it's daytime in Amsterdam.

Why do we have wars when the
world turns?


That island seems to
be resting on the ocean.

It's called Mother's island.

Oh, so it's a mother resting!
How amazing.

Yes, it is.

I heard your school bells ring today.

It was beautiful and poignant.

I was on Tategami Rock.

You were?


I'm courageous.


I know!
You want to go outside, Mina?


Auntie, we'll go outside.

But Mina...

Sister, please.
I'd like to see it myself.

I'll go to the secret hill and see

the entire Karatsu sea.

Go on then.

- Take care.
- And you?

It looks cold outside.
I'll listen to the record.

This record is your brother's
memento, Mina.


It's in your blood.

Come on, Mina.

Before the moon escapes.

Okay. See you, Sister.

I never knew about
the secret hill.

I guess it's because I was away
in Amsterdam.

Auntie tells me nothing.

I have a lot to learn about
Karatsu and my friends.

And you, Mina.

It was a secret.

The hill was my brother and
your aunt's secret.

It's wonderful under a moonbeam.

Maybe the maid knows
their secret.

Even the path's lit up.

The moon is huge tonight.

This big?

- Like this!
- No!

See, we're at the top.

The ocean!

We can see the secret ocean.

Why can't I see Mother's island?

I can only see the moonlight
and you, Toshihiko.

The island's on the other side.

The ocean's wide, deep and scary...

That's why it's a secret place.

Let's go further out.

We'll go down to the light!

We're so close to the edge
we could jump into the sea.


It's like a half-awake dream!

Your mom lives in Amsterdam,
what's it like?

It's far away in the Netherlands with
canals and windmills.

And both your parents are there.

My father is an Army Major.

He's a great and quiet man.


Courageous men act quietly.

And great men like my father
start wars, I guess.

But my father is a gentle man.

And your mother?

A coward.

A coward?

Go on, jump!


Mother used to say that
to encourage me.

How beautiful...

So beautiful!

Mina, okay?

You mustn't, Toshihiko.


Good bye.

"Taikoso Dormitory"



I'm in my dorm room at
Karatsuhama College


This is the real me, Mother.

Go on, jump.




Good morning!

The clown always starts everything.

Aso the class clown, brings
people together.

Aso is funny.

He's nothing.

Clowns are tragic without
any unique skills.


A Popper and a puppy, that's Ukai.

Kira, how about yourself?

I'm a descendent.

Of Kira the coward from 47 Ronin.

That's funny!

Do you think Japan will go to war
with Edgar Allan Poe's country?

We won't be able to read
"The Black Cat."

Art should have no borders.

But religions fight.

What a waste!

Of their mind or body'?

Maybe both.

For Ukai, it's proof.

Of his existence.


It's squid.

Aso, it's almost summer!

I'll burn this trash.

As long as it's put to use.

It's like an endurance test!

Can you look after my pup'?

Can I? I kept a monkey, a bear cub
and hares for food!

Okay, here you go.


Hey, may I hold it?

May I?


It wasn't me.

Not me. I didn't do it!

I'm sorry, Ukai.
I couldn't stop Kira...

Take care of it.

I can't.

You eat your hares!

It ate squid.


I'll eat the puppy, when you are
hungry you eat anything.

You, too.

Die before you're killed.

Who's going to eat us?

Sometimes you need help
from others.


What's going to happen
from now on...?

The flowers have a dim glow

Under the obscure moon,
your eyebrows are thin

On your beautiful face

How radiant

How strange is the evening

Our secret affairs
My delicate feelings...

I don't want to waste the fire...

so I'll boil some water.

Listen, Aso.

It's yours.

- You mean it?
- Sure.

Go ahead!

Ouch, it's too hot!

Do it!

May I try?

It's okay, right?

Sure. Go on.

Don't, Kira...

I'm sorry, Kira.

Kira, you too...

You smoke.

Yes, I, Kira...


Your hair's so thick,
shiny and black.

Hair is
"the source of a woman's life."

Then I'm losing my life.

Only when you comb it.

I bet I've changed a lot.

I'll show you. You haven't
changed a bit.


I'm scared of mirrors.

You big baby!


Yes, dear?

You and my brother kissed on the
secret hill...

How dreadful!

How dreadful!

How dare you knock down the
flower basket that was his memento...

How about you'?


That must be him.


Hi, Akine! Chitose!

How are you?
Can we come in?

Go on!

You, Chitose and me.

We look tiny!

We'd just started at the girls
mission school.

I'm a Buddhist.

Photos keep everyone young.

Get well so we can go out together.

Look at what we did!

I'm the model.

So cute!

It's Chitose.

- And Ukai.
- Don't!



I took that photo but I modeled

for Chitose who has a camera.

Her cousin gave it to her.

The camera takes good photos.

No, it's him.

No, it's him.


Come on!

She likes the look of your man!

Be quiet!

He's Ukai.
He just started at Karatsuhama College.

He lives close to me.

He pulls a float in
Okunchi festival.

He's as brave...


As a lion.

- Look at you, Akine!
- No!

He's Chitose's cousin,
not my boyfriend.

He gave her the camera and lessons.

This is her first photograph.

His name is Kira.

Chitose grew up with him.

He was bedbound
and reads difficult books.

He's smart.

Yes, he's like a Zen monk.

Like a Zen monk!

He wears green.

He wears green!


Ukai and Kira are my mentors.

You're their apprentice?

The flowers you gave us
are beautiful!


You swung the flowers, Akine!

I destroy everything!

How will I meet a nice man?



Can I visit sometimes?

Yes, Mina will be happy.
May I ask why?

I'd like to photograph Mina.


"A good model makes the photo."

So says Kira. Right?


How beautiful.

I'd love to have my photos
taken by Chitose.

Kira's apprentice!

Kira has this mental strength!

No, it's him.

Kira is my cousin.

I'll introduce you two
to Toshihiko.


He came back

from Amsterdam to go to college.
You'll like him.

Is he Mina's boyfriend?

I can't have boyfriends.


My life will fall like a petal but
I'll live on in Chitose's photos.


Where's the maid?

And her Ceylon tea.

The flowers have a dim glow

Under the obscure moon,
your eyebrows are thin

On your beautiful face

How radiant

How strange is the evening




It's a 400-year-old gate.

Of an old samurai mansion.

How about some tea?

Is Kira home, Ma'am'?

Come in.

He's upstairs down the hall.

"The Navy Wants Volunteers"

"The Navy Wants Volunteers"

"The Navy Wants Volunteers"


It's me.

Who is it?

Come in.

It's you.

Yes, it's me.

Come on in.

Sit anywhere.

You're okay?

You're funny.
You should ask, "Does it hurt?"

I know but...!

It's strange...

I can move my fingers.

My body betrays my mind.


Go on.

I know you smoke.

You too.

I quit.

You did?

It's worthless.
It changes nothing.

By the way...

I still have your watch,

I gave it to you.


You accepted it, Sakakiyama.

I, Kira, smoke.

Kira, what's this red fish?

It's the Okunchi snapper float.

You pull it?


The real one's huge.


I didn't grow up in Karatsu.


You're a Christian!

I grew up on Madara island.

They say, Madara refers to horses
that crossed there.


You get there by taking a boat
across Genkai Sea.

During winter, the sea is
choppy and windy.


Buddhists and Christians peacefully
share the island.

Buddhists live at the base

of a mountain and Christians on top.

There's a small church at the top.

I'm from the top half.

Oh, really!

I thought you were like a monk
seeking enlightenment.

But you are a martyr!

All I did was lie in bed all day.

A cousin who was 3 years younger,
lived down the mountain.

She visited often since
she was little.

I guess she was escorted
by an adult but

she came in alone.

I was bedbound

so she climbed
into my bed to play.

She got cold easily.

You played under the blankets?

She played.

I was played with.

Played with?

A secretive game.
It stopped as we grew older.

Then she got that chair and
sat far away.

She read books to me
in a low voice.

She still got cold easily
but what could I do?

"To avoid a sudden rain shower"

"she lifted her petticoat
from behind, over her head."

It's "Paul and Virginie."

It's about a boy and a girl
alone on a desert island.

It's a European story of secrets.

- How does it go?
- You don't remember?

She read it aloud for me
but while she read

I'd be in bed, feeling her presence.

You see?

My Vita Sexualis.

She still visits me here.

She sits there and reads aloud.

I can move now

but she sits far away

and I lie in bed.

Nothing's changed.
We struck a balance that way.

We're cousins.

"She pulled her petticoat up
over her head..."

She's from down the mountain.

It's like a Shakespearean tragedy!

It's night. Let's go up the hill.

The one with shrine.

You're a Christian!

I'll pray for Chitose.



Did you leave Wednesday's class, too'?

Yes. I felt pulled by you and Ukai.

I saw you.

I knew you'd come so I waited
in the pines.

You ran off so I couldn't talk.

I ran after Ukai.

I know. I saw you running.

Hey, Kira!

I watched you too.
You also play the flute.

Only locals are attached to the flute.

But my Virginie admires the man
who plays it so.

Your Virginie!

And the red fish.

I'll show you something interesting.
Follow me.

Take a look.

It's Ukai.


His daily swim.

I do this to heal my arm.

Ukai swims to heal.

Befriend him because everyone

looks up to him.

He's beautiful because he's alone.

He has an aimless vitality.

He's wasting himself.


I always verbalize my thoughts.

I waste words.

You should go home, Sakakiyama.

I'm tired.

See you.

Stomach or toothache?

"Teru Rests Here"

Hi, Ukai.

Why are you here?

I can't sleep so I came here.

I saw someone swimming
and guessed it was you.


I don't smoke.


I smoked here once.
That's all.

After a few puffs, I found it silly.

It's worthless.


Your last cigarette became
my first.

You were also playing the flute.

You should smoke.
You have a life.

That's Kira's watch.

He said he quit smoking too.

You and Kira are so similar!

Is his arm alright now?

Do you skip school
because of Kira?

Nobody is behind that.

What do you think of Kira?

Superior to me

and inferior to you.

I'll fight him.


Or kill him.

If you're free, come to Nagoya Castle
at midday in 2 days time.

Be there!

See you!

Rm going. See you!


Want some chicken eggs?
They're good.

School on Saturday is boring.

Everyone's left.

Aso, you're always so enthusiastic.

- I want to be useful.
- Yeah?

I want to be like Kinjiro Ninomiya.


You aren't sick, are you?

I'm no traitor!

Aso, can I have 3 of these eggs?


Nagoya Castle

was Shogun Hideyoshi's
command post for his Korean invasion.

Japan has always gone to war in the
interests of expansion.

It's Ukai.

Hi, Ukai!

You're here!

- Meet Sakakiyama.
- We've meet.

- How about you two?
- Not yet.

This is Akine and Chitose.

Kira's not here.

He's impossible to drag out of bed.


Chitose is Kira's cousin.

Sound farfetched?

Moreover she's your girlfriend!

And Toshihiko

is Mina's boyfriend.

I'm not such a bad boy!

How do you know my first name?


I'm a bad girl!

Because I mentor Ukai and Kira!

They're so different.

Come on!

Let's drink!

Let's drink!

- You have glasses?
- No.

What? Chitose is your girl so
she won't mind

but I'm not a delinquent.


I know!

Boiled eggs...

I got them from Aso, my classmate.

I got one for Ukai, Kira and myself.

You and Chitose can share this.

One for Akine, one for me.

Eat up and use tine shells for cups.

No wonder Mina loves you!

Good idea!





Mina would be repulsed!

No, it's him.

You can share mine, Toshihiko.

Good idea.

Good idea.

You can share mine, Toshihiko.

We'll be delinquents together.

Good idea.

Dad! Dad!

Let's go.
Your mom's waiting.

Let's go home!

What's wrong, Toshihiko?

It's kind of lonely.

You are?

We all are.

That's Madara island.
Chitose's hometown.

Madara island...

It's Kira's hometown, too.

It's like a desert island.

I'm cold.

I have to work at the restaurant.

Me too. We'll go home.

It was fun.

Let's split up.

Akine, put the headband on him.

The rising sun.

What's this for'?

A 1000-stitch cloth.

Strangely, it makes you feel brave.

You deserve someone better.

Some delinquents!

I ate tofu from your shop.

How do you know about our shop?

'Cause I'm bad!

And Kira has a red fish
from Ukai's hometown festival!

Let's invite Kira next time.

Okay, Chitose?

And you invite Mina.

Who's Mina?

What's she like?


You have Chitose!
Come on.

See you!

It's time for our adventure!

Good idea!

Next bar!

I want more sake, not women!

Kids playing grown-ups!

This is our adventure!


"Private Long Life off to war"

Horses go to war!

Yes, to be eaten.

Let's go in.

Boys, we're going to eat you alive!

Sake for you.

Were you drafted?

No, I'm just a kid.

I can see that!

Isn't it obvious?

What are we going to do
with these boys?

- We just want drinks.
- That's silly!

Don't you know this is a brothel?

You scared them!

Go away if you can't make yourself
useful like me!

Why are you here if you don't
do anything?

Because this is my castle.

Who's the greatest in this town?

Us hookers because
we live in a castle, kids.


The festival is this town's asset.

The merchants and craftsmen
used to pull the float.

The samurai were the guards.

The samurai and townsfolk
took turns

to care for us Karatsu Lords.

Our castle has no suite yet.

But the townsfolk will build it.

They'll build a grand castle complete
with a suite.

As soon as the war is over.

Listen, boys. Karatsu is a proud town.

It won't give in to authorities.

The townsfolk only take risks
when they pull floats.

Oh, what do you know?

I gave birth to 6 kids!

I feed them and raise them
for the country.

But one by one they're taken
to fight in the war.

You get it?

All you boys will be taken and killed!

Come on.

Drink up.

Had enough, kid?

Not yet, kid!

Over here please!
One for each of us kids!


Let's stay out.

Stay out?

Okay, let's go!


You made her lonely.

You have to do better than that.

It's okay.



Let's ride.

The horse?



The horse is naked!

Fair enough!


Hang on. Private Long Life, go!

- Ukai.
- Toshihiko!


Go on, kid. Go!


You called me Toshihiko, didn't you'?

Mother, do you understand?

How much I love you at this moment.

How manly I've become.

So manly I could go to war anytime.

The flowers have a dim glow

Under the obscure moon,
your eyebrows are thin

On your beautiful face

Hello, it's me!



It's me.

Come in.


You're early.

I'm here to pick you up.

What for?

We're having a picnic
before the summer break.

Everyone's coming.

Chitose told me yesterday
but I declined.

I saw you the other night.

With the telescope?

- Ukai.
- Toshihiko!


That was great. You were drunk?

Have some soymilk.

It's healthy, right?

Chitose got that from
Akine's shop.

Akine's shop is 130 years old.
Are you here because of her?

Yes. Everyone wants to see you, Kira.

Chitose, too.

"I came down the hill one day
and saw Virginie"

"at the end of the vegetable patch."

You grow before my eyes.

Soon Ukai and I will be your ghosts.
You're brave.

Ukai is all vitality.
I am hollow.


Guess when I first walked?

- When?
- 4 years ago.

- 4 years!
- I've been sick since birth.

Mom looked after me.

If I laughed so did she.

If I cried so did she.

So I laughed when it wasn't funny
and cried when I wasn't sad.

She believed it because
to her I was a phantom.

What happened to her?

She's dead.

I gave her a shock...

Phantoms shouldn't walk but I did.

She was betrayed by her belief.

One day

she hanged herself.

She left Chitose a note telling her
to look after me.


Chitose followed me to Karatsu
when I left the island.

You're Paul and Virginie.

"To avoid the sudden rain shower"

"she pulled her petticoat up
over her head..."

I believe in my thoughts

not Buddha or Christ.

I listen to my thoughts

and carry out any order, no matter
how immoral.



here alone.

Activities like picnics have

nothing to do with me.

You should go.

Ukai expects you.

Did he say anything about my arm?

He said he might kill you.


I'll fight Kira.

Or kill him.

That's intriguing.


Someone has to deal with his
exhaustive energy.

Are you coming, Kira?

On impulse...

Maybe that's how all wars start.

He's here! Kira came!

Auntie! And Mina, too!


Akine invited us.

So we made an impulsive decision
to come.

Not without a disagreement.

I take the credit for getting
her here.

Hello, Kira.

My soymilk must suit you!
Chitose will take Mina's photo.

Please give her advice
as her mentor.

I'm an observer.

- If that's okay.
- Kira!

Meet my aunt and Minako.

Hello, Kira.

I feel like I know you
after seeing photos of you.



No, it's him.

Thank you for coming.

Chitose thought you wouldn't.

Who's Mina? What's she like?

You have Chitose!

There he is!

Is that Aso?

I asked him to come.

- Here are the eggs.
- Thank you!

We have glasses this time.

But Aso... Why did you
cut your hair?

Because I have to go home.

My dad and brother were drafted.

I'll help out my family
like a good Japanese man.

It's not easy to be a man.

Professor Yamauchi got a buzz cut!

No way!

He got his draft card.

He did?

He's too stubborn...

A town official thought it would
correct his radical beliefs.

Is he a communist?

That's how he explored his freedom.

His parents' house is
near my boarding house.

I saw him.

He ripped out grass
at the back of his place.

He ripped it out...

Like a madman.

Tormented as I am

I respect and honour you

As the moment of passion passes...

As the moment of passion passes...

Later on he was playing a harmonica in
the sun having his hair clipped.

It was done by a local barber.

His mother sat behind him in
a formal pose

reading a scroll.

"An illusion... I pass flowers in bloom..."

So he's your teacher!

You know him?

His group was at our restaurant.

Off I go.

I'll die for the country.

You'll become a true man.

I'll be a woman.


Usually they drink, sing
and call out banzai but...

- Paper please.
- Yes.

Your teacher's banquet was strange.

How strange is the evening

Our secret affairs

My delicate feelings,
hidden in the poem

As we look at each other

Walking under bountiful flowers

How radiant is the night

The lives of all the living
are felt

Tooth of stomachache?

"An Illusion? I pass flowers in bloom."

In full bloom all around us

Tormented as I am

I respect and honour you

As the moment

of passion passes


After a Banzai

they quietly talked.

I met him on his way
to report to the Army.


He said

Have you seen Humanity and
Paper Balloons'?

Just like that.

"It's a good movie."

It was directed by
a man called Sadao Yamanaka.

He died of a sickness in Manchuria,
where I'll be sent.

He went to the front
so he wouldn't waste his life.

"I'll survive in the
red, setting sun of Manchuria."

Yamanaka said, "Sadly, that movie
was my last."

His swan song.

He gave me a book on his way out.

I've finished this.

So I want you to have it.

"Schoolgirl by Osamu Dazai"

He was himself again.

Well then.

I'll be back alive!

"An illusion?"

"I pass flowers"

"in bloom"

"It's as agonizing as"

"it's honorable."

He wanted to say, "It's sad".

No more
"A stomach or toothache?"

In full bloom all around us

Tormented as I am

I respect and honour you

A ragdoll!

For luck.

Stand there.

Okay, Ukai. I'll go now.

I have things to do.

Thanks for this. Goodbye.

See you, Sakakiyama.

And Kira.

See you, everyone.

Thank you, Aso!


Did you know that he has asthma?


I bet Ukai knew.

Maybe Ukai was jealous of him.

Jealous of him?

He is too wholesome.

Ukai, Kira. I hope you two
become Mina's friends.

She won't be around for long.

We're delinquents!

The blood...!

It's okay, I'm used to it.

Rest a while.

- You're like Virginie.
- Virginie?

I'm Paul.

They're stranded on a desert island.

You know what they did
when it rained?


They took cover under

Virginie's petticoat.


That's their story.


Visit us with your friends.

You can stay over.

We'll have a party. A dance party.

I'm cold.

Ukai is so nice.

Kira is a little odd...

They're so mature.

You're immature.

And Mina?

She's both a girl and a woman.

I'm asking if she can
stay up tonight.

She's been unwell.

They're here.

Good evening.

According to Toshihiko, Mina needs
cheering up.

I'm afraid she can't
join us tonight.

But dinner's ready.
Make yourselves at home.

- Toshihiko will be happy.
- Where's Kira?

Only you can persuade him,
right Chitose?

I brought tofu!

Watch the flowers!



Thank you. How beautiful!

Come in.

Ukai is amazing, Auntie!
He swims in the sea at night.

Kira is impressed too.

I bet Ukai could easily jump off
Tategami Rock.

I climbed it on the
first day of school.

Go on, jump

But it was impossible for me.

Tategami Rock? I'm not sure I can...

Like you...

Ma'am, let's go to the beach
some day?

I haven't done those things
since I lost my husband.

But it sounds nice.

I'll go and see Mina.

How about your food'?

Her sickness is contagious.

I'm okay. I'll stand back and take
her photo.

So she can live.

Be careful.

I'll stay and serve everyone
our famous tofu.

It's good!

I haven't had an evening like this
for a while.

Next time we'll have a party
that goes all night.

A formal dance party,
with Mina too.

What's Kira doing now?




How dreadful!

How dreadful!


How about a dare?

To kiss.


Yes, but we'll swap partners.

I'll kiss Mina
and you kiss Chitose.


Sounds fun!

I'll bring Chitose to you then.



The moonlight is on your face.

Ukai, the moonlight is
on your face, too.





You mustn't, Toshihiko.


This is my only wedding dress.


I'll fill you up
with my life.


I'll suck it all out for you.

How come Akine brought me to you and


We'll have to swap partners.

Sounds fun!

I'll look for her.

Now you've gone.

And no one's left.


Here you are.

Toshihiko, I knew you'd come.

I ended up here after
chasing fireflies.

This is Toshi's house.

It's my house!

For me to live with my wife.

That makes me your wife tonight.


Toshi, there's one there!


There, see?

Mother used to chase fireflies
like that.

She sounds gentle.

She was strict sometimes.


Go on.


She urged me to jump on the roof.

When we caught fireflies...



At bedtime...

Toshi, we'll let them free.

She let them go.

But she'd keep one tiny firefly



And keep it in the net.

She told me many stories
in its dim light.

An old man and his wife got mad.

They dragged the imp around
and hurt him

leaving a lot of blood.

I love light.

I wish I glowed.

I'm cold.

I'm cold!

"I'll survive in the red,
setting sun of Manchuria."

How dreadful!

How dreadful!

How dreadful!

The flowers glow dim

The flowers have a dim glow

The Sun rises high, shining bright








Mina doesn't want to see you.
Please leave.


Romance would be a lethal dose of
medicine for her.

- Ma'am, I...
- Yes?

I'm here to see you.

I wonder if you'd swim with me
at night.

No, Ukai. You must leave.


So long, Ma'am.

So long, Ukai.

He left.


Why won't you see him?

His dream would be shattered
if he saw me like this.

I'm not protected by the moonlight.

You're right. You live in
a dream now.

It's the parade.

Is it a flute?

That's Okunchi festival.

Let's get you well, Mina.

I've always wanted to ask you...

What do you think of Toshihiko?

As bright as day!

Mother's island, me and everyone...

Everyone... It's unbelievable!


Inhale again.

Very good.

One young man drank a bottle of
soy sauce to dodge military service.

He was courageous in his own way.

It was very different from your
husband's courage.

He was sick but he signed up

to avoid being called a traitor
and took his cello.

Everyone has their own way to fight.

What about me?

Get better and you'll be useful
to the country.

In what way will my life be useful?

The Okunchi festival is back again.

All the young men were drafted so
who will pull the floats?

As the motto goes
"Give birth, procreate."

That's how woman can contribute.

By the WHY

the Peace Preservation Law
was updated.

You have young people over to your
house, Ma'am...

Be careful. It could be misconstrued.

Ladies and gentlemen!

Look what we made for the festival!

Come on in!



Go on! Eat and drink
as much as you want!

I love the Okunchi festival!

Every restaurant is full tonight!

That's a local grouper!

I'll do my best!

Me too!

All you do, Dad, is drink hard and
black out!

Pardon me!

Off I go.

Pull that float hard!

That's what you came home for!

My superior in the 24th artillery
regiment said

"if war is worth dying for,
so is a festival!"

And he gave me leave!

Go for it, Brother!

Look after the customers.

Leave it to me!

Here's the tofu curd!

That's our town's lion with a pearl!

All Karatsu's young men returned home.

What a night!
This is worth dying for.


My regular life is
like make-believe, Mother.

Go on, jump.


Enlightenment, redemption
and purification.

That's what the festival's about.
It's a holy ritual.


To honour god.

Where's your tall friend?

Oh, Ukai?

He's from Uoya town so

I guess he's pulling a float.

You know the red snapper?

It's supposed to be this huge!

I bet Kira's watching too...

Maybe I'll go and watch later.

Ukai plays that tune
with his flute.

I grew up by Genkai Sea
it was my cradle

The storm that blows
across Matsuura town

That's my lullaby

That's how I grew up to be
a Karatsu man

Sleep tight, kid.

The Okunchi song you just heard

is like your mother's song.

It's a lullaby.

I won't be killed! Especially at war!

What are you going to do, Officer?

He must be about my age.


mom died back home.

All you innocent boys.

They take you away and kill you in war.

Go on, jump, huh'?

I think I'll go home tonight and rest.

For enlightenment, redemption
and purification...










I guess I haven't woken yet...

I guess Kira's still at the shrine.


Kira, it's me.

I'm coming in.

Sakakiyama, it's you.

Come in.

So you didn't go to the shrine.


Now you know the truth.

It's unnatural

and yet very natural.

I'm going back now.

Don't forget the camera.



you should keep Ukai's snapper.

Why did you come?

No reason in particular...

Sit down and relax.

I think I'll quit smoking from today.

Get redemption...

and purification.

Women are sad creatures.

Men are pathetic.

Today's Okunchi festival

is based on Karatsu's culture.

Back in 1593 Lord Hideyoshi
built the castle.

Grand floats were built

to show the townspeople's
power to the samurai.

The oldest is Katana's, Red lion,
then Naka's Blue lion.

Zaimoku's Turtle.

Gofuku's Samurai helmet.
Uoya's Red snapper.

Oishi's Phoenix.
Shin's Dragon.

Hon's Golden lion.
Kiwata's Helmet.

Hirano also have Samurai helmet.

Komeya's Shuten Doji.

Kyo's lion with a pearl.
Kako's Tiger fish.

Lastly Egawa's 7 treasures,
all together there are 14.

I'm from Katana so

I had a humiliating fall
from the Red lion.

But I still wanted to
ride the Red snapper.

The Red snapper was my first love.

The festival is an embodiment

of Karatsu's long and colorful

So those who leave Karatsu
return for the festival.

You want to ride the Red snapper, kid?


You may die!

It's okay!

It's so soothing that
you'll fall sound asleep.

The Okunchi chant is a lullaby

for all Karatsu children.


Why aren't you working
at your restaurant?

What's with the fish?

I'm an adopted orphan after all.
This is me.

I was going to visit you later.

It's Okunchi night.
Everyone's favorite time.

Visit me?

Where am I supposed to go'?

Akine, where are you?


See you.

Look to the east, it's daybreak

The Sun rises high, shining bright

Our justice resonates
in heaven and on earth...


redemption and purification.

This year's Okunchi is ending soon.

That's the first time
I didn't pull the float.

"It's woeful to be impure"

So wrote Chuya Nakahara.

He didn't go to war but
died of TB.

Does that make him a traitor?

It's bright...

Were you looking at my face?

I was thinking that I'd die
if anything happened to you.

Then I'll have to get better.

The timing is probably just right.

To give her the will to live.

It would also be a nice memory.

36.6. I have no fever.


So we'll have the party!

It would be sad if she died
without good memories.

Maybe you should rest instead...

But I overheard you talking
to the doctor...

Can we'?


Let's do it. I'll tell Toshihiko.

He'll invite everyone as planned.

On the night of December 7.

Great! I'll think of
something to wear.

My work is done here.

I met you

when you began with this
family 2 generations ago!

Time flies.

Right. So long.

Ride carefully.

Right then!

Off I go!

If only your legs were
a tad longer...!

Auntie! I have big news!

Japan declared war on America!
A battle in Pearl Harbor

was won by Japan.
It's the talk of the town!

I don't know anything that goes
on outside.

Here's the extra!

Keep it down.

This is an important night
for Mina.

Oh, you're right...

And how's Mina?

Chitose came early to wash her
hair and get ready.

Come in.

I'd better get ready too!

Yes, good idea!

"Pearl Harbor.
Imperial Forces in War with US"




You came together!

Of course, we're friends.



Good evening.

No talk about the war tonight.

You get to show your skills!

It's nice to cook a variety of
dishes again!

It's like a dream!

You're right.

In my father's day, we had
many foreign traders over

for parties!

I have a feeling that this...

will be my last contribution
to the family.

Come now.

Recently my two sons who I lost in
the Russo-Japanese War

come looking for me.

They call out, "Come on, Mom!"
in my dream.


Ms. Keiko, you have
blood on your sleeve.

That time.


How dreadful!

How dreadful!

Ms. Keiko!

Even though they say
the end of the world is near

the Sun and Moon will
never fall to Earth.

How dare you knock down the
flower basket that was his memento...

It was the time

you performed HANAGATAMI.

Some time before you married
Master Ryo.


Heaven shall strike you
and you shall be


I remember Ryo being there.

He certainly was with me.

Right here.

With me.

You shall lose your mind like I did

and people shall call you mad.

Don't let them call you that.
And watch how you behave.

Ms. Keiko!

Come on, Auntie!
We're sick of waiting!

What's wrong?

I was just having a dream.

Oh, Auntie! Hurry up then!

- What would you like?
- Vermouth.

Me too.

Oh, you want one, too'?

Vermouth for you.

And vermouth for me too.

Let's toast with vermouth.

I hope Ukai and Kira will always be
Toshihiko's friends.


How about Chitose?

I'll have peppermint tea like
at my first party.



How nice of you to come.

Hi, Kira.

- Isn't she pretty?
- Minako.

I got some good photos.

A young military police officer
killed himself

at Nagoya castle.

He pressed his gun to his stomach.

Everyone's talking about it.



Let's not talk about war.

Now we have a pretty heroine.

Thank you.

Everyone, eat as much as you want!

"Rhapsody for the Dead"

Oh, Mina!

Please take care of her.

Kira, dance with your apprentice.

Kira, I have something
I need to ask you.

What happened between
you and Chitose?

The season changed and two
childhood friends became adults.

I see.


You too, your beauty is ethereal.

I wore this when I danced
with my husband.

This uniform is a memento of my
brother, the pride of the town.

I dressed formally.





We should dance too.

But you...

I feel so good tonight.

Okay, just a little then.

I'm cutting in.

Okay but how about etiquette?

So a big war has begun?


I heard you yelling in the garden.

Oh, no! I wasn't thinking.

It's begun.

You, Ukai and Kira will go off
to fight

in the war.

Japanese men must be born to die.

- "It's a brown war."
- Sorry?

It's Chuya Nakahara's
"Parachute soldiers."

He died of the same disease.

The brown war...!

This country's always had brown wars.

- Toshihiko.
- Yes, Mina?

I'm no longer scared.

Because I'll go with everyone.

To war'?

I know I shouldn't but may I cut in'?

Go on.

You and I are delinquents but
we do nothing.


All I can do is
sew 1000-stitch headbands.

Ukai is monopolizing your sister.

But it'll end tonight.

If I'm to die I'm free to
take my own life.

War is hell but I can't avoid
my personal hell.

Do we all go to hell?

Some will go to heaven, Minako.

Look to the east, it's daybreak

The Sun rises high, shining bright

Our justice resonates
in heaven and on earth...

I can die for you, Ma'am.

Thank you but I only live for Mina
as she's Ryo's sister.

Her blood must be as red as his.


That's why I won't say goodbye.

It ends like this.

I'm cold.

Look, Mina's alone too.

Don't forget the camera.


A ragdoll!

For luck.


Mina, okay?

You mustn't, Toshihiko.


I'll help.

Up to the 3rd floor!

She's beautiful.


Did I call her Minako?

Yes, you did.

Meet my aunt and Minako.

Why not Mina?

You know I'm the awkward one.

I realized something.

What is it?

I guess you're the only one
I've ever truly loved.

Have my 1000-stitch band.

Maybe you love me because
I'm so ordinary.

Maybe not? No one marries
tall girls like me.

It'll make you brave.

I'm sleepy.

I don't ever want to wake up.

Yes, good idea.

One day

I hope people will stop killing
each other.

Under the obscure moon,
your eyebrows are thin

On your beautiful face...

- Ukai.
- Kira.

Let me show you photos of Minako.

Chitose took them.

I made her take it.


She knew'?

Of course...


Come to the sea with me.


waiting for something.


Confess! What are you waiting for?

What will happen?

I'm not waiting for anything
but if I were to..

It wouldn't happen.

It's broken.

Why, Kira?

I have no reason to play it


So long.

So long.


Here you are.

- I was looking for you.
- I'm going to the rock.

- You'll jump?
- Yes.

I bet Ukai can easily jump off
Tategami Rock.

I knew you were my hero!

And a traitor.

I can't shoot a rifle.

You're left-handed!

My dead brother wouldn't have wanted
to see me die.

We all want to live our lives.

I won't accept that
youth is expendable.

I knew only you'd survive,

Kira went that way.

She was beautiful.

She was...?

It's all in the past.
So long, Toshihiko.

So long, Ukai.

There you are, it's like hide and seek!


I've done many things in my life.

Some seemed meaningless but they

I humiliated Chitose.

I created many worlds
that weren't this one.

Akine, Minako,

Auntie, Ukai and you...
I must have humiliated you all.

But no one can conclude
that I've never

loved anyone.


trust you.

After all...

I'm sure of one thing.

One, believe it or not I can't swim.

Two, I'm a sinful Christian.

Beautiful... that red dress
of yours.

Because I've been sucking your blood.

I felt like I was one
with you and my brother.

This is how the world ends.

But I'll always be with you, Mina.

So long.



- What's wrong?
- I can't breathe!


I have moonlight powder
in my hand.

Drink it.

I can't breathe, help!

I'm choking...

It was scale powder
from a white snake.


How dreadful!

How dare you knock down the
flower basket that was his memento...



I'm in Mina's delusion now.

I'm here with her sorrow.

How desperate was she to live?

Was I truly alive back then?

You mustn't.

You mustn't, Toshihiko.



Hove you.

So long.

So long.

So long.

You mustn't.


An illusion?

I pass flowers

in bloom

Mount Fuji and its towering presence

symbolizes purity and perfection.

Be the pride of our great Japan!

Mother, Japan started another war!

We'll die for the country again!

Off we go!

"There's a window by my bed.
It's sunny every day."

"Today I heard the wind."

"I don't feel so sad anymore."

"I don't like the pain
but I'm not scared of it."

"It's funny to admit but"

"sadly I've never
seen myself naked."

"I don't like being wiped down in bed
but it's okay."

"I might see myself naked."

"I might just see myself naked."

Japan lost the war and
peace returned.

We shouldn't start another war
to keep peace.

"There's a window by my bed.
It's sunny every day."

"Today I heard the wind."

"I don't feel so sad anymore."

"I don't like the pain
but I'm not scared of it."

"It's funny to admit but"

"sadly I've never
seen myself naked."

"I don't like to be wiped down in bed
but it's okay."

Mina, okay?

"I might see myself naked."

"I might just see myself naked."

It's been 76 years.

Since the war

I've lived in the house
Mother and Auntie prepared for me.

I betrayed their expectations and
never married.

As my old friend predicted
I'm the only one of us

who survived.

And so

all of them, everyone
died in the war

in my opinion.

Come to think of it, Ukai was always
a roaming soldier.

Kira was a determined AWOL.

Chitose was one of many orphans
during the war.

Aso was an accidental clown.

And Akine kept sewing 1000-stitch
headbands for soldiers.

She survived the war but
no one knew where she was.

Life in Japan during the war

was forgotten along with the war.

And Mina symbolized
all of our lives.



You mustn't, Toshihiko.

"If I am to be buried, I'd like
to be near the sea."

"So I can see your powerful strokes
as you swim."

See, we're at the top.

The ocean!

We can see the secret ocean.

Why can't I see Mother's island?

All I can see is the moonlight
and you.

Let's go further out.

We'll go down!

"If you kindly visit my grave,
do it on a moonlit night."

"No need to come often"

"but promise you'll come alone."


"So long"

"my dear,"


So long.

Why did you go?


"December 7, 1941, age 16"


For Toshihiko, his youth was like
a game of hide and seek.

It was dark before he knew it
and everybody had gone home.

So long!

Jump. Go on, jump.

Have I jumped or not?

What does it mean for people
to jump today?

Can you jump?

As for me...

The breeze of a mourning winter
Night after night

An excerpt from
Kazuo Dan's death poem