Okuribito (2008) Movie Script

When I was a child winter
didn't feel so cold.
It's nearly two months since
I moved home from Tokyo.
It's been an awkward time.
(In Mourning)
This way.
Excuse us.
Please accept our condolences.
We are here for the encoffinment.
May we offer incense?
Please do.
She looks alive.
Suicide by charcoal.
How do you know?
No agony.
And they probably found her right away.
Too bad... she's beautiful.
Want to do it?
All right.
The rite of encoffinment
is to prepare the deceased
for a peaceful departure.
Please come closer and watch.
I will now wipe the body.
She's got one.
Got what?
A thing.
What thing?
A 'thing'!
Excuse me...
Once the departed is dressed,
we will apply make-up.
We have make-up for
women, or for men...
Oh... just a minute.
How'd you like Tomeo made up, Sis?
Boy, or girl?
What'll it be?
If I'd only had him as a girl
at the first, none of this...
would've happened.
Girl, then?
As a girl, please.
Another empty house.
We should advertise more.
I know!
An orchestra website.
My wife's a web designer.
She'd do it for free.
Forget that, Daigo. Are you OK?
Your next gig.
You'll need a job to pay
off a cello like that.
Well done, everybody.
The audience was a little sparse,
but you played wonderfully.
However, as it turns out...
the owner of this
orchestra, Mr Sonezaki,
has a few words to say.
So if you would please
give him your attention...
The orchestra is dissolved.
See you.
The orchestra job
I'd finally managed to land...
in a flash was not
history, only a memory.
It wasn't the cello's fault.
I shouldn't have bought
it. Now I'd lost my job.
In many ways that cello...
had been too much for me.
Thank you!
I'm home!
I got an octopus.
From the neighbor.
Caught this morning.
What's the matter?
We're dissolved.
The orchestra.
You'll find another one.
There won't be one.
I'm not good enough.
And I owe for that.
How much?
That's OK.
I'm working. We can
pay off a million yen.
18 million.
18 million yen!
That's what all the pros
pay. Maybe even more.
Why did you hide that?
I thought you'd say no.
But something that important...
why didn't you tell me?
I'm sorry.
I'll make supper.
'The world's cities will be our home.
'Come tour with me.'
That's how I proposed.
But reality was harsh.
No. I should have realized
the limits to my talent.
What's wrong?
It's alive!
What should we do?!
Don't get caught again.
I should quit.
And do what?
Go back up to Yamagata.
You don't mind?
We can live free in the
house your mother left you.
It's really OK?
This was my great turning point...
but in a strange way, selling
the cello was a relief.
I felt freed from ties that
had bound me for so long.
What I'd always taken as my dream
maybe hadn't been one after all.
This was all my mother had left me
when she'd died two years before.
My father had run a coffee shop here...
but I hardly remembered it.
After he deserted us...
she ran it as a small bar...
and raised me alone.
Supper's ready!
I thought you'd hate it here.
No! Everything's so new.
Rice tastes better.
Maybe it's the water.
Maybe I should open a shop...
What kind?
This ad. 'No age
restriction, good salary.
'Short working hours,
full-time employee.'
'NK Agent'... what's that?
'Working with departures.'
A travel agency, maybe.
A tour guide?
'No experience necessary.'
I'll give them a call.
NK Agent
Is this NK Agent?
I'm Kobayashi. I called earlier.
For the interview?
The boss'll be right back. Have a seat.
Thank you.
I was against the boss
putting an ad in the paper.
It's hard finding people for this.
What sort of company would this be?
You mean you don't know?
It said 'departures'...
The man's here about the job.
Hello. I phoned this morning.
Oh, you...
So you're not depressing...
Thank you.
I knew an ad would work. Make some tea.
My resume...
Good. Sit down.
Thank you.
Will you work hard?
Uh... yes.
You're hired.
What's your name?
'Daigo Kobayashi'.
Get him some cards.
But what about salary
and stuff like that?
Oh... how about one hand to start?
'One hand'?
Too low?
You pay that much?
In cash, if you want.
What does the job involve?
At first, being my assistant, I guess.
Putting bodies in coffins.
It bloomed!
You mean 'dead bodies'?
That's really funny.
Uh, no, I mean...
The ad said 'departures',
so I thought it meant...
a travel agency.
That's a misprint.
It's not 'departures', it's...
'the departed'.
The departed?!
'NK' stands for [nokan], 'casketing'.
Anyway, fate brought you here.
Give it a try. Quit
if you don't like it.
Today's pay.
No, I couldn't...
It's fine.
No, no...
I'm back.
What's that?
You said you wanted sukiyaki.
Yonezawa beef?!
Grade A.
That's expensive!
I got an advance.
You got the job?
Sort of.
So we're celebrating!
So what's the job? A tour guide?
It's not a travel agent.
So what is it?
Like weddings?
Maybe you can play cello for them.
I'll get the sukiyaki ready.
I won't be too late.
Here I am.
Use the boss's desk till yours comes.
Your business cards
are done. No misprints.
They're just coffins.
They're the first I've seen.
The first?
My grandparents died
before I can remember.
I was abroad when my mom
died, so I missed her funeral.
And your dad?
He left us when I was six.
That must have been hard for your mom.
Can someone who's never seen a corpse
actually do this job?
You'll get used to it.
To corpses?
It's slow now in the summer,
but when the seasons change...
I'll help.
...it's one job after another.
Who hires us?
It used to be that families
prepared the bodies.
Then undertakers took it on...
and places like ours started up.
It's a niche market.
They're heavy.
There's different types.
They're that different?
That's plywood, this one has
gold fittings and carved sides.
And this one's pure hinoki cypress.
So it's the wood and the fittings...
Yep. They burn the same
way, into the same ashes.
Your last purchase, and
someone else chooses it.
It's ironic.
NK Agent...
Yes, he's here.
The Minatoza? He'll be right there.
The boss?
A job.
A job?
(Minatoza Theater)
NK Agent?
He's here.
Oh, good.
This is my new assistant, uh...
Kobayashi. He'll be our model today.
We'll start shooting as
soon as you get changed.
Costume and make-up's over here.
It's fine.
Let's start.
(Casketing Procedure)
The model's ready!
Where will this be shown?
It's fine.
It's just for the
trade. No one'll see it.
The first step in casketing
is washing of the body.
This washes away the weariness,
pain, and cares of this world...
and represents the first bath
for one newborn in the next.
In olden times, a
wash-cloth was used for this,
but now, for reasons of hygiene,
a sterilized cloth is used
to wipe...
the body.
To preserve dignity, take great care
that family members do not see
the bare skin of the deceased.
Once the body is dressed,
the face is shaved
before make-up is applied.
Especially with men, facial
hair will be more apparent
due to tissue contraction
and drying of the skin
so great care must be taken.
Necrotic skin is extremely fragile.
Even the pressure of
a finger can break it.
For this reason, we must proceed...
with very great care...
Ow! Ow!
He's bleeding!
It's fine.
It's just a scratch.
Your face...
The boss wanted me shaved.
You shaved at work?
But you only ever use an electric razor.
The boss said to.
It's just a scratch.
That's weird.
Yeah, it's a weird place.
Suddenly, my first case.
What should I do?
just watch.
All right.
But it's one of those.
You picked a bad one.
What do you mean?
You'll see.
Don't scare me!
Here we are.
Ah, good.
Where's the body?
Old lady, lived alone.
Dead two weeks.
She's in pretty bad shape.
See you later.
Who's that?
The undertaker. Our employer.
Let's get to work.
It stinks!
Come on.
Give me a hand.
Get her legs.
Her legs!
You said just to watch.
Gently, gently...
Hold her tighter!
Take the day off.
That was a bit much for your first job.
Did you eat something weird?
Something stinks.
Your scarf!
It does not!
- Hey...
- What?
That guy in the suit...
Next stop, Minami-Ginza.
(Tsurunoyu Public Bath)
It's still here!
Just leave it there.
300 yen.
Towel's 100 yen.
You'll get a good price now!
I'm not quitting!
Go away!
It's for your own good, Ma!
Get back to your city hall.
I'm not that old yet.
Am I, Shiori?
Can I come again for the big bath?
Of course!
I'll keep this bath-house
going just for you!
Why didn't you tell me you're back?
Sorry. It's been a bit crazy.
Well! If it's not the
Kobayashi boy Daigo!
It's been a while.
That it has!
That's quite the job you found yourself!
Huh? Uh, yeah...
What's that thing he plays?
The cello. A great big violin.
That's it, a cello!
That gentleman's really something.
He plays the cello in Tokyo!
I wish my son had talent!
This isn't a good time.
We'll have a drink.
Bring the wife along.
You're married, aren't you?
When this fool's not here.
And who gave birth to this fool?
Anyway, I'm not selling!
I win.
Anything wrong?
Let's eat.
Mrs Fujii next door gave us this.
Fresh-killed this morning.
You could eat it raw.
Not quite yet...
Are you OK?
Are you OK?
What's the matter?
What's wrong with you?
No, Daigo, don't!
Not here!
Was this a trial I was being put through
for not looking after my mother?
Where was I going?
I suddenly wanted to play the cello.
I just wanted to play the
cello and let memory rewind.
It's tiny!
Oh... yes.
There, by those rocks.
Go! Go!
Sad, isn't it. Coming
all this way just to die.
It doesn't seem worth it.
They want to come home.
Back to where they were born.
Let's go eat.
The boss says to.
did you take this road?
Yeah, right!
You were born to do this.
That's fine for you to say!
I'm very, very sorry!
He's mad!
Mr Sasaki, please!
I'm sorry.
You're late!
Five minutes late!
I'm very sorry.
You make your living on the dead.
Stop it!
Move it!
I apologize.
May I have your wife's
favorite lipstick?
One grown cold, restored
to beauty for all eternity.
This was done with a
calmness, a precision
and above all, a gentle affection.
At the final parting,
sending the dead on their way
everything done
peacefully, and beautifully.
Thank you.
I will now affix the lid.
Excuse me!
I'm sorry about what I said.
No. We were late.
Please have this.
Thank you.
never looked so beautiful.
Thank you very much.
Come in.
Good evening.
Good evening.
Don't tell me...
Yes. My wife.
How do you do.
Isn't she a dear!
You're too kind.
Go into the bath and get warm.
Thank you.
Oh, hello.
You always come here?
For 50 years.
I see... well...
It's nice the water's so hot.
She pumps up groundwater
and heats it with wood.
That softens it.
It's hot, but it doesn't make you itch.
I see...
Best in the land!
Good night, Tsuyako.
Thank you.
Shall I help you?
It's bad luck to put a customer to work.
You do it all yourself?
Yes, for years. Since I lost my husband.
My civil-servant son wants me
to sell the place for condominiums.
But what would my customers do?
So while I'm still healthy...
You still have a long time.
Look after him.
Daigo's a dear boy.
He takes it all on himself.
When his folks split up,
he'd never cry in front of his mom.
But he would when he
was alone in that bath.
The poor little thing,
his shoulders shaking...
So that's how he is.
Please understand him.
I will.
How was the water?
The kerchief suits you.
It's all white!
The cold's set in.
Let's have a drink.
I know a fine place.
Let's go!
Let's be off.
We're off!
That's good!
We haven't done this in ages.
It's like an old song.
Your mom liked this?
They were all dad's.
Right, this was your
dad's coffee shop...
Don't remind me. I don't
even remember his face.
Would you like to see him?
But if I did...
If you did...
I'd hit him.
Dad liked this piece.
I bet...
your mom stayed in love with your dad.
Then she'd have thrown his records out.
Not kept them so nice.
Go ahead.
Right now.
Right now?
Someone hanged himself in a hotel.
Where's the boss?
He just left on another call.
Can you handle it alone?
All right.
Off you go.
See you.
Good morning.
Good job last night.
The police were impressed.
'He's so young,' they said.
It was all a blur.
Isn't it cold!
Thank you.
Your eyes are red. Didn't you sleep?
The job grows on you, doesn't it.
How did you get into this business?
Things happened when I was young.
I had to leave my home town.
I had a bunch of jobs
and ended up in a little bar here.
But the owner...
took a stroke and died.
Then the boss came.
I'd never seen casketing before.
I thought if I died,
I'd want him to put me in my coffin.
There's no one quite like him, is there.
So here I am.
It's funny how fate works.
You never know where you'll end up.
That's right.
This tea's good.
Hi, Yamashita.
A friend?
Ignore him.
Stop it!
Go on ahead.
People are talking.
About what?
Get yourself a proper job!
Let's go.
I'm home.
What's wrong?
This is done in such a way
that the family does not see.
The anus must sometimes be blocked.
The cotton wool is rolled
and pressed deep into the anus.
This prevents seepage.
What's all that?
You looked in my desk...
Don't change the subject.
I just got this acting job...
I checked what the company does.
Why didn't you say?
You'd say no.
Of course!
Aren't you ashamed
having a job like that?
What's to be ashamed
of? Touching dead people?
Just get a normal job.
Everyone dies. I'll
die, and so will you.
Death is normal.
Spare me the word games!
I want you to quit.
I haven't said anything so far, have I.
When you wanted to quit the cello
and move back up here...
I just smiled.
The fact is, I was
all broken up over it.
I love you.
just this once...
listen to me.
And if I don't?
Will this be a career?
I'm going home. Come
see me when you quit.
Don't touch me! You're unclean!
I'm sorry?
That's not my daughter.
The color's wrong.
It's all wrong!
That's Miyuki!
What are you doing?!
It's all wrong!
Do it again.
What's the point now?
You didn't raise her right.
That's why this happened!
Don't talk like that.
You didn't pay her
much attention, either.
Who are you to talk?! You
killed her on your bike!
Have you no shame?!
Stop it!
Stop it!
All of you!
Get out.
It's your fault Miyuki's dead.
Can you make up for that?
Work all your lives like him
at a job no one else would do?
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry!
The boss'll be disappointed.
He likes you.
He does?
Yes! You're the first one
he's ever made full-time!
He sure hired me fast enough...
The man goes on instinct. He
knew as soon as he saw you.
Even still...
Well, if you're going to quit,
can you tell him yourself?
He's upstairs.
Excuse me...
Come in.
Are you eating?
Your wife's still away...
Eat. I'm probably a
better cook than you.
Dig in.
What's that?
Puffer roe, grilled
with salt. It's good.
My wife.
She died on me nine years ago.
One of you always goes first,
but it's hard being left behind.
I made her beautiful and sent her off.
She was my first.
Then I started this business.
Even this...
is a corpse.
The living eat the dead.
Unless they're plants.
Unless you want to die, you eat.
And if you eat, eat well.
Good, huh?
Yes, it is.
So good I hate myself.
It's nearly two months since
I moved home from Tokyo.
It's been an awkward time.
Can I really do this job?
Want to do it?
All right.
Lay the head down first, please.
We'll take our leave.
Thank you.
Once he went like he did,
we did nothing but fight.
After that I wasn't seeing him.
But when I saw his smile, I remembered.
'He's my son.
'He may dress as a girl,
but he's still my son.'
Thank you very much!
Is it good?
I hate myself.
You brought your cello?
I want to hear it!
Just a bit.
I've never heard one live.
You were in an orchestra?
But it went broke.
When did you start playing?
In kindergarten.
That long ago?
This is a child's instrument.
My dad made me take lessons.
Good for him!
He was a louse.
He had a coffee shop, and
he took off with a waitress.
A real bastard.
Where is he now?
Dead, probably.
So... what'll it be?
Well, since it's Christmas...
No problems of religious affiliation?
It's fine.
Buddhist, Christians, Islam, Hindu,
we handle anything.
All right, for a holy night...
Hello, NK Agent. Thank you for calling.
Tomorrow? And the name of the deceased?
We will now prepare the
deceased for her departure.
Slip them over the toes...
Grandma wanted to wear socks like ours.
Grandma... bye-bye.
Thank you for everything.
...we pray in the name
of Jesus Christ. Amen.
He's getting old.
Thank you!
Don't you ever clean?
Not even once.
That's not 'sometimes'.
I guess you need me.
And I've got news.
I'm pregnant.
I'm going to be a father?
So get yourself together, OK?
Will you be able to
tell a child what you do?
The other kids will laugh.
I don't care about the
money. Let's be happy.
Right now?
I'll be right there.
Are you going to work now?
The lady who runs the
bath... she's dead.
My wife Mika.
She was carrying firewood.
She dropped dead.
Working right till the end...
The town won't be the
same without this bath.
If you would all wipe her
face, and take your farewells.
Grandma's leaving us.
Thank you for everything.
You work here?
If you would place
your hands together...
I will now close the casket.
Thank you.
We'll meet again.
May I watch?
Thank you.
People probably have a
premonition of what's coming.
Last year we did Christmas Eve together.
Just like a young couple, at our age!
But she insisted...
so we bought a little
cake, and lit some candles
and celebrated together.
Then all of a sudden
she asks me to help her
heat the public bath.
Now I know why.
I'm good at fire.
Working here all these years,
I've often thought that
maybe death is like a gateway.
Dying doesn't mean the end.
You go through it and
onto the next thing.
It's a gate.
And as the gatekeeper
I've sent so many on their way.
Telling them...
'Off you go.
'We'll meet again.'
I'm sorry!
I'm sorry!
I'm sorry!
I'm sorry!
What are you doing?
This one.
A stone letter.
'Stone letter'?
Long ago, before writing,
you'd send someone a stone...
that suited the way you were feeling.
From its weight and touch,
they'd know how you felt.
From a smooth stone
they might get that you were happy
or from a rough one
that you were worried about them.
Thank you.
What did you feel?
Not telling.
That's a lovely story. Who told you?
My dad.
You mean... that big rock?
Yep. I got it from him.
I didn't know that.
He said he'd send me one every year,
but that's all I ever got.
That jerk!
Will you play for the baby
every day till it's born?
What a nice day!
Is this the Kobayashi residence?
'Kazuko Kobayashi'?
Doesn't she live here?
My mother-in-law
died two years ago.
Is that so?
May I see that?
No, don't...
(Name of Deceased Kobayashi, Hideki)
I'm back.
You forgot your cell phone.
It's at home... sorry.
Your father's dead.
What do you mean?
So I called the fishing port.
Our address was in his things.
But who cares now?
I haven't seen him in 30 years.
His girlfriend can tend to him.
They said he was single.
They're cremating him tomorrow.
His body's at the
Fishermen's Co-op there.
He's not on our family register.
Tell them I can't sign for him.
No, it's fine.
I left...
a son in Obihiro.
He was six.
I met someone.
'Mommy! Mommy! ' my son was crying.
I pushed his little hands
away and went running out.
And since then?
I'd love to see him, but I can't.
Why not?
You could go there.
Are parents who dump their kids...
always like that?!
Please! You have to see
him this one last time.
Take one.
It's fine.
I came in and he was dead.
It was a real shock.
He just turned up in
town one day, all alone.
He worked so hard helping
out at the harbor...
that we let him live in
the watchman's cottage.
I see...
He was real quiet, hardly said a word.
I'm glad someone from his family came.
The undertaker's on his way.
So that's your father...
I hate to say it
but I don't remember...
his face.
I wouldn't know him to see him.
(Hideki Kobayashi)
So what was his life for, anyway?
Living 70-some years and
leaving one box of stuff?
In here.
All right?
'Scuse us.
Excuse us.
Can we get started?
Let's get him loaded.
Could I do that?
No, no, we'll do it.
Offer him some water when we get him in.
One, two...
What the?!
My husband is a professional.
Masahiro Motoki
Ryoko Hirosue
Kimiko Yo
Kazuko Yoshiyuki
Takashi Sasano
Tsutomu Yamazaki
Directed by Yojiro Takita