Tsuzurikata kyoshitsu (1938) - full transcript

TIMINGS: themagician @ KG TRANSLATION: Czechnewwave PROOFREADING: themagician @ KG
COMPOSITION CLASS (How to write essays)
Essays: Masako Toyoda 
Producer: Nobuyoshi Morita Director: Kajirô Yamamoto
Editor: Koichi Iwashita Production design: Takashi Matsuyama Sound: Yasue Shigeto Cinematography: Akira Mimura Screenplay: Chiio Kimura Chief assistant director: Akira Kurosawa
Cast of characters
MITSUO Shiro Mizutani MINORU Masaru Kodaka MASAKO Hideko Takamine
MOTHER Nijiko Kiyokawa FATHER Musei Tokugawa
MR. TANNO'S SECOND WIFE: Kumeko Otowa MR. UMEMOTO: Tenyo Yamagata MRS. UMEMOTO: Toshiko Itô MRS. TANNO: Noriko Honma MR. TANNO: Masao Mishima
The setting is ...
An area of Katsushika-ward in North-East Tokyo
called Yotsugi
♫ (Mura no Kajiya - The Village Smith) The song is about the incessant hammering of the blacksmith
♫ Flying sparks and bubbling liquids
♫ Even the bellows can hardly take a breath
♫ The village blacksmith is working so hard
♫ He's a famously hard working man
The First Term ♫ He's a famously hard working man
♫ Getting up early and going to bed late The First Term
♫ Getting up early and going to bed late
♫ Never sick
♫ He has a deserved pride in his arms, stronger than iron
♫ Which makes him successful in his craftsmanship
♫ Making swords, sickles and scythes
- Goodbye. - Goodbye.
Miss Watanabe, you're it!
Your turn to be "it"!
- Goodbye. - Goodbye.
Hi, everyone - Ladies and gentlemen
We brought unusual and delicious o-dango you can't find around here. Only 1 sen per skewer.
Come on everyone.
How about trying this delicious o-dango?
No kids will have food poisoning eating this!
Go on.
Good boys and girls can badger their parents but ...
If you push too far, you'll get this... Ouch!
Only 1 sen per skewer.
Here, Madam, have one.
- Really yummy! Only 1 sen for you! - Can I have one?
Thank you very much, Sir.
I'm home.
- Mum! Can I have 1 sen? - What are you talking about?
- Is that what you say first thing as you arrive home? - Please! Pretty please!!!
Can't afford it.
You wouldn't understand.
What's wrong with you, Dad?
Masako (her nickname is Maako)
We are in trouble.
What is it?
Have a look at this.
- From the Court? - It has just arrived.
We are too far behind on the rent so we are being evicted from this house.
So I'm afraid you...
Should quit the school and to go into service.
- This came only to our family? - No.
To the family next door and to the family opposite, too.
- Good. Not just us then. - Sis...
- We'll move to the shoe shop in Senju. - Really?
Ugh, that small house...
Can't complain, can you?
We'll have to lay some mats on the ground and sleep there together.
All five of us? Impossible.
Maako, read that for us.
- It's too complicated and can't read it. - Just tell me roughly.
I can't read it really.
Why don't you ask the neighbour to read this?
Can't you read that? How old are you? 6th Grade??? Well?
You should be able to read it for me. You idiot!
For goodness sake!
I sometimes wish...
The dango (sweets) seller is here! Where's mum?
- Hey! Hey! - Ask your Dad. - OK.
Hey! Hey! Hey, Dad...
- Come on. Let's go outside! - No, no, no...
There's a horse. Come on.
(noise to encourage a horse)
Come on!
Shall I give you a hand?
Oh, yes, please. Heave!
Come on!
Go on!
Nearly there! Keep going!
Almost there!
Nearly there!!!
Almost! Go on!
Oh no!
Come on! Keep going!!!
Go on! Go on!!!
♫ den-den mushi (snail) - a traditional song
♫ (more of the snail song!)
Girls, Class 2, Grade 6 ♫ (more of the snail song!)
♫ (where is your head Mr Snail?) Girls, Class 2, Grade 6
♫ (where is your head Mr Snail?)
OK, then Miss Toyoda, please.
Your turn now.
Bearing in mind what I always say to you.
Listen to her carefully.
My brother is such a funny boy. He has a big forehead.
He shoots out of the house when he hears me coming home from school.
When we have a meal at home he quickly says that the 'chaan' is too heavy.
Our family thinks that's a bad habit.
When he is in a bad mood -
he says "I don't like it" and he hits whoever talks to him.
Now let's think about this composition.
What did you notice?
Me! Me! Me!
Starting with Miss Hakojima.
You mean your brother Minoru? Mitchan? I think it's him.
Of course. You know that. Why ask?
I thought so but it's not written in your text, is it? How could we know?
- Next, Miss Mahimo, please. - Um... what's "Chaan-o"???
Well, Mitsubo says "chawan omoi, chawan omoi" (my rice bowl is heavy)
- He says the rice bowl is heavy. - Then why does your family say that's a bad habit?
Well, I think he expects someone like mum to feed him if he says that.
He is such a lazy boy.
These are good points you have noticed.
Miss Toyoda, you should explain those in more detail.
At the moment only Miss Toyoda understands the story.
In this class, everyone has to understand what's written in the text when you read it.
You can't improve by just writing off the top of your head.
Proofread many times and when you notice something is missing...
Rewrite until it's better.
That's how you improve your writing.
So Miss Toyoda, rewrite and improve that text by next week.
My youngest brother has just become 5.
His name is Mitsuo and he is a really funny boy.
He has a big forehead and is a bit skinny.
He dashes out of the house when he hears me coming home from school and asks me "Are you home now?"
When we have a meal at home he soon says that his 'chaan' is too heavy. "Chaan" means the rice bowl.
I think that he believes someone will feed him if he says that.
Our family's afraid that's a bad habit.
When he is in a bad mood, he won't talk.
If he is spoken to, he hits the person back saying "NO!"
He also spends 10 sen per day.
He cadges just 1 sen at a time and he does that 10 times a day!
Mum always tells him to ask Dad when he is around.
Mitsuo calls his Dad "Ton-chan".
Mitsuo goes to Dad and says "gimme money".
I think he is such a cute little brother.
You've improved your writing enormously!
I can give you a better grade.
Well done. It's a great improvement.
As I always say to you, you have to write as you see it and as you feel it. Be honest.
The things that come to mind most ...
Should be written in the correct order in a relaxed manner.
- Mum, mum, mum... - Oh, what is it? Go away.
- Mitsuo has just fallen asleep. - Oh, I',m hungry!
OK, then get ready for the meal.
Mum ...
You can't stop talking!
Well, I was given a big compliment in the Composition Class today.
Really? It's good to hear that.
So, could you buy me some proper writing paper?
- That's only for the grown ups. Eat it from this, there. - OK.
(Mitsuo) It's mine.
Oh? Where has it gone?
This is sour!
- No! - Give it back!
Give it to me.
- Ugh... - Wash and eat it. - He licked it.
I'm home! Dad's home, too.
Dad's home!
Why now?
He looked angry.
- Mum, feed me something! - Hang on a minute.
I wonder if we've got to move...
- How was he? - He was staring at me angrily.
Oh, no.
I'm back! Is everyone OK?
What's wrong with you?
- Have you lost your job again? - What are you talking about?
I'm doing my job all right as you can see.
It was funny at work today ...
Listen. So silly...
That letter, you know. So wrong!
I can't make any sense of this drunk.
You'd be surprised... that, the court thing, you know... that thing.
- The letter? - Yes, it says ...
Mr. Yoshigoro Toyoda ....
(Mr. Toyoda, that's me), should pay 50 sen per month.
- I see. So if we pay 50 sen per month, we are OK then. - Yeah, we were so worried!!! Ha ha ha.
Thank god for that!
There's a girl in my class called Toyoda ...
You only have to guide her slightly and then she just takes off!
It's really good.
To say that she's got a certain strength might express it better.
She's from a poor family but she has real positivity.
It's her greatest strength. Even in this essay about the chicken.
She's only a child but she's got great powers of observation.
About 9 o'clock yesterday morning ...
Mr. Sugano! Mr. Sugano!
- Is your father there? - Yes.
- Oh, it's you. - My dad said can you come and do the chicken.
OK. Tell him I'll be right there.
When I told my father Mr. Sugano was coming he said ...
He said "well, I'd better catch the chicken then and he headed to the door.
I was leaning against the cupboard watching my father intently.
A moment later the chicken cried cock-a-doodle-do.
My father bent down just as if to adjust his sandal and grabbed it.
That observation of how her father moved is really good.
Thanks so much for doing this for me.
He squeezed the chicken's neck hard.
The chicken made a strange cry and it's legs seemed to be kicking.
Mr. Sugano headed back towards his house but paused by the well ...
He said "you'd better leave it for a little bit".
The chicken's legs twitched and it opened its eyes. It stood up unsteadily - like a sick person does.
Everyone was surprised and they told Minoru to go and tell Mr. Sugano. But Minoru said ...
"I don't want to. You (Maako) should go" - he didn't take his eyes off the chicken.
Mr. Sugano was sipping tea by the brazier. He said he and my dad should have a drink next time there was a chicken killing.
Yes, next time. You know money's really tight when there's no sake!
You've done very well.
It's great because you have written honestly and in detail about what you saw.
That's all for this semester.
I wonder what sort of compositions you'll all write over the summer holiday.
I'm really looking forward to reading them.
Don't get sick during the summer break.
Have a good summer.
Stand up!

- Masako! - Yes?
- I'm going to the country tonight. - Where in the country?
- I don't know but we're going on a train. - That will be nice!
- Who are you going with? - With Mum.
- What about your dad? - He's not going with us.
- Makiko! Makiko! - Yes?
Can you come here for a moment.
What is it?
- See what Reiko's mum gave us! - They're cute!
So cute!
- These are good rabbits, aren't they? - Yes, they are.
Thank you again. See how excited she is.
- You like animals, don't you? - Yes, very much.
- Thank you! - I'm glad you like them.
- I'm going to the country. - The country?
My husband can't look after them so ...
I sold all the others.
Just between us I was going to give some to the Umemotos but ...
They have status but they're quite mean so I didn't.
They're stingy even with rice husks ...
I'd feel sorry if the rabbits were not being fed properly ...
But your children will pick them some grass so it will be easy to feed them.
- OK. Masako? - Yes, I'll look after them.
They should give birth in about 3 months.
- You can sell the little ones for 20 sen each! - 20 sen each!
Not a bad price, is it?
- Thank you so much. - You're welcome.
What have you got there?
- Reiko's mum gave them to us. - I see.
- They're really nice rabbits. - Yes, they are.
She said the babies will sell for 20 sen each.
In these tough times 20 sen is pretty good.
- Dad, can you buy us a rabbit hutch? - I'll sort something out.
You're back early! Come and have a look. I've got something interesting.
- Hey! Rabbits! Where did they come form? - We were given them.
Rabbits! Rabbits!
- I'll go and pick some grass for them. - You don't need to yet!
- But I want to! - I'll come with you.
And me!
(Children play "rock, scissors, paper")
We've got 2 rabbits at our house.
We've got rabbits! We've got rabbits!
Here you are!
- I'm going to write an essay. - What about? - Rabbits.
Rabbits twitch their noses when they're eating grass ...
Just like grandma when she chews something hard.
Semester 2 (The Autumn Term)
Another 2 cm! Another 1 cm!
No, pull it back 1 cm or so. OK, that's fine.
This is fine.
Look, the 5th row is really out of line.
Come here!
The teacher's coming!
I see you're all working hard.
This class certainly has some hardworking students.
Miss Toyoda!
Your essay was published in Red Bird magazine - they sent a copy.
Look, your essay is ...
Here it is.
- Hey that's your house, isn't it? It's really cute. - Don't look.
Mum! Mum!
Mum! Mum!
What is it? Are you hungry again?
No, it's not that! You remember I wrote about the rabbits?
It was published in this magazine called Red Bird. Look!
Ah, I see!
But the girls in the picture look quite posh!
They've drawn Minoru as a girl!
So they have!
Masako's essay got published.
Wow! Well done!
What is it? Well ...
- Masako's essay got published! - Wow!
Which one's yours? Oh, I see.
I was so delighted and embarrassed at school I almost cried.
Silly girl. But well done.
It's quite an achievement.
I think I should buy you a dress as a reward.
Really? Really?
I'm thirsty!
- I'm glad you're home. There's been a problem. - What is it?
That essay by Miss Toyoda that appeared in Red Bird ...
- It's caused problems. - Why?
- She wrote about the Umemoto family, didn't she? - Yes.
She said their family has high status, but they're very mean.
The Umemotos are furious.
Oh no, that is quite serious.
But how did they find out about it?
It seems they have a child in the 3rd grade.
She went home crying after someone at school read the essay to her.
I see. This isn't good.
Masako, is it true you wrote nasty things about us in that magazine?
- No, I didn't. - You're lying!
You said the Umemotos were a notable family but really mean.
- But that's what Reiko's mum said. - Whoever said it it was you who wrote it.
Michiko came home from school in tears.
I ...
If I've done anything wrong I'm really sorry.
- I'm sorry. - You need to know ...
It's not nice to have unpleasant things read aloud at you at school.
- In what ways are we mean? - I'm sorry!
I suppose you always talk about us that way at home.
How dare you talk like that about us. It's causing trouble.
No, I just wrote what Reiko's mum said ...
No matter what you say my husband is furious. Tell that to your mother.
Makiko! Your essay ...
Look what's happened. You're an idiot!
It was really stupid to write gossip about others!
What do we do if the Umemoto's come here and they're angry?
- Well?! - I'm scared!
Come here!
Well, what are you going to do?
Do you know how angry you've made them?
But I ...
The teacher said I should write honestly.
So I did what he told me to do.
Idiot! There are things that are OK to write and things that are not.
What will become of us if Mr. Umemoto won't give your father any work?
We'll not be able to eat!
The Toyodas live over there, in the house with the 'tinsmith' sign.
- It's just down there. - Thank you very much.
Good evening.
I'm from the school ...
It's one of the teachers!
Masako! Masako!
Your teacher's here! (mum tells kid to get up)
Masako, your teacher's here.
Come on and bow properly. (Minoru complains the little one is always asleep)
Miss Toyoda, that's a lovely dress they've bought for you.
- Hey, look at this! - What have you got there?
Show me!
That's really nice.
I'm sorry the house is so dirty (not worthy) ...
I'm sorry for coming suddenly but ...
- I'd like to apologise. - There's no need!
It's a punishment for her immaturity.
But her writing down some bitchy comments ...
Has caused trouble for you. I'm so embarrassed.
It was unforgivable.
But please come in.
Yukiko, what are you doing?
I'm just getting a cushion.
Shall I go next door and borrow one?
- Please don't trouble yourselves. - It's fine.
Minoru, will you go to the shop -
- and get some beer for the teacher. - There's no need for that.
Minoru, you don't need to!
The problem was caused by my carelessness.
- I'd like to formally apologise. - There's no need to do that.
- I'd like you not to scold Masako. - Of course.
You shouldn't have worried.
We're trying to move on from this episode.
She just wrote down what she heard.
I was wrong to send it to the magazine.
No, you've not done anything wrong.
She's honest but naive.
She was a little careless ...
Actually she was VERY careless.
If she had been a little more thoughtful and acted her age ...
She'd not have written something like that.
- But I was the one who made her do it ... - There's nothing you can do by thinking about it that way.
But Mr. Umemoto and I ...
I get work from him ...
That's awkward ...
Yes, it is.
If I do him any injury the work will dry up.
And you need to know that ...
He has real power around here.
If he's offended ...
Then I'll get no work. And not just from him.
This is terrible.
I've really caused you lots of trouble.
I must go and see Mr. Umemoto.
I am not mean spirited in that way.
I wouldn't take someone's livelihood for that sort of thing.
I cannot apologise enough.
- So please don't take it out on him. - Well ....
To continue a business relationship ...
Requires people's trust.
To be put in this position and written about in that way ...
It affects confidence and trust in me. And there's also my social standing.
And there's my position in front of people who work for me to consider. It's difficult.
It's hard to live in this society.
I rather innocently thought of nothing but writing honestly.
It's not like that though.
Even a child's essay cannot be divorced from the world around us.
This incident has made me painfully aware how connected they can be.
This essay writing class of mine ...
By rushing ahead with it and not thinking carefully ...
It's ended up having a bad influence on the children.
- Is that Mr. Sugano's new wife? - Yes, that's right.
- She's very young, isn't she? - He's had one of 30 ...
One of 28 and now 20! His third!
- Of course the youngest is the most recent! - Typical!
Mum, isn't it dinner time yet?
When your father comes home with some money I'll buy something. You must wait.
Why are you making that funny face at me?
- I want to play talking in English! - OK, I'll play.
Minoru, OK .... How about ....
- Do you know what 'pan' is in English? - Yes, it's (makes Random noises).
That's not English!
- So what! - OK, well then ...
- Do you know what 'bucket' is in English? - Yes, it's (makes Random noises).
- There's no such word! - There is!
- There isn't! Idiot! - You always start hitting!
Well, OK ... How about ...
- Do you know what 'pan' is in English? - There's no such word!
- It's (makes Random noises). - I've had enough of this.
- Mum! Masako's bullying me. - Don't say that!
Ow! That hurt! Mum!
- What's the problem? - I played "English" with him because he asked me.
So I asked him what "pot" was ...
And I said his word wasn't real and he hit me so we ended up quarreling.
Masako, you're so stupid sometimes.
You're a 6th grader and you can't expect a second grader to play sensibly.
Ha ha ha! Now she's angry with you! Stupid!
Stop it!
Is dad working in this rain?
He's not working.
He's gone to Asakusa to collect a payment.
- Isn't it dinner time yet? - You must wait.
I can't do anything until your father gets home.
Lie down. Go to sleep.
You won't feel hungry if you're asleep.
(The sign says 'burikiya' = Tin-smith)
Something really bad has happened.
- Where's your bicycle? - Well ...
It's been stolen!
- What about the payment? - Yes, I collected it.
But ...
The payment and the loss of the bicycle cancel each other out!
Why was it stolen? This is the second time.
Well, I went to Funazu's place ...
I asked for him but they kept me there for a long time.
I went into the main room.
I was by the heater, talking with his wife.
Just chatting.
He came back an hour later.
I took the payment and went to the door - and got a shock.
The bike had gone.
A whole hour and more chatting ... You're a fool!
You're always too careless.
You can say what you like about me.
I'm weak and a bit of a coward.
I feel really low.
It was such an old wreck ...
I didn't think anyone would take it.
A moment of carelessness.
I should have gone around the back of the house.
But with those walls around the house it takes time.
I realise that now of course ...
But ...
There was nothing I could do.
But even so ...
What kind of scum would take it?
What heartless bastard...
...would steal something from somebody as down on their luck as me!
To make matters worse there were three expensive baggage straps on the bike.
There's no way to find who the bastard was that took it.
- What will become of us with no bike! - Mum, don't say any more!

It was raining day after day and dad stopped getting work.
He stopped being a tinsmith and registered as a casual labourer.
He only had work once every 3 or 4 days.
We became poorer and poorer.
He would get up at 5AM and go to the labour brokers seeking jobs.
Soon it was winter.
Can you smell something? Take a sniff.
I don't smell anything.
I can always smell it on winter mornings.
There it is again.
You're just pretending!
Dad's back.
Yukiko ...
Nothing today. Again.
Damn it. I hate this.
They said it would be my turn tomorrow.
Here are coupons for rice.
I 've got 5.
- With these you'll be OK today, won't you? - Don't be ridiculous.
Those coupons are 5 sen per person.
And we were down to our last 25 sen this morning...
We don't have a single sen left!
I know but ...
Tomorrow is another day (and our luck may change).
Masako, go and get the rice.
- With those coupons? - Yes, that's all we can do.
Don't complain. We're not asking you to steal. Those tickets are just as good as money.
- But I'll be late for school! - You've still got an hour!
Ok I'm going.
Even the children are embarrassed to pay for rice with coupons.
(street noise)
Here you are.
Good morning! Aren't you coming to school?
- I'll be there as soon as I finish my chores. - What's that?
It's rice-bran - for making pickled vegetables.
They sent me shopping just for this.
- See you later. - OK. - Don't be too long!
I really hated getting rice with those coupons at the beginning.
I got used to it quickly enough.
When they asked me what it was I said it was rice-bran for making pickled vegetables.
I wouldn't tell them what it really was.
I'm really glad nobody knew I was really getting rice.
- The boss wants you to come straight away. - Has he got work for me?
Yes, there's some work that has to be done by New Year's Eve.
I see. Tell him I'll be there immediately.
- Dad, have you got some work? - Yes, it seems so.
This should let us have a good new year.
- I'll buy you a kimono. - Yippee!
- So I can wear it when I go to the temple at New Year? - Yes.
- I remember we bought you a kimono in 3rd grade. - It was back in 2nd grade.
Was it really?
- Is this job really OK? - What do you mean?
- You're not going to be tricked out of the money? - No, it will be fine.
The boss for the job is Tateishi. He's reliable. I'll go and see.
See you later! See you later!
- Mum! - What is it?
Dad's bad when he drinks but he's a good dad when he doesn't.
Yes, that's true.
I told you didn't I! Our luck can change!
Is dad still not back?
It's your turn to go and wait.
Don't catch cold!
Sometimes he comes home and sometimes he doesn't. You all waiting won't make any difference.
If he doesn't come back what about my kimono?
- But the ceremony's tomorrow! - Don't go on about it. There's nothing we can do.
Never mind that! He said he'd bring me a new spinning top.
You two really don't get how serious things are, do you?
What do you mean?
Hey, it's dad.
Mum ...
Who is it?
- Oh, it's you Kimiko! - Good evening.
I went next door to visit but ....
- It's locked. - Yes.
They just popped out to do some shopping.
- Don't stand there. Come on in. - I don't want to trouble you.
- There's no need for polite refusal. - OK, then I'll come in.
Come on, Reiko.
- Bow! - Good evening.
So she's Reiko's mum.
She's the lady who gave us the rabbits.
Masako, you've really grown!
Come in and sit over here.
Thank you so much.
What happened? Have you been back home (in the countryside) all this time?
Yes. But it didn't help.
Oh God! Oh Christian god!
Please help me.
I understand! (responds to hearing God's voice)
I understand.
I will from this day forward ...
I will be pure in heart.
- Here's some tea. - Thank you.
Kimiko, you shouldn't brood over things.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
This is really hard to ask but ...
Has he taken another wife to replace me?
I don't really like to say this but ...
- It's a younger woman. - Oh, I see.
Oh Lord, please help me!
I understand. You'll let me meet Haruko ...
She is the one who will understand my feelings most.
- Amen! - Mum, you're crying again.
Please don't cry.
I can feel the weight of Christ on his cross.
Please clasp your hands together like this.
Do it for her!
Oh Lord, help us.
- The people next door are back now. - Amen.
- It looks as if they're back. - OK, I'll go and see.
Thank you so much. Come on then.
You'll have to introduce yourself to your new mother.
Thanks again. Goodbye.
You're very welcome.
Oh dear, oh dear.
She's possessed.
- I don't like the way she's changed. - Yes, she's awful.
That's the midnight bell for new year. Go to bed.
What happened?
- Have you been drinking again? - Yeah.
- They didn't pay the bill! - What do you mean? Why?
I've been swindled.
Pull yourself together.
It's the truth ...
That bastard Tateishi ...
He pretended to be friendly and he cheated me.
That's why I was drinking.
You idiot! Now what will we do?
Yes, I am an idiot.
I'm naive and too honest.
You're too naive.
In life it's always the bad guys who come out on top.
To be kindhearted and naive is to be a fool.
Get to bed! Get to bed!
Oh yes ...
What can we do about getting a kimono for Masako?
Never mind a kimono. How will we eat!
We don't have a grain of rice in the house.
I don't need a kimono anyway.
God damn it!
I'm going to beat him to death. That bastard! Damn him!
What are you going to do? Don't!!
Dad, don't!
- Let me go! - Don't do it! - Father, stop!
Dad! Dad!
Somebody help! Help!
What's going on?
Let me go!
Come on! Calm down!
(The new year bells sound)
I understand your anger but you must control yourself.
You mustn't make your wife worry. You'll be in real trouble.
Working so late and being messed around... Your anger is natural. I understand.
But tonight you must calm down.
We'll talk later. Go to sleep now.
Here you are. You go to sleep.
- Thank you so much. - It's fine.
I really understand how he feels.
Good night.
What happened to Kimiko?
It was new year she so came to beg for some money...
- She was given 5 yen and turned away. - Poor woman!
I've got a little bit of money so don't hesitate to ask if you need some.
Poor dad! I feel sorry for him.
The third school term - January to March
Despite all the problems New Year was better than what followed.
We had no money until the 7th.
We were really utterly poor.
On top of dad not having much work ...
It was raining and snowing which made things worse.
If the school hadn't fed us we probably wouldn't have had anything.
When I think about that period I am too sad to write about it.
- Rice! Rice! - There's no need to make such a fuss!
I was worried whether there would be anything to eat when I got home.
And you're all sitting together eating. I was so happy!
Don't be silly. You're a big girl of 13 now!
Pour some hot water on please.
Me too!
- Have we got any katsuobushi (fish flakes)? - No, we finished them long ago...
Can't I have a splash of soy sauce at least?
- The soy sauce is finished too. - Eh?
The soy sauce is finished, the fish flakes are finished ...
- The only thing not finished is our battered relationship! - You're right enough there!
I sometimes think the sooner our relationship is finished the better - but it just won't die!
God knows why though! (laughs!)
You saw that girl outside wearing a pretty kimono, didn't you?
Yes, is she a geisha?
Well, you might say she's a kind of embryo (literally an egg) geisha ...
- Do geisha lay eggs? - Don't be so literal!
She's the half-sister of the wife next door.
In any case her kimono was pretty, wasn't it?
She had pretty make (face-powder) up on too.
Give me some more.
Do you want some more?
Are you sure? You normally eat 4 or 5 bowls.
Well I think ...
You'd be better to do that kind of thing rather than stay around here being poor.
You might not like it but you'd be able to wear a pretty kimono.
And you could eat nice things.
I have to study.
And girls who do that can sometimes make surprisingly advantageous marriages too.
To business owners and rich people.
Just the other day there was some company in Osaka - I forgot the name ...
The girl became the wife of the managing director!
But mum, if it was always the geisha who end up in these great places ...
There'd be no chances for girls from good families to make good marriages!
That's brilliant. You're clever. And that's really funny!
You'd better not be writing any of this in your essay!
I'm not writing about that.
Miss Toyoda, you haven't shown me any of your writings recently.
I read a lot of your writings and ...
I can see that things are really tough at home for you.
But you all refuse to be ground down and you are always so cheerful.
I think it's amazing. I'm really impressed.
No matter how embarrassing the topic ...
I think it's really admirable to write so frankly.
But recently you haven't shown me anything at all.
So I suspect things are really bad.
In another 6 weeks you and I will say our farewells ...
You'll graduate soon and you're such a good student ...
I really will be sorry when you leave.
But remember you can always come and ask me for advice.
You can ask me anything - please do.
They must be really desperate if they're thinking about making her a geisha.
You absolutely have to prevent it.
I can understand how a parent trying to sell a daughter might feel.
Being pushed around by the winds of poverty all day ...
They want (her) to escape that wind, to get some respite even if only for a moment.
But I'm sure there are other paths that could make the girl happy.
Good evening.
- Good evening. It's been a while. - Oh, hello Mrs. Toyoda.
Good evening. I know it's been a while since I came last ...
But I wanted to tell you that, thanks to you, my husband has got regular work doing building in Honjo.
- I'm really pleased to hear it. - Yes, that's good news.
Isn't that marvelous!
Now we will have a regular income every month so ...
So that money we borrowed from you for food ...
I can pay you back now. I'm sorry it has taken so long.
You shouldn't worry about doing that. You should buy some sweets for the children!
No, that wouldn't be the right thing to do.
- There's no need ... - Honestly you don't have to ...
Are you ready? Quiet! Here we go.
Ready, set ...
Good! OK. Are you ready? Here we go!
No teasing from you year 3 boys!
Everybody keep really quiet ... Ready?
Ready ... (boys shout teasing and saying "get on with it")
Boys shout ("what a lovely smile")
It's almost time to say goodbye.
Miss Kojima and Miss Mashimo are off to senior school...
Miss Kudo may go on towards higher study.
Miss Toyoda, you will be going to a factory - work hard!
- There's something I'm really happy about. - What's that?
- Miss Watanabe will be working at the same place! - That's really good news.
I'll be able to earn 70 sen!
- When I get used to it I can earn up to 1 yen 50 sen! - That's pretty good.
Work hard! By the way, where will you be working?
Over there. Can you see that chimney where the smoke is rising?
- So that's where you'll be heading every day! - Yes!
Even when I'm working I'm going to keep writing.
- It'll be exciting to write about new things. - Yes, it will.
You're going to come across all kinds of new things.
Look carefully and write honestly just like you have been doing.
If you do that you'll end up famous!
Goodbye! Goodbye!
♫ They sing the last verse of a popular children's school song about a blacksmith, working hard, keeping off poverty, doing well and being praised and hammering all the louder
Composition Class THE END