Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (2009) Movie Script

Kokasasu Beetle!
Oh... I want it!
Beetle King, Beetle King...
I want to buy a rainbow beetle.
I wanna buy a rainbow beetle!
I wanna buy it. How much is it?
- 57 dollars.
- Let's see if I have that much...
Five... Six... Seven...
Maybe that is not enough.
This is not enough...
But I wanna buy this no matter what!
If you have some money,
maybe we can combine and buy it.
This one's a little cheaper.
It's going to be 47 dollars.
Lafcadio Hearn wrote:
"The people that could find delight,
century after century,
in watchlng the ways of insects,
and in making verses about them,
must have comprehended,
better than we,
the simple pleasure of existence".
What then, is embedded in
the Japanese landscape
that encourages such an enthusiasm for insects?
In the 18th century
a group of scholars called
the Kokugakushu,
sought to define the essence
of being Japanese.
The Kokugakushu endeavored
to purify the culture,
leaving behind foreign influences
and distilling fundamental Japanese thought
into distinguishable concepts
that could be applied across art
and everyday routine.
The pre-eminent scholar of the
Motoori Norinaga,
formulated the essential concept of
Mono No Aware,
which characterizes beauty
as the transience of all things.
According to Mono No Aware,
true beauty is found in that which does not last
and includes the gentle sadness
felt as it fades.
Mono No Aware
expresses the capacity of the Japanese
to experience the objective world
both internally and directly,
without having to resort to language
or other intermediaries.
This connection is granted
by the understanding
that all life and nature is cohesive.
All of its imperfections,
all of its fleeting beauty
is part of a whole.
By letting themselves be moved or affected
by any part of this "whole of life,"
they can experience it absolutely;
without obscurity,
in all of its immediacy.
This is the season when
they begin to emerge.
It takes them about three
weeks to come out.
This is the right stage.
This thin line goes to their reproductive
organs - to the testes.
I'm going to sell these as a pair.
Here's the mark, can you see it?
Here's a female.
She doesn't have it.
In summer nights and autumn dusk,
the rush and hum of a thousand tiny voices
fills the air of certain lonesome places,
the cries of suzumushl,
the 'bell insect'.
One poet wrote,
When even the moonlight
sleeps on the garden-grasses,
the song of the suzumushi,
like the crying of a broken heart,
is all that moves in the night.
I love the sound of crickets.
That is why I keep them in my home.
I enjoy the song of the cricket the way
a music lover enjoys his music.
Their sounds are like music to me.
Japanese people have kept
crying insects as pets for all time.
We really love their song.
There are some species of crickets that
cannot cry because they have weak wings.
These species cannot cry.
There are more than 118 species
of crickets in our country.
I was 5 or 6 when I first fell in love
with their crying songs.
Now I am 68 years old, so all that
time I have been obsessed with them.
These are from Shizuoka, by the river.
While the Kokugakushu were striving
to refine the essence of Japanese art,
one humble food-vendor
by the name of Chuzo
was refining the art of entrepreneurship.
On a whim, Chuzo had collected
a few crickets
and kept them confined in his home.
He fed them routinely and they
rewarded him with their nightly chanting.
Charmed by their song,
Chuzo's neighbors asked
if he would supply them with their own.
Chuzo obliged and soon
a new phenomenon of
captive crickets
spread throughout Japan.
Inspired by Chuzo's success,
others followed his example
and the market for a variety
of insects expanded.
A craze took hold of the entire country.
Insect Catching and Rearing Supplies
Help! All of my insects have escaped.
Can you help me find them?
Even at the hour of the noon-day meal,
they forget to return home -
the children catching dragonflies.
The poetry that often praises insects
is a type of poetry that rejoices
in the minuscule
as a defining feature
of a particular time and space.
This form of poetry, the haiku,
became popular in the 17th century,
its minimal form a model illustration
of Japanese aesthetics and values.
Haiku is the expression
of a precise view of nature -
personal and universal in equal parts.
It is the distillation of time,
a representation of a
single spontaneous moment -
an eternity captured
in a mundane instant of reality.
Haiku is an interpretation
of the brevity of life
and the never-ending cycle of nature -
the unyielding passing of the seasons.
Similar to the concept of
Mono No Aware,
haiku is about the transience of all things
and the perception of intimate nature
without intermediaries.
Haiku is man as part of nature,
or more exactly
man as nature.
Meeting In Flight
How gracefully do the dragonflies
Glance away from each other.
As a measure of their belief
that all creatures exist on an equal
plane of capacity and possibility,
the Japanese often assigned
traditionally human,
emotional characteristics to insects.
Because of the shrewdness
with which it caught its prey,
the dragonfly was a favorite emblem
among the warrior class.
It was called the "Victory Insect,"
as well as the Invincible Insect,
The samurai warriors embroidered
the dragonfly on their weaponry and armor
as a symbol of strength and courage.
As a dragonfly expresses bravery,
the firefly was often an
expression of unrequited love.
In The Tale of Genji,
written by Murasaki Shikibu,
a Japanese courtesan
at the turn of the 11th century,
the character of Genji relates his broken
heart to the visible light of the firefly:
"Fireflies rule the night,
and it is sad to see them
when at every hour
one burns with the searing flame of love
now lost forever".
Can I give this to them?
It's going to eat the cucumber later.
Mine is still eating.
Now it's finished.
Fruit Stand
Here's one!
A weird one.
I can't sell this one.
It stinks!
It stinks...
It's nice, I'm glad we found it.
Kabuto Beetles are usually really high up.
So let's say this is the Kabuto Beetle, you
hook this thing up there and knock it down.
You pull down really quickly, it makes
the Kabuto Beetle dizzy and it falls.
If you do it slowly, they'll fly away.
Kicking the trees is useless for Kabuto
Beetles because they are so strong.
But you can kick trees for
Kuwagata Beetles.
The vibration frightens them
and they let go and fall.
Kabuto Beetles are really strong.
Kicking is useless and my heel
hurts when I do it every day.
Hornets don't fall off the tree,
they hover around the tree.
And if they see you,
they come towards you.
They fly with their butt first
when they are going to sting you.
It's not that scary because
they don't go very fast.
But if they sting you, it's a big deal.
So that is why I always have this plastic
thing, I hit it with this and knock it down.
- So that can be a cage or a weapon.
- Yeah, it's saved me so many times.
There is a hornet behind you.
After we get rid of it, let's look there.
Do you know the Japanese saying?
"It's better not to touch a God".
Insect melody has been
celebrated in Japan
as one of the great
pleasures of autumn.
Just as places famous for cherry blossoms
are still regularly visited by
tens of thousands of people each year,
solely for the pleasure
of seeing the blooming flowers,
so, historically, the people
of Japanese cities
trekked to certain
resorts in the countryside
that were known for the
chirruping choruses of crickets.
Different species of crickets sing in different tones
and each one was prized for its distinct voice.
Certain species in particular were singled
out as representatives of strong emotions
or highlights of a particular atmosphere.
The Japanese regularly celebrated,
through verse,
the perfect clarity with which the insects
could convey their mood:
Always more clear and shrill,
as the hush of the night grows deeper,
the Waiting-Insect's voice;
And I that wait in the garden,
feel enter into my heart
the voice and the moon together.
From Chomon-Shu,
written in the 13th century,
there is the first literary record
of the recreation of insect-hunting
for these beloved singing crickets.
The emperor ordered his
pages and chamberlains
to go to Sagano
and find some insects.
The emperor gave them a cage
of network of bright purple thread.
All, even the head-chamberlain
and his attendants,
went on horseback
to hunt for insects.
Tokinori Ben proposed to the party
as they rode to Sagano,
a subject for poetical composition.
The subject was, "Looking
for insects in the fields".
In the evening they returned to the palace.
The cage was respectfully presented
to the Empress.
There was sake drinking
in the palace that evening;
And many poems were composed.
I look back at these specimens and
each one tells a particular story for me.
Like this one here: This Red Admiral.
It's not a particularly good specimen.
But when I look at it, I can immediately
remember where I was, at what time...
what the weather was like,
what I was feeling.
It's sort of like a diary, in a way.
I can look back at these specimens
and they tell a story for me.
The art of the Zen garden,
at its height when the Chomon-Shu
was written,
created new ideas about the presentation
of and interaction with nature.
The gardens were laid out in rectangles
with large rocks as islands
and white pebbles or sand as the ocean,
rippling against the islands
in a motionless eternity.
Similar to haiku,
the gardens were meant
to be a representation of the universe,
scaled down to allow for the
contemplation and mediation of its nature.
The miniaturization of everyday objects
and the shrinking of worlds,
as with Zen gardening or bonsai,
lends itself to the exposition
of nature's smallest creatures.
Insects, which could easily have been the
inhabitants of these diminutive universes,
could be loosely recognized as their translators,
beings that held all of the truths of nature
in their tiny, delicately ergonomic lives.
In the Nihon Shoki,
the legendary account of Japan's
beginning written in the 8th century,
there is a well-known story of a dragonfly.
Emperor Jimmu, Japan's fabled
first emperor, is out hunting.
While resting a gadfly appears and bites him.
Within moments, a dragonfly proceeds
to catch and eat the gadfly.
The emperor is so pleased,
he commands a poem to be written.
As none of the hunting party
were bold enough to compose an ode,
the emperor himself took on the task.
"Waiting for the game
Whilst I was standing,
My arm in the fleshy part
Was stung by a gadfly;
But soon a dragonfly
Did bite that gadfly.
That in this wise
It should be famous,
The Heaven-Filling
Land of Yamato
Was called the Land of the Dragonfly".
From this, Japan became known as such
and the dragonfly remains an
emblem of the empire to this day.
It just pupated!
Welcome to the cage!
Okay. Here are the three brothers.
Twinkling, rainbow Kuwagata beetle...
Are they married yet?
Isn't he cute?
You're a nice kid, huh?
Kabuto team won!
This one is weak - oh!
Here they go, they're fighting!
Let's go meet the kids upstairs.
The three of us are going to be magicians.
It's good. There are three of them
and three of us.
And three plus three equals six.
Three plus three equals nine...
- No, six.
- Yeah, 96.
Are you stupid or what?
He's dancing!
- Who wants a Kabuto Beetle?
- Hai!
All teachings of Buddhism,
introduced in the 6th century,
developed in conjunction with
the existing, ancient religion Shinto.
Shinto is based on nature's inherent
harmony and animism,
the belief that everything in nature -
trees, mountains, rivers, animals,
all have spirits.
Natural phenomenon,
like waterfalls and lightning storms,
were venerated as manifestations
of these powerful spirits.
The Japanese believed that man
was interrelated with the natural world
but that nature was indifferent to man.
Yet they held highly positive views of nature
and celebrated the perpetual and
infallible changing of the seasons
as proof of nature's own living existence.
Shinto encouraged harmony,
and sincerity,
but did not expound defined doctrines,
so when Buddhism began to take hold,
its teachings were quickly and thoroughly
intertwined with the existing
Shinto beliefs.
The teachings of Buddhism center
around the concept of reincarnation:
The cycle of birth, death and rebirth,
which was heavily tied to the
Shinto confidence in nature's seasons,
and into Shinto's animistic beliefs,
in the possibility of being reborn
as any living creature,
including insects.
In Buddhist thought
it was considered a transgression
to destroy even a blade of grass
by trampling on it.
Everything living and growing
was embraced by
and incorporated into the deity.
Fireflies have often been seen
to gather on a willow in great swarms.
Some nights one may have
seen a willow drooping with fireflies,
so thickly did they coat the tree
that its branches were said
to be budding fire.
It was thought that all trees
have their unique spirits;
but the willow tree is the tree of the dead,
the favorite of human ghosts.
Any firefly could then easily be the
ghost of some deceased relative.
Legend states that the two primary
species of firefly
are the ghosts of the warriors
of the two main feuding clans,
the Genji and the Heik,
that ruled during the Helan period.
The fireflies are thus named after the clans
and are said to fight great battles
on certain nights of the year.
I bought this Ferrari with money
I made selling beetles.
If this hornet stings you, you will die.
It makes me warm.
These hornets can fly
100 kilometers in one day.
So they have a lot of stamina.
Regular sake is 14 proof,
but because of the hornets, it's 50 proof.
I can get drunk, huh? In the afternoon!
When the wet-paddy rice system
became widespread in the 4th century,
it utterly changed the Japanese landscape,
taking on an aesthetic and moral weight
and becoming the embodiment
of a national identity.
The flooded fields and streams
of the rice paddies that covered the country
exaggerated Japan's already
lush, almost watery environment,
much to the benefit of the insects.
As both dragonflies and fireflies
have aquatic larval stages,
the rice paddies became fertile breeding
grounds for the already abundant insects.
Not good... They seem wary.
It's big. Can you see it?
Maybe a beetle and a bee?
What is that thing...
that eye shining in the dark up there?
That's too high. I need a longer net.
- Catch it!
- Catch it...
A big one!
Show me!
This insect hasn't evolved.
For millions of years,
it has stayed the same.
That top one evolved and turned into
the moth, the dragonfly and the beetle.
International trade has
reduced the necessity
for such large-scale productions of rice
and Westernized Japan
has stretch its cityscapes
deep into the rice fields of the past.
With a certain nostalgia,
rice fields have become
thought of as an ideal,
time-honored, landscape
having taken on significance as
the quintessence of traditional
Japanese values.
Japanese people now call the
countryside of rice fields
furusato, or "One's home region,"
even if they have spent the whole of their
lives amid the crush of a crowded city.
The preservation of streams and ponds
as well as the reconstruction
of those damaged by urbanization
has been incorporated into
municipal policy across the country.
The reintroduced fireflies and dragonflies
have become a symbol of
environmental regeneration,
community rejuvenation
and great national pride.
Insects are more than pets,
more than spirits in the cycle of reincarnation,
more than the subject of municipal policy.
Insects, in their miniscule being,
represent the entire history of a culture.
They are inscribed with all the
impenetrable mysteries of nature
and all the varying philosophies
of the human mind.