Kabe (Kabei: Our Mother) (2008) Movie Script

- Our Mother
Kabei, Tobei's home!
Dad's nicknames, 'Kabei' for
Mom and 'Tobei' for himself...
probably came from his sense
of humor and affection for us.
What's the matter?
Those censors again.
And I tried to be as careful as I could.
Not Approved
'Don't write' is what it means.
How late are we with the rent?
Three months.
Oh, well... shall we sell some books?
We don't have to go that far.
Well manage.
Manage how?
If you think you can manage, you will.
Sayuri Yoshinaga
I guess that's all we can do.
Tadanobu Asano Rei Dan
Terumi! Come out and play!
Mirai Shida Miku Sato Keiko Toda
Let's play!
Your homework!
Tsurube Umenosuke Shofukutei Nakamura
A cat got run over!
Mitsugoro Bando
By the collier's!
Wait for me!
Based on the story by Teruyo Nogami
Screenplay: Yoji Yamada Emiko Hiramatsu
Executive Producer: Junichi
Sakomoto Produced by Teruki Matsumoto
Producers: Hiroshi
Fukasawa Takashi Yajima
Cinematography: Mutsuo Naganuma
Art Director: Mitsuo Degawa
You can start.
Bon apptit!
Sound: Kazumi Kishida
Lighting: Takeshi Nakasu
Music: Isao Tomita
Politician Resigns For
'Speaking Against Nation'
'Crusade' To Be Permitted
Editor: Iwao Ishii
Line Producer: Tomohiko Saito
Production: Takakazu Aiba
You promised you wouldn't read
the paper at dinner!
Directed by Yoji Yamada
What manners!
Wearing a scarf in the house!
I'm sensitive to cold.
I'm from Hiroshima.
Is it really warm there?
It's a fine place.
Bright sun, white sand, and green pines.
You can see the ocean from
the house he grew up in.
Open the window, and
all you can see is blue.
'The sea is so wide...
'The sea is so vast...
'There the moon rises...
'and there the sun sets. '
Our dinner table at home...
My sister 'Hatsu-bei' was 12.
I was 'Teru-bei'. I
was still only nine.
February 1940
Carry on.
It's freezing!
Let's go.
Wake up! Something's wrong.
I'll go. You get dressed.
Who is it?
Police. Open up!
Shigeru Nogami, you're coming with us.
I'm under arrest?
You're being detained.
Get ready.
Turn on a light!
Check behind, too.
I'm scared!
It's all right.
Come on.
Please! There are children here!
Shut up!
Let's go.
He'll be gone a while, Missus.
Do what Kabei says while
I'm gone, all right?
Don't worry about me.
I'll be back.
Your lunch.
Eat up. You'll be late.
At school, don't act
like anything's wrong.
Smile just like always.
Did Tobei do something bad?
No. He'd never do anything bad.
Then why did they tie him up?
Like a thief...
Stupid! He's not a thief!
What are you talking about?
You two know better
than anyone he's not bad.
Cheer up and get to school.
All right.
Come on.
I'll never forget that morning,
walking through the frost to school.
What'd you do, pal?
A kind of thought crime, I guess.
You're a red?
Can't have you sitting
by the pisser, can we.
Come here.
Excuse me.
They work you over bad?
Watch it!
From then on, my mother went to
the police station every day...
but was never allowed a visit.
Father? What brings you here?
Come in.
Come inside.
I don't have that much time.
But we can't talk here...
Kayo, why didn't you write
me a letter and tell me...
Shigeru had been arrested?
I'm a police officer!
I had to find out...
from the Prefectural Police.
It was very embarrassing!
I didn't want to cause trouble.
I've been keeping it as quiet as I can.
I opposed your marriage because...
I thought exactly this
kind of thing would happen.
I'm sorry you've been disturbed.
But Shigeru hasn't done anything,
so one of these days soon...
Are you mad?!
He's been arrested under
the Peace Preservation La w!
He wants to reform the state,
which means he's against it.
There's no greater crime!
At worst, the penalty is death.
You don't have the
faintest idea about it!
I'll go to the police
station and introduce myself.
Then I'll take the night
train back to Yamaguchi.
Without even any tea?
This is to help out.
I thought you'd be living
in a nicer house than this.
Tobei, bon apptit.
Is that them again?
Who's 'them'?
Who is it?
I was a student of Professor Nogami.
I realize it's late.
I was here twice with
friends when I was in school.
Oh yes, you sang Schubert very loudly.
Yes, that's me.
I remember you well.
Come in.
Thank you.
Hello, everyone.
I'm sorry to interrupt your dinner.
I won't stay long.
My sympathies.
I was astonished when
Prof. Kobayashi told me.
You must be very concerned.
We've look ed into visits
and what you can take him.
As I'm sure you know, each
station has its own policy.
Some cooperate, while others let
gifts of food sit until they rot.
How is yours?
How are they at
Horinouchi Police Station?
Well, they've let me
leave things for him...
but they haven't allowed a visit.
No visits yet?!
In that case...
you should talk directly
to the Prosecutor in charge.
As to where you should go...
Your money!
Excuse me.
Why don't you sit down?
Thank you.
Thank you.
The office is at the
Tokyo District Courthouse.
Go to the 'Thought' section.
It's in Kasumigaseki.
Here's a map.
What's that?
Thank you. I'll go tomorrow morning.
Don't let them brush you off.
Insist on talking to them.
And if anything happens, call me.
I will.
This is the number of the publisher...
where I work.
Well, I'll be going.
Won't you have some dinner?
It's nothing fancy...
No, I couldn't.
Mrs Nogami...
You mustn't lose hope.
The Professor...
Sir, you are not alone.
There are many of us
looking out for you.
Don't give up.
Thank you.
Good night.
I'm sorry. I'm fine.
I'm sorry. I'm fine.
Are you all right?
Don't touch me! My feet have gone numb.
Mr Yamazaki, or 'Yama',
as we called him...
was from that day on someone
we couldn't do without.
Thank you, Mr Yamazaki.
No, thank you very much.
Come back, OK?
Sure. We'll go somewhere.
Good night.
For you.
A fresh egg.
Thank you.
It's nice and warm.
Good night.
Good night!
Hold it!
Hey, you! Halt!
Oh, good evening. Can I help you?
Can you help me?
Why didn't you stop when I told you?
I'm sorry. I'm deaf in this ear.
Where are you off to?
Where are you going?
I was visiting the home
of a professor of mine.
I'm going home.
Scholar, huh?
You look fit. Why
aren't you in the army?
I registered for the
draft in university...
but I'm very near-sighted,
and I'm deaf in this ear.
Unfortunately, I was rejected.
One ear or two, there are still
lots of ways to serve your country!
If a draft notice comes
to one such as I...
I will fight like a
demon for my country!
Good! On your way.
Good night.
Yeah, sure!
Time after time Mother went to
the Police and the Prosecutor...
but it was cherry-blossom time
before she finally saw my father.
I've brought him a meal.
May I give it to him?
And a change of clothes.
Thank you.
Teru-bei! You came, too?
How are you?
Well, as you can see...
I wanted to come sooner,
but the procedures...
But with Officer
Kosuge's help, finally...
Could he change clothes?
It itches.
You're weak, so chew carefully...
Hey! No whispering.
It's hard on you too, huh?
Bet when you married him
you never dreamed of this.
Imperial University
graduate, a scholar...
If he'd played his cards
right he'd be a full professor.
We'd have nothing to say to him.
Putting a pretty young
wife through all this!
Divorce him.
Your father dropped in here.
What a surprise!
A police chief down in
Yamaguchi Prefecture!
This must put him in a real bind...
his son-in-law being
a thought criminal!
Think a bit about how
her father must feel.
Yes, sir.
And you've got daughters.
You've got to get yourself home.
I'd be grateful.
When might my husband be released?
That depends on you.
You have to talk to him.
Get him to start thinking
like a proper Japanese.
You miss him, don't you?
Ow! Hey!
What did you do that for?!
Because he...
It's rude to point! And he's helped us!
I'm very sorry. She's spoiled.
Shell come to a bad end, too.
I'm sorry.
Like father, like daughter.
Mother cried all the way home.
All those tears... I
was shocked at the sight.
Shall we eat?
Tobei, bon apptit.
Do you do that every time you eat?
Good for you!
Today sounds like it was hard.
Aunt Hisako made dinner.
No, I didn't. I just
bought some croquettes.
I'll make you some tea.
Why are you so quiet, Teru-bei?
You saw Tobei...
Was he all right?
He had a beard, and his
hair was all stink y.
He was like someone else!
He can't help that.
He probably hasn't had a bath.
Anyone would smell.
Kabei says he really
liked the food she took.
Didn't he.
I'm sure he loved Kabei's cooking.
It's awful food in there.
Every day, really bad food.
My poor brother!
What else?
Kabei hit me.
Hit you?
She hit me hard. It hurt!
I know!
You did something bad.
This is a hard time for
Tobei. Were you being selfish?
She didn't do anything wrong.
I'm sorry I hit you.
That was the only thing I could do.
You're a big girl now, so
please try to understand.
Teru-bei, I'm sorry.
It's 7 o'clock!
There's a Neighborhood
Association meeting.
What about dinner?
I'll eat later.
You poor thing!
You must be tired.
Will you stay the night?
Maybe I will.
I'd like to hear about my brother.
It's cold out there.
Back soon.
Off you go.
Ah, there you are.
Sorry I'm late, Mr Fukuda...
Uh, 'Mr Chairman'.
They're all waiting.
I'm sorry.
With the mess your husband's in...
these meetings are important.
Mrs Nogami's here.
I'm very sorry to be late.
Oh, don't be like that. Come in.
Sorry to keep you waiting.
We begin the Sumiyoshi Block 2
Neighborhood Association meeting.
First we will bow to
the Imperial Palace.
Would everyone please face the palace.
Mr Fukuda...
isn't the Emperor at
his Hayama Residence now?
The paper said so.
Yes, that's right.
Then we should face Hayama.
Which way is that?
It's that way.
That way?
But it's 'bowing to
the Imperial Palace'.
So shouldn't we face the palace?
But he's not there!
Well, Chairman?
In that case... I'll
ask the Area Chairman.
You can at least decide that!
The head of our Neighborhood
Association was kind to my mother.
He arranged for her to get a job
supply-teaching at a primary school.
'Putting his head out...
'above the clouds...
'Looking down on the mountains...
'in all directions.
'Listening to Lord Thunder...
'down below...
'Mt Fuji is Japan's...
'highest mountain. '
In time my father was
transferred to a prison.
There he was allowed to
have regular visits...
to exchange letters,
and to receive books.
His letters were always filled
with the titles of books...
he wanted us to bring him.
Look at all his notes!
You have to erase them all?
No writing in the books is allowed.
This is very important.
Miss Hisako...
could you find this book?
It should be on that shelf.
What does it say?
'Also sprach Zarathustra'. By Nietzsche.
That's German! I'll never find it.
You look for it. I'll erase.
If you wouldn't mind...
When are you going?
At 1.
It's almost time.
Teru-bei, you're in the way.
We're going.
Say hello to Tobei!
Words can't express
how sad it made us...
that children weren't allowed to visit.
Now, don't forget. Start
with the main things.
I will.
Itll be over before you know it.
The first time I saw him I
cried all the way through.
We couldn't talk about anything.
But you're a man, so you'll
be all right, won't you?
Everything's written here.
I'm counting on you.
I've brought Mr Yamazaki.
Yamazaki! I'm glad you've come.
Kabei wrote me...
about how much you're doing for us.
There's not much time, Yama. You start.
It's been a long time, Sir.
Are you well?
No, not very.
No, you wouldn't be, would you.
I'm sorry.
It's just such a shock
to see you like this.
Are the kids all right?
Hatsu-bei's started her new
school. Did you get her a uniform?
Mrs Tsubota gave us Kinuyo's old one.
But it's very good quality.
Isn't she pretty?
And you? Are you all right?
Don't worry about me.
I've left your books.
But the Nietzsche... what was it?
'Untimely Meditations'...
And Goethe's 'Italian Journey'.
We couldn't find them.
We'll bring them next time.
You've lost some weight, Sir.
Not 'some'! I've lost
more than 10 kilos.
But this is better than
the holding cell I was in.
At least here I can read.
Yes, that's right.
That's right.
Stop crying and tell
him what you came to say!
Guard, do you have any tissue?
Any what?!
Thank you.
Excuse me.
First, about the German Literary...
Your crying like that made me want to.
We couldn't talk about anything!
You weren't much help.
Forgive me.
I just never thought
he'd look like that.
His clothes all filthy...
thin as a r ail...
Why are they doing that to him?
He's not a thief or anything.
Just wanting war isn't patriotism!
It's for our country's sake
that he opposes the war in China!
That's all I could think about.
Then I have to go and
ask him if he's well!
I'm not much use, am I.
I'm no use.
I'm useless.
You have a good heart, Yama.
Mr Fukuda... uh, 'Chairman'.
Don't worry about that.
I've brought some charcoal.
I just need a half-bag!
Keep this quiet, but they're
going to start rationing fuel.
You'd best stock up.
Pay me when you have it.
Where are the girls?
At the bath.
You're lucky you've got girls.
They won't get drafted.
These days if you've got
sons you're always on edge.
Even this guy might get taken.
Will you be a soldier, too, Kenichi?
That's awful!
When will it all end?
Not for a while.
China just won't give up.
Then there's America and England.
Well deal with them.
You mean we'll go to war with them?
When Japan finishes off
America, well rule Asia.
Germany will rule Europe.
After that will come the
final war with Germany...
and Japan will rule the world.
So for now...
we're being friends with Germany.
That's what I've hear
d. Don't tell anyone.
You know a lot, don't you.
There's lots of things I can tell you.
So the Germans have taken Paris...
They're back.
Good night, Missus. Let me
know if you need anything.
Thank you.
We're back.
Was it busy?
Pack ed! Like a crowded train.
You smell of soap.
I love you!
Let's get to bed.
Dear Shigeru, are you well?
It's almost summer.
The 2,600th anniversary of
national foundation is coming...
...and the girls are busy practicing.
It looks like it will be
a big national festival.
After I saw you last,
I obtained permission...
to buy a fan from the prison
shop and leave it for you.
I ordered some flowers, too.
I am sure it is very hot in there.
I will be happy to think
you are even a little cooler.
I worry because you are so
sensitive to heat and cold.
From your wife.
Can I read it?
Out loud.
'To Kayo Nogami, from your husband. '
'Received your letter of the 15th.
'The fan has been a great help. '
He got it. Good!
'And the flowers. '
You gave him flowers?
'Flowers have never offered
me such consolation before.
'Thank you.
'I enjoy Teru-bei's letters.
They are always so cheerful.
'But why does she make mistakes
in writing her characters?
'She should practice writing more. '
'Last night I had a
dream about Hatsu-bei.
'She was still a little
girl, crying on my lap...
'with her big round eyes
filled with tears... '
I want to see him!
Just into summer vacation...
an uninvited guest appeared.
My uncle from Nara, the
black sheep of the family.
Are you going to pick those up?
Why would I?
That's littering!
Don't be silly. Look at them!
They'll sprout, put down roots...
get bigger and bigger and bigger...
and next year it'll be
watermelons and watermelons...
a whole hill of them,
more than you can eat!
Hot, ain't it!
Would you like to wipe off the sweat?
Yeah, maybe I will.
Can I use in here?
Hey, Kayo...
Has Shigeru read all these books?
That'd turn you into a red.
It's so hot!
Come in.
Kayo! There's someone here.
You're real pretty.
Who's she?
In Tokyo studying art, are you?
Ain't that something!
How many years till it pays off?
'Pays off'?
Lessons and paint must cost a pile...
I'm not studying art
to make money from it.
Then why?
Money and art don't mix.
You sound like your brother!
Is that wrong?
he's ended up where he is
because he thinks too much.
Reasoning gets you nowhere.
You and Shigeru both
need to realize that.
But what is there without reasoning?
Money, of course!
It's money that talks in this world.
I think my brother's idea is
that there shouldn't be a world...
where money talks.
That'll never happen.
You work ed very hard to
get your money, didn't you.
I like you. You understand.
Listen to me, Teru-bei.
Everyone dies one day.
So in this short life...
you have to make lots of money
and have fun, or you lose out.
Are you rich, Uncle?
I've got money.
Don't I.
I hate that old man! Even
the sound of his voice.
Why is Kabei in there laughing with him?
Hey, Hatsu-bei!
Hey, Hatsu-bei!
Come sing with me!
Come and sing!
As the heat carries on,
I'm losing my appetite.
If I had chilled noodles, though,
I would eat and eat and eat.
Would you please bring me...
Tolstoy's 'War and
Peace', all three volumes.
War & Peace Tolstoy's 'War
and Peace', all three volumes.
War & Peace This is my
chance to read it again.
I'd also like you to
go to the home of...
Professor Nikaido in Nishi-Katamachi...
and borrow the following German texts:
Kant's 'Critique of Judgment'...
and Hegel's 'Jena Logic'.
I am sure the Professor
is worried about me.
Convey my respects to him.
A piano!
Sit straight.
I've made notes in them,
but you can erase those.
Thank you very much. I'll
be sure to return them.
When was Nogami taken into custody?
February 5th. It was cold.
The Special Police went into
his den with their boots on.
They emptied all his shelves
and drawers onto the floor.
They thought something might
be hidden behind the shelves...
so they threw his books everywhere...
and tied his hands right
in front of the children.
What did he do to deserve that?
One moment...
You speak as if you
are the victim here...
but he was arrested on
suspicion of violating the law.
But what has he done wrong?
The law will reveal if he has
done something wrong or not.
Yes, the Peace Preservation
La w is a bad la w.
But a bad la w is better than no la w.
Citizens must uphold the la w.
If they do not, the
result will be chaos.
Are you saying my husband is a criminal?
I have said no such thing.
It's impossible to
get coffee these days.
This isn't very good.
have some cake.
As one who instructed
Nogami, I very much regret...
that a scholar of his ability...
has let 'freedom of
thought' lead him astray.
Whatever's the matter?!
We're going.
The cake...
Mrs Nogami! The books your
husband wanted to read.
I'm sorry my husband
was of so little help.
He has his position to think of.
Miss, have this cake.
Thank you.
Thank you very much.
I'll make sure they're returned.
I'm told that won't be necessary.
Luxury is the foe!
No more perms!
Luxury is the foe!
Exercise restraint in your clothing!
Good film?
Support our troops!
Luxury is the foe!
May we have a word?
We hope you'll cooperate in
the campaign against luxuries.
I'm afraid we must ask you
to stop wearing rings...
for the sake of the nation.
If you would.
Those clothes are a little fancy, too.
Hey, lady... what did they do?
We're campaigning against luxuries,
in line with national policy.
We ask your cooperation.
'Say no to extravagant clothes'...
What's wrong with young
women looking pretty?
They're a sight for sore eyes.
Would that be a gold ring?
The real thing.
That's appalling!
Don't you know that precious metals
are vital for producing weapons?
Please donate that.
Donate it?
Are you crazy?
I worked hard for this.
If I hit hard times, I can
sell it and keep myself going.
This is my life savings!
Do you refuse to cooperate
with national policy?
Who cares?!
This man is a traitor!
He is flaunting a gold ring!
Lady, I can flaunt what I like.
I live for money!
Luxury's the foe?
Luxury's for show!
Good line, huh?
Luxury's for show!
Remember that!
Come along!
Throw him in jail!
My arm!
Tobei sure studies hard.
That's right.
It's so hot!
Take a rest.
Just a bit more.
Hot, ain't it!
Are you all right?
The police picked you up?
They sure did!
'Next time we throw
you in jail,' they said.
Anyway, I wasn't charged.
Where was the campaign going on?
Just east of the station?
Me, too!
They got you, too?
This nasty-looking old
lady came up and said...
'your clothes are a bit too
fancy,' and 'no more lipstick. '
What did you say?
I got mad.
'What's wrong with a girl
trying to look nice?' I said.
I said the same thing!
You two agreeing on
something? That's rare.
What's wrong with luxury?
Ah, me!
If I had money, I'd be good to you.
I'll keep you all in luxury.
What would you buy me?
Cake, and chocolate... tons of it!
And for Hatsu-bei?
She's beautiful.
I'd buy her hairpins and
kimonos fit for a princess.
She needs a new dress,
now I think of it.
Yes, it is getting a bit small.
She's really growing up.
Just think, not so long ago
I was putting her in the bath.
She's turning into a woman.
She's quite something from
the side. Breasts, too!
Stop it!
I'll go.
What's the matter with her?
I just said she was pretty.
You have to watch what you
say. It's a difficult age.
Did I say something wrong?
It was lacking delicacy, to be frank.
Isn't it about time you
told him to go home to Nara?
He simply has no manners!
That's true.
I'll start the rice.
Thank you.
Why do you have him hanging around?
He eats up all our rations...
makes us do his laundry,
and farts all the time!
Why doesn't that bother you?
I understand how you feel.
It's just... how can I put it?
When I see him I relax.
In the teachers' room at school,
or with the Association...
I can't say what I want.
I'm always tense, always telling lies.
But with him I can say anything I want.
To me he's not a bad man at all.
He's a very good man.
But you hate him, don't you.
Yes, I do.
Tonight I'll tell him to go, then.
I'm sorry.
Is she all right?
Yes. Come on.
Uncle seemed a bit sad...
but he took his little
suitcase and went back to Nara.
I'll be on my way.
I came to help. Sorry I
ended up being a burden.
Take this and give it to Kayo...
as a token of thanks.
Tell her to sell it and
buy everyone sukiyaki.
But don't donate it.
The government says it
all goes for weapons...
but I don't believe it.
It goes into their
pockets, is what happens.
Tell her she's not to
donate it, no matter what.
All right.
I'll tell her.
Hurray for Keijiro Yokota!
Serve your country with your life!
Iwao, take care of Mother.
Take care of Kabei.
What are you going to do in Nara?
Well, I can't be much
use to the country.
I'll go die in the Yoshino
Mountains at cherry-blossom time.
Uncle, I'm sorry I said
those things to you!
That's all right!
Yama, you get along
with Hisako, you hear?
Soon after the war ended, word came
that Uncle had indeed been found...
dead in the mountains of Yoshino.
New Year's came in 1941...
without my father being released.
Shall we begin?
Tobei, Happy New Year.
Happy New Year.
We greet the new year in good health.
The times are getting
harder and harder...
but we are determined
to keep our hopes up.
And now, a toast.
sing that song Tobei likes.
Good and loud, so he'll hear you.
One, two...
'By the well...
'stands a linden tree.
'In adoration I came...
'and dreamed sweet dreams.
'In its trunk I carved... '
Yama! Sing with us.
He sounds like Tobei!
That was good!
Sugimoto, the Prosecutor.
Sit down.
I attended your lectures
in second-year university.
The text was Hermann Hesse.
It was a very good course.
You were in the same
class as Yamazaki...
In this situation, I will not use
polite forms of speech. Forgive me.
Your memorandum must be rewritten.
It cannot be seen as
atonement for your past.
Even the words you use.
For one thing, you refer to
the China Incident as a 'war'...
when it is obviously a 'crusade'.
Do you really think...
the China Incident is
a 'crusade', Sugimoto?
How dare you!
Who do you think you're talking to?!
I apologize... 'Prosecutor'.
Do you know what they call
people who think like you?
Traitors, sir!
As the 'China Incident' dragged on
and daily necessities ran short...
my grandfather, the ex-police
chief, came to Tokyo again...
and summoned us to an inn in Yotsuya.
We're going out!
You're here?
Oh, no!
Come this way.
I've brought the eggs.
They said we can have more
meat if there's not enough.
Can you break your own egg?
What a waste!
I'll bring a cloth.
Father, who is that lady?
My new wife.
Why didn't you introduce us?
I was just about to.
Thank you.
You don't see much beef these days.
There. Another egg.
Thank you.
This inn's connected with the
police. You can get anything you want.
I'll do the beef now.
I should have spoken sooner.
I'm his eldest daughter, Kayo.
My father is in your care.
Not at all.
I understand your husband is in prison.
I'm sorry we're so much trouble.
I'm sure you're worried. The
food must be awful in there.
Sure it is!
Soldiers out fighting for the
nation don't even get decent food.
Japan doesn't have the
rice to feed traitors.
Yes, dear.
There you go.
Kayo, did you read my letter?
You resigned as head
of the Community Center?
I couldn't very well
be a public servant...
with my son-in-law in
jail for thought crimes.
Father, I'm sorry.
I wonder if Shigeru
could think about that?
Whose fault is it a little woman
like you has things so hard...
out working, not eating right,
keeping two girls in school?
Spouting those foolish ideas...
and bringing grief to
everyone around him!
How's he going to change the world...
when he can't even look
after his own family?
Isn't that so?
Let them eat, will you?
You keep quiet!
So Kayo...
Shigeru's written a
recantation, hasn't he?
He's written one, but
they threw it back at him.
I saw the Prosecutor today.
I said Shigeru's had
a change of heart...
and sincerely regrets his past mistakes.
Why does he have to ha
v e a change of heart?
I don't believe that his
ideas are foolish at all.
Can this be?!
My own daughter, professing treason?
I have never once
regretted marrying Shigeru.
If that's professing
treason, then I'm guilty.
Divorce Shigeru and
come home to Yamaguchi.
No. I will wait until he comes back.
Then cut your throat and
kill yourself here and now.
And I'll do the same!
Go on!
Stop acting like a fool!
The children are here!
forgive him.
Back home they're all talking about
how his son-in-law's a traitor.
It's like your father's
lying on a bed of nails.
I realize that.
You understand my position,
yet you continue to defy me?
Then I've made up my mind.
I disown you.
You're no daughter of mine!
Stop it!
Out of my sight!
We're going.
Hatsuko, Terumi...
The poor things!
Take good care of my father.
Talking like that after those
girls came to see their grandfather!
At least they could have
had their sukiyaki...
Stop that crying, will you!
I wanted to eat beef!
Don't be greedy!
But I'm hungry!
Kabei, I'm hungry!
Stop crying.
'Today is a good day.
'Our Emperor was born.
'Today is a good day.
'Today is a good day.
'The light...
'shines upon us.
'Today is a good day.
'Together we celebrate...
'he whose light...
'shines on the world... '
Hearing Mother had fainted,
Yama rushed over on his bicycle.
Missus! Are you all right?
I'm here...
What are you doing?
Does she have a fever?
Just water won't help!
I'm going.
For ice!
What are you doing?! Give me that.
What did the doctor say?
She hasn't seen one.
Why? Didn't you call one?
They use the Nomura
Clinic by the station.
Hatsu-bei went...
but young Dr Nomura's been drafted,
and his father's too busy to come.
That's crazy!
Take me to that clinic!
Get on.
Doctor, I'm turning.
Hello, Doctor!
You need rest and nourishment.
I realize that's hard these days...
but keep on like you have,
and you won't get better.
I'll do my best for you...
but you must take time off work.
How long?
Three weeks, or a month if you can.
I've heard about your husband.
What a world!
Madness all around and
we have to carry on...
like it didn't bother us.
Um, about your bill...
I'm sorry? What did you say?
About paying you...
Oh, don't worry about that.
Call it a gift for your husband.
This'll hurt a bit...
Here we go!
We'll be right back.
You're his amanuensis?
You're his amanuensis?
Something like that.
You want to watch what
you say these days.
'The walls have ears
and the doors have eyes. '
Sorry, I'm deaf in my left ear.
What did you say?
I'm getting hard of hearing.
Lately I don't hear very
well. Getting old is no fun!
I see!
'The Princess was glad to see Taro,
and every day she treated him... '
Is that right?
'... and taught him games. '
What games?
Cards, maybe...
That's not right...
Princesses don't play cards!
No? Mahjong, maybe?
Quiet! I'm studying!
I'm studying, too!
Stop shouting, will you? Kabei's asleep!
Are you a wake?
Will you have some rice gruel?
Maybe I will.
Thank you, Yama.
Feeling better?
Yes, a little.
Did Auntie make dinner?
Was it good?
That's right. She can
draw, but she can't cook.
She'll hear!
What did you say?
It's beautiful.
Thank you.
Good night.
Families are nice...
You have one, don't you?
My parents died when I was
small. I hardly remember them.
I see...
What a beautiful full moon...
It's good to have a
man around the house.
I didn't say that.
Kayo did, just now. Under her breath.
Keep on helping out, all right?
Good night.
The summer vacation of 1941.
In Europe, Hitler's Germany went
to war with the Soviet Union.
In Asia, Japan occupied Vietnam...
and the third Konoe cabinet took power.
We went through those
unsettling times...
hoping against hope
for my father's return.
To my wife, from your husband.
I write watching thunderclouds
through the high window...
of my cell.
I am happy to hear that
Yamazaki will take you...
to the beach.
That is something that I, as
their father, should be doing.
It pains me that again
this year I cannot.
I want to spend a brief holiday
caressed by the sea breezes.
Do not worry about me.
I am eating properly.
It's cold!
Come on, swim!
Give back the tube!
Come out for a bit!
Come and sunbathe!
You hear me?
I want to play more!
That was fun!
Your lips are blue!
Are you cold?
Kabei, is that Yama?
He's drowning.
Not that close in...
I can't swim!
Oh, no!
No, don't!
I'll get him!
It's all right! Settle down!
It's all right!
Lay him down here.
Spit it out.
Is Yama dead?
He's fine. He just swallowed some water.
Thank you.
I thought I was dead!
'At the east of Asia...
'where the sun rises...
'our holy Emperor...
'His divine light...
'dispels the fog...
'covering the old land... '
Later on that autumn, Aunt Hisako...
went back to her home town of Hiroshima.
Her mother had fallen ill.
Tobei said to give you that.
These are some sweets for your mother.
Even these are hard to find.
And this is soap.
Thank you for all you've done for me.
We'll miss you.
My brother can't be
with Mother, so I will.
The filial daughter.
Can't you just take time
off from art school...
...instead of quitting?
Studying there made me realize
I don't have any talent.
I'll go back to Hiroshima,
teach art to children...
and meet somebody nice.
You know, Hisako, I always thought
you'd get together with Yama.
I guess not.
He doesn't appeal to you?
He's got someone else.
He does?
What's she like? Do I know her?
You haven't noticed?
Don't you see?
That's impossible!
I mean, I...
You have a husband you love.
Meaning that Yama's fallen in love
with someone he shouldn't have.
It's not your fault.
It's sad, but what can you do?
It's a shame, though.
Give these to Teru-bei.
My old stuff.
She should paint, you know.
She might be better at it than me.
Hurry, Terumi!
I'm back!
There she is.
You're here, Auntie?
You're staying for dinner?
We're going to Sachiko's.
Their dog had pups.
Your homework!
Who's that pretty girl?
She's not a girl. She's my aunt!
Then came that morning...
December 8th, 1941
Good morning.
The time is 7 o'clock.
One moment, please.
This is a special news announcement.
From Imperial Headquarters,
December 8th at 6:00 a. m.
The Imperial Army and Navy
have opened hostilities against...
American and English forces
in the Western Pacific.
The Imperial Army and Navy
have opened hostilities against...
American and English forces
in the Western Pacific.
It's started!
What's happened?
Something terrible!
War with America! It had to be!
That's a relief!
We have to knock them down!
Don't we!
A surprise attack on American
vessels and aircraft in Hawaii...
has been a success.
Two: today the Imperial
Navy has invaded Singapore...
and achieved excellent results.
Three: the Imperial Navy
this morning attack ed...
enemy installations in
Davao, Wake, and Guam.
The teacher!
Boys and girls, you all
heard what the Principal said.
Japan has gone to war with
two great big countries...
called America and England.
Lessons are canceled today so
you can go to Hachiman Shrine...
and pray for victory in our crusade.
Put your books away.
That night the black out began...
and the whole city went dark.
It's too dark to sew!
Is that for Tobei?
I thought I'd sew a
lining into his kimono...
since cold bothers him so much.
You know what Teru-bei's writing?
'To Father, from Teru-bei.
'Are you well? I'm feeling great!'
He's sick, isn't he?
Don't tell him you're great!
Why not?
Tobei will be happy to hear it.
What have you written?
'Father, how are you feeling?
'We are all doing fine.
That's good. And?
That's as far as I get.
I'm not doing fine!
To tell the truth...
I hate school.
The other day in Etiquette class...
I stirred the tea wrong
and everyone laughed at me.
Even the teacher.
I cried.
I couldn't stop till the
next period, in Phys-ed.
I want my life to be over.
It's no fun being alive.
But if I write that to
Tobei, he'll just get worried.
I don't think so.
Write what's on your mind.
I'm sure Tobei will listen.
After all, he's always
been on your side.
All right.
I will.
What will you write?
Yes... what should I write?
Do you call him 'dear'?
'To my dearest, from me.
'The year is almost over.
Do you have any news?
'Things here go on as usual.
'Hatsu-bei is doing more around
the house, which is a great help. '
What about me?
'Teru-bey is her same
old self, always saying...
' "I'm hungry! I'm hungry!."
I don't say that!
Then how about this?
'Teru-bei is a very good girl.
'She draws wonderful pictures
with the things her aunt left her.
'Some day I'm sure she'll be
as famous as Marie Laurencin. '
Go on...
'I very much enjoy watching
the children grow up.
'How much you must want to see them...
'How much you must want...
'to put your arms around
them and hold them tight.
'Just the thought of it...
'stabs at...
'stabs at my heart. '
Mrs Nogami! We can see your light!
Turn it off.
This isn't a drill! We're at war!
What if they were really bombing us?
Here goes...
Hey, there's Yama!
Happy New Year.
Happy New Year.
Were you up home?
Yep, in my home town.
Where's Kabei?
In Shinjuku. She says if she
lines up, she'll get butter.
And you're here playing hanetsuki?
It's no fun playing with
Teru-bei. She keeps missing.
Then I'll play you.
A gift.
You're the umpire.
Here goes!
You're awful!
That was a fluke. It won't happen again.
You can't just lash out at it!
Darn it!
You're awful!
Good afternoon.
Is this the Nogami residence?
That's right.
Thank you.
What should we do?
Open it.
What does it say?
I'll read it.
'Shige... runoga... mi... '
'Shigeru Nogami'...
Oh, Tobei...
'Died this morning... '
Let me see.
It's bad news.
I want you to stay
calm and listen to me.
The professor...
Your father...
He's dead.
When did Kabei leave?
Just after 12.
So shell be back in an hour...
I'll wait at the station.
You two stay here.
You poor kids...
You poor kids!
shigeru nogami died today 7:30 am
come sugamo prison hospital
Kabei's back!
Where's that seal?!
I should never have gone!
I stood in line for an hour in the cold!
What a fool I am!
I might be late getting
back, so lock the front door.
If it gets too late,
I'll send Yama on ahead.
Be careful, you hear?
Now, about dinner...
Kabei, it's all right. We can do that.
You can? All right.
Yama, are you sure
you don't mind coming?
Of course!
Take care.
From Shigeru Nogami
A letter from Tobei!
The telegram was wrong!
Tobei sent this letter on December 24th.
What's the date today?
It's New Year's, stupid!
To my wife and daughters.
Today is what in the west
they call Christmas Eve.
I feel terrible that on
this day I have no gifts...
to give you.
Thank you for your letters.
I am astonished at how
mature Hatsu-bei is becoming.
My spoiled little girl is now
brooding seriously on life.
How quickly time passes.
At this point in your
intellectual growth...
when a father is most
important to children...
I regret I cannot be with you.
Dear... we're home.
Hatsu-bei and
you will have many griefs
and dangers to face.
That I know.
As your father, is
there nothing I can do...
but pray for you?
My father's funeral was
held hidden from prying eyes.
With no time to grieve...
my mother had to return to work.
In February, while the
conquest of Singapore...
was being celebrated across the
land with banquets and parades...
There's an extra sak ration till 3.
All these victories!
Yama, what are you doing?
The bottom's coming off your mailbox.
I'm sorry to be making a
scholar like you do carpentry.
I'm getting better at it.
Thank you. I'll make some tea.
Where are the girls?
The girls...
They took a bottle to get some
of the Singapore sak ration.
You can have a drink tonight.
I'm relieved.
You're back to your old
self. Your color's come back.
It has?
The other day Hatsu-bei was saying...
'if I get married, I
want a man like Yama. '
Then Teru-bei said 'I do, too!'
and they both started fighting.
You've been a real savior to us.
I'm very grateful.
Not at all.
Oh... I have a present for you.
These were Tobei's socks.
They're new.
The girls and I wanted
to give them to you.
Garters, too.
When was it?
You were kneeling like that,
and when you stood up...
your feet were numb, and you fell over.
Your big toe was
sticking out of your sock.
Do you remember that?
Very well.
I'm very glad to have these.
I'll wear them when I'm inducted.
What did you just say?
My draft notice came.
I join my regiment in Yamagata
the day after tomorrow at 10.
But you said they wouldn't take
you because of your bad ear.
As of last November, even
the physically unfit...
are now subject to the draft.
They're going to be needing soldiers.
At least you have this
evening, don't you?
To have dinner with us...
I have to take the
overnight train to Yamagata.
I'm out of time.
I thought I'd just go and
a void saying goodbye...
but I had to see you one last time.
Thank you for everything
you've done for me.
Are you going to go away
without telling the girls?
I can't face them.
I know they'll start crying.
I'll be going.
I won't see you again?
I'm going to war. I am resolved.
Resolved to die?
That is correct.
What kind of big talk is that?
Why do you have to resolve that?
A spineless...
clumsy crybaby like you...
who can't even swim!
Why are they taking you?
why are you leaving us?!
We're back!
After three years, atom bombs
fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki...
and Japan surrendered
unconditionally to the Allies.
In Hiroshima, our
beautiful Aunt Hisako...
died a painful death
from radiation sickness...
a month after the war.
Misery followed the war's end.
With nothing to eat, nothing to wear...
living one step ahead of starvation...
my mother rushed around,
working herself to the bone...
to provide for two growing girls.
And then one day...
A jeep!
Mrs Kayo Nogami?
My name is Komiyama.
I served with Yamazaki.
How do you do.
Our regiment was at a place
called Mudanjiang, in Manchuria.
We became good friends.
We were moved north to
Dongning, on the Soviet border.
Then last fall we were
suddenly sent south.
We got summer uniforms...
and boarded a troopship
at a port in Korea.
On the southern front it
was one loss after another.
No one said so, but it was about then
we started feeling Japan would lose.
The Americans had total
command of the sea.
The moment our ships
reached the East China Sea...
they'd be torpedoed and sunk.
We sat in that sweltering ship...
trembling in fear, wondering
if now it was our turn.
You're a good swimmer...
Yeah. My dad's a fisherman.
I can't. I swim like a hammer.
If this ship goes down, I'm dead.
But you've got to stay alive
and make it back to land.
And then...
go to this house...
and tell them how I died.
There's a beautiful
missus there named Kayo.
Tell her this:
'I'm no longer in this world...
'but my spirit is always with you...
'watching over you. '
The next day we got
hit by an enemy torpedo.
We were on a freighter, lightly armored.
It sank in a flash.
I grabbed onto Yamazaki...
as hard as I could...
but he pushed my hand away.
'Its OK.
'Don't bother'...
he said.
Can I see that?
Now, look.
The ear and the nose aren't
level. Bring this down.
Very imaginative!
Excuse me...
Everybody, listen!
I have to go, so watch
carefully while you draw.
A well-rounded person needs more
than just literature and math.
Hi, it's me. Grandma's taken a turn?
I'll be over this afternoon.
Tell your dad to get over there.
You go, too.
Your mom's ill?
She's old.
Where is she?
Mitaka. My sister's a
doctor there, so that helps.
How is she?
She recognizes the grand-kids.
She's talked to each of them.
Kabei... Teru-bei's here.
Kabei, it's me. Can you hear me?
What did you say?
Thank you...
for everything.
What are you talking
about? That's for us to say!
Are you going?
Yes... soon you'll see Tobei again.
Yama, and Aunt Hisako...
they'll all be there.
Say that again?
What did she say?
She wants Tobei in this
world, not the next.
She wants him alive, not dead.
5:30 a. m.
That's when you wake.
You turn on the gas.
You start boiling the rice.
you wake up the girls for school.
You make their lunches.
You are a poorly paid supply teacher.
Thin and worn as you are...
you must summon...
all the energy of a child.
You must sing your songs loud.
How many hours a day must you work?
All feel injustice...
but all fear being fired.
Lose that job...
and you can never go back.
For me, and for the children...
you grit your teeth...
and struggle on.
Your aching body doesn't weigh 40 kilos.
You are like a piece of cracked china.
Who is it...
that hurts you so?
Who is it...
forcing this grief on us?
You are no longer beautiful.
No longer young.
But now a thought strikes me...
and I must look at you anew.
You glow with the force inside you!
In my weakness, that gives me...
the strength to live on...
and reminds me...
that I am human.
Directed by Yoji Yamada