Only Yesterday (1991) Movie Script

Tokuma Shoten, Nippon Television
and Hakuhodo present
Only Yesterday
Executive Producers
Yasuyoshi Tokuma
Yoshio Sasaki and Ritsuo Isobe
Based on "Omoide Poroporo" by
Hotaru Okamoto and Yuko Tone
Miki Imai
Toshiro Yanagiba
Yoko Honna
Music by
Masaru Hoshi
Theme song performed by
Harumi Miyako
Toshio Suzuki
General Producer
Hayao Miyazaki
Screenplay written & directed by
Isao Takahata
With ten days off,
I figured you'd go abroad.
But you're off to Yamagata, right?
Broke up with your boyfriend?
I just prefer the countryside.
- See ya!
- Bye!
Let's go play!
Bye now!
Did you get good grades?
No, but I don't care.
How come?
s soon as I get home,
we're traveling to Grandma's.
So I won't get yelled at for ages.
Lucky you!
re you going away too?
Yeah, to Nagano.
How about you, Taeko?
I'm not sure.
My Dad bought a summer place.
Wow... that's great!
Such a bad grade in math again.
But I got a "B" in science.
Are we going away for the holidays?
Not really.
Take me someplace.
I'll take you to a movie.
How about "The Crane Lady"?
Not that. I mean to the country...
The country?
Like Grandma's country house.
Grandma lives with us.
- Grandpa's then...
- He's dead.
We don't have relatives
in the country, so don't ask.
My family had lived in Tokyo
for generations.
I envied friends who had family
in the countryside.
It's too late to book.
ll hotels will be full.
But I really want to go...
What about "Onoya"?
We're regulars.
They'd have a room for us.
Where's that?
Good idea.
Taeko's never been there.
That's right.
Is it in the mountains... by the sea?
It's in Atami.
You get to ride the bullet train.
Sure, you'll love it.
It's great!
Lots of different hot springs...
There's a huge Roman Bath.
And other little ones, like
the Swan Bath and the Violet Bath.
The beautiful Violet Bath!
The Violet Bath...
Oh yes. It's fantastic.
You love hot springs, right?
Since father's working,
you four go.
Go too?!
I'm amazed you show up every morning.
Everyone else has left town.
Aren't you going anywhere?
- Yes, I am.
- Where?
Atami? What's in Atami?
Hot springs.
It's good timing.
We're going away next week
to visit relatives.
No one will be around for ages.
Hello. Okajima residence.
Nanako? It's Taeko.
Nanako? It's Taeko.
I leave today. Any message for
your husband's family?
Not really. Just bring them something.
Maybe cookies.
Say it's from us and
I'll pay you back.
Don't worry about it.
How's Mom?
She's out today.
She was mad you turned down
that guy's proposal.
"At 27, that's the best offer
she's going to get!"
It's all she talks about.
She's got a point.
You're not young anymore...
Oh, yeah?
You've got to settle down eventually.
By the way, did you really work
in the fields last year?
Yes, harvesting rice.
This year, I'm picking safflower.
Thanks to you, I finally have family
in the countryside.
So, I'm making the most of it!
Give me a break!
Rather than stay in that old house,
why not treat yourself
to a fancy hotel for once?
Maybe you'd meet a nice boy.
No way.
You mean a hotel like "Onoya"?
Not that again!
You've got to get over it.
Let go of that baggage from the past!
My sisters, of course, would never
go to a place like Atami.
Almost done?
Let's go to another bath.
We just went.
Only to the Swan Bath.
Bored to tears, I went alone
to the Brothers Grimm Bath,...
...the Mermaid Bath,
the Lemon Bath,...
...and the Violet Bath,
one after the other.
It's enormous!
When I got to the Roman Bath,
my head was spinning.
It's amazing...
And I fainted.
And with that, my trip was over.
Followed by endless weeks of vacation.
The other day, my sisters and I
were reminiscing.
We couldn't stop laughing... the memories came flooding back.
Had one before?
No, it's my first time.
I'm the one who asked for it.
Yeah, we know.
Where did you buy it?
Senbikiya in Ginza.
Must have been expensive.
How do we eat it?
Slice it into rings.
But how?
I don't know.
Didn't you ask in the store?
We'll eat it next Sunday.
Why not now?!
We don't know how.
I'll have a banana.
Me too.
Strange fruit they have
in those hot countries.
I'm home!
I know how to eat the pineapple!
I'll take that.
Mind your fingers.
Wouldn't a carving knife be best?
What a nice smell.
It smells so good.
I see.
Get plates. Quick.
Let us eat.
It's hard.
It's not very good.
Not so sweet.
Nothing like the canned stuff.
Live long enough and you see
lots of different things.
- You can have mine.
- Mine too.
It's delicious...
Don't force yourself.
You'll get a stomach ache.
What a letdown.
Bananas taste much better.
You're so right.
Bananas are still the king of fruits.
I'll have one now.
The king of fruit is...
...the banana, after all.
The year I fainted at the baths and
had my first pineapple...
...the Beatles came to Japan,
started the rock'n'roll band...
...and electric guitar craze.
My sister Nanako, a freshman in
art school, was up on all the trends.
Yeah, the Beatles' lyrics are great.
When she wore a mini-skirt, she'd
cover her bottom going up the stairs.
My clever sister, Yaeko, was crazy
about some Takarazuka actress.
I told you to knock!
My sisters' memories are
mainly of fashion and pop trends.
For them, 1966 is the
height of nostalgia.
Whereas I was only ten years old.
My favorite band had yet to debut...
My only memories are the back and
forth between school and home.
...mine was pinned on the wall!
That's nice.
And it might be entered in
an essay contest.
Teacher said to
take good care of it.
- I'd be so happy...
- You didn't finish lunch again.
Why do you hide the pickles
inside the bread?
'Cause I hate them.
I've got to throw it away.
What a waste.
Such a picky eater!
I'd rather you were a good eater
than a good essay writer.
How can you drink that horrible stuff?
Milk's okay.
It's onions I hate.
I'm leaving carrots
so I've got no choice.
Who decided we can only
leave one thing?
Shall I drink it?
Would you?
You'll eat my onions next time?
- Carrots?
- We're allowed one thing!
Two bowls is gross.
People who run in the corridor...
...when the hall monitor says
stop, should be punished.
How are you gonna do that?
They shouldn't do it.
That's right.
You might bump into someone.
If I bumped into you
I'd bounce a mile!
Get lost!
Running is no big deal.
I agree!
- Let's change the rule.
- But we already decided.
Raise your hand if you want to speak.
- Here!
- Miss Tani.
The hall monitor
should chase the offender,...
...catch them and punish them.
Mr. Suzuki.
Then the hall monitor should
be punished for running too.
He's right! He's right!
Way to go!
He's right.
Miss Tani.
The hall monitor shouldn't
be punished because...'s like a policeman
chasing a speeding car.
Any objections?
A policeman?
No more running.
So, the hall monitor
can chase offenders.
Any other issues?
Miss Tani.
- Her again.
- Busybody.
Be quiet.
Some people don't finish lunch.
I just read an article
on the Vietnam War.
There are many
unfortunate people overseas.
We're very lucky.
Lucky to have you near me!
We should be grateful for our food.
We're allowed to leave
one thing on our plates,
but I think it's wrong!
Goody two-shoes.
- It can't hurt to leave one thing.
- Let's all leave milk.
- Give it to someone else.
- Of course.
- People hide leftovers in bread.
- That's cheating!
I hate school food.
If you want to speak,
raise your hand!
What a revolting situation.
That night in bed,
after chatting to my sisters...
...more memories from fifth grade...
...came rushing back.
Our pet dog... school sports day...
...being scared by gross
horror comics...
...longing for an electric
So many little details,
one after the other...
...playing in my head like a movie,...
...almost overpowering me.
Is there a Miss Okajima here?
That's her.
Hirota in our class
says he likes you.
Let's go.
We'll say we told you.
Told you.
Where is it?
Over there.
Shuji Hirota and Taeko Okajima
It's true!
What's he like?
- No idea.
- Me, neither.
Taeko, you sure you don't know him?
No... of course not... not at all.
Which one is Hirota?
It's the Room 5 girls.
Hirota, they're looking for you.
Yes, I'm here!
Don't write silly things on the wall.
Taeko told us to tell you.
I didn't write anything.
You said you liked
Okajima in Room 5.
You did.
So, we wrote it for you.
I love you so much...
But you're so far away...
Like gazing up at...
A far distant star.
We just went to see Hirota.
We told him not to
write things on walls.
Ah, no running.
Aren't you glad?
5th Grade: Room 4
Over here.
See? That's him.
What? Hirota likes Taeko?
He's amazing. A real star.
You mean baseball?
Only Tono can hit his pitches.
Our team plays his
in the next game.
Go, go, Hirota!
Go for it, Tono!
Hit it, Tono!
Kill it!
Go for it, Hirota!
Taeko's watching you!
Hit it, Tono!
Way to go, Hirota!
Strike him out!
Don't you dare cheer their side!
Of course not!
Go, go, Tono!
Hiro, Hiro, Hirota!
Hit it!
One leg stance!
Way to go, Hirota!
I knew nothing about baseball.
But even I could tell he was superb.
Go, go, Hirota!
What's up, Taeko?
Between the cold and the excitement,
I ran to the bathroom five times.
Over here, over here!
Girls' Bathroom
5 to 3. Room 4 wins.
Thank you for the game.
You were great Hirota!
Good job.
You were amazing!
It was all your fault.
How come?
You don't know anything.
If Tono couldn't hit him,
how could we?
That's right.
You missed the throw and
three runs scored.
That's not true.
Coach said he'd buy us ice cream.
- Really?
- Great!
Hirota, you should go see her.
Yeah, you should.
I'm going home.
What's the matter, Taeko?
Look, she left.
...that stuff...
...on the wall...
Rainy day or...
cloudy or sunny day...
which do you like?
Me too!
Rainy day or cloudy or sunny day.
Which do you like?
Me, too.
I didn't intend the ten year-old me
to come on this trip.
But somehow, once she showed up...
...she wouldn't leave me alone.
But why me in the 5th grade?
Second hour, all boys play baseball,
all girls to the gym.
How come?
Baseball, great!
Today I'm going to talk about
something very important.
You'll leave grade school,
then junior school then high school.
Then become grown ups and have babies.
A woman's body prepares
to have babies.
Did you know?
Mom told me
when I was in fourth grade,...
...since I'm an early-developer.
That's right.
She said tall girls or big girls
get their periods early.
I bet those other girls...
...already have theirs.
- Are you gonna buy them?
- I am.
I knew it.
You'll buy them, too, right?
Well... yeah.
I think you should.
Nurse said
we all need them eventually.
That's true.
The girls are buying underpants
in the infirmary.
Did you know?
But why?
How come you're buying underpants?
It's because...
Why is the school selling underpants?
Are they for swimming?
Girls' Bathroom
You told Nakayama?
Why did you do that!?
You shouldn't tell boys.
It's supposed to be our secret.
It's because she likes him.
Did he ask you?
What's going on?
She told Nakayama about periods.
He'll tell everyone.
I said to keep it secret.
You trust him?
- Oh no...
- Boys are disgusting.
Now they'll be looking up our skirts.
Looking up skirts was all the rage
and periods became an obsession.
You got your period!
Cut it out!
Second period break.
Come here!
You've got a period.
No, I don't!
It's all Rie's fault.
I'm sorry.
What for?
For telling Nakayama.
It doesn't matter.
The nurse said it's very important.
I know.
I started when I was in fourth grade.
That's why I skip P.E. sometimes.
You skip P.E. with a period?
Mom said I should.
He even said he felt sorry for us.
You told him about skipping P.E.?
He promised not to tell the others.
So, then they'll think
all girls who skip P.E. have periods!
You think so?
Of course!
Please excuse Taeko from P.E.
because of her cold.
Please excuse Taeko from P.E.
because of her cold.
I'm not missing P.E.
Your cold will get worse.
Then I'll stay home.
No. You don't have a fever.
Then I'll do P.E.
Fine, go ahead.
Don't blame me if it gets worse.
See you later.
Since when was she so fond of P.E.?
You're bright red.
She's right.
Are you okay?
I have a cold.
You have a fever.
You should skip P.E.
Yeah, you should.
I'll go tell the teacher.
No, don't.
Why not?
Mom already wrote a note.
There's no problem then.
Out of the way!
I'm missing P.E. too.
Just like you.
Lucky them.
I wish I could play, too.
Do you...
...are you having a period?
I'm not.
I have a cold.
I know.
You're sick.
Just sick.
That's all.
A period isn't a sickness.
I could still play...
I'm gonna catch a period!
Don't touch it, don't touch it!
That was close.
Almost caught it...
Over here, over here!
"Catch a period"!
What a silly thing to say.
It's no laughing matter!
It's the period pair!
No, we're not!
Stupid boys.
You're so calm about it.
Mom said it's nothing
to be ashamed of.
I guess so, but...
Like it or not,
a caterpillar must first...
live as a chrysalis before
becoming a butterfly.
Maybe I remember those days because
I am again going through a
chrysalis stage.
Something definitely changed
when I started working.
At work and at play we girls were
livelier and more spirited than guys.
It was like
we'd finally found our wings.
But looking back now,...
...maybe we were just
flexing them pointlessly.
Perhaps the fifth grade me
was tagging along...
...with a message for me to reflect...
...and rethink my life.
Anyway, I decided to sleep
the rest of the way.
Excuse me,
has the Tokyo train gone?
Was that your train?
Taeko Okajima, right?
Yes, that's correct...
Thank goodness.
The car's this way.
Excuse me, but who are you?
You don't remember?
Of course you don't.
I'm Toshio.
Kazuo's second cousin.
Oh, I see...
What's so funny?
I thought you were trying
to steal my bag.
That's terrible.
Didn't I ask your name?
Yes, you did.
I just thought... sorry...
I beg your pardon.
No problem.
Where's Kazuo?
He asked me last night
to come pick you up.
It's been raining?
Yeah, but it'll clear today.
I should've used my Dad's car
but I like mine better.
It's a little tight.
May I leave it on?
This is unusual music.
It's a Hungarian group.
You know a lot about it?
A little. It's farmer's music.
I like it because I'm a farmer.
Remember last year's party
at the farmhouse?
A bunch of guys
turned up, right?
Maybe you don't remember.
They came to check out
the girl from Tokyo.
I was one of them.
Watch out, jerk!
I heard you're picking safflower.
Do you dye fabric?
No. I'm just curious.
Safflower's kind of unusual.
Well, maybe not for you.
It's known as a famous
local product but...
...hardly anyone grows it.
- Wasn't it big in the old days?
- For the merchants, sure.
They got rich, but for farmers,
it was just another crop.
Do you know: In time whose skin
will it grace, this crimson flower.
The famous Basho poem?
I read it before coming.
Is that so?
I only learned it last night.
I also read that the flower-pickers
couldn't afford to wear
the rouge they made.
Is that where you had the barbeque?
There'll be another this year, too.
Are market reforms making
agriculture difficult?
As things go, Japanese farming
might just collapse,...
...all of sudden, one day.
But then again,...
...anything worth struggling for
will be hard work.
Isn't it the same in the city?
But fewer people live for their work.
What about you?
I don't live for my job
but I don't hate it either.
I could farm twenty-four hours a day.
It's fascinating
to raise living things.
You have livestock?
Not that.
We've got some animals,...
...but I'm talking about rice, apples,
cherries. They're all living things.
If we take good care of them,...
...I feel like
they'll do their best for us.
Listen to me preach.
Not at all. I get what you mean.
To tell the truth,
I used to work in an office.
I only just started farming.
Is that right?
That's why I'm so enthusiastic.
It's very important.
I quit work and joined
my friend's organic farm.
People said I'm nuts,
but I don't regret it.
Organic farm?
"Grown with no
artificial chemicals whatsoever."
Just blood, sweat and tears!
We use all natural stuff,
no pesticides or anything.
I've seen the labels:
"No chemicals used"
But it's not just that.
We bring out the plant's life force.
It's cool...
like lending nature a hand.
Sounds easy, but it's damn hard work.
I was told to take you straight
to the fields.
Yes, I'm starting right away.
Not going to rest?
Don't you pick the flowers early
while the thorns are still soft?
That's right, but...
I'm trying to become an early-riser.
That's why I took the night train.
You're certainly eager.
There it is!
'Morning, everyone!
Great to have you back, Taeko.
Thanks for having me.
Grandma, you're looking well.
Welcome back dear.
Aren't you tired?
No, not at all.
We made your bed just in case.
That's okay.
Look, I'm raring to go!
That's okay.
Look, I'm raring to go!
Wearing work pants too!
That's all I brought.
Young people here don't wear
them anymore.
You look like the real thing Taeko.
That's right.
And so began my second
taste of country life.
How could this yellow flower produce
such a bright red?
They told me a sad tale
from the old days.
The girls didn't have gloves,...
...and their bare hands
would get pricked by the thorns.
It was their blood that
made the red so deep.
I could imagine the resentment...
...they must've felt
toward the fancy city girls.
To make a handful of rouge took
nearly 500 lbs of petals.
This rouge was literally worth
its weight in gold.
The petals are washed, trodden,
then exposed to the air and the sun.
As the petals oxidize,
they gradually turn red.
After a few more days,...
...fermentation turns them bright red
and they become sticky.
Pounded, wrung into balls
and sun-dried, they finally become...
...the basic ingredient of rouge.
The liquid from the pressing
wasn't wasted either.
The red pigment in the yellow broth...
...was used to dye fabric.
Let's go dye our cloth.
Safflower do your best.
Cheer me up with
your pretty color.
For those village girls,
with no chance of make-up or kimonos,...
...Safflower dye brought color
into their drab lives.
The yellow pigment dissolves in water
leaving clothes a light pink.
So pretty!
Machines now take away
some of the work,...
...but the petals still need
picking every day.
Rouge cakes soon mold,
and the flowers wait for no one.
No sooner are you done picking,
than they bloom again.
When the rains come,
work continues into the early hours.
Each day flew by,...
...pleasantly tired, I thought about
the flower-pickers of old.
If I could've worked
like this as a child,... school essays would've been
really interesting.
Mom, I need 5,000 yen.
5,000 yen? I can't give you that.
You said you'd buy me new sneakers.
Are they that much?
They're Pumas.
- Pumas?
- It's a brand.
I'm not sure.
There must be cheaper ones.
How about the ones you've got?
Nobody wears them now.
Everyone's getting Pumas.
Who's everyone?
Kako, Megu, Yachan, Nonchan.
That's only four people.
Everyone's wearing them!
No. You never do your chores.
Did you ask for a dress for
your Barbie Doll again?
Didn't you promise to ask only at
Christmas and your birthday?
You always spoil her.
Is that right, Taeko?
All of a sudden,
the ten year-old me was back.
Yaeko got a kimono and
it wasn't even her graduation.
It's for tea-ceremony.
You keep asking for
lots of little stuff,...
...we get one or two big things.
Stop that.
Always picky about food.
Dad loves the onions, right?
Anyway, that kimono will be
yours in the end.
Always hand-me-downs.
- Some people don't get anything.
- Exactly.
Then give me that enamel purse.
Didn't you give it to her yet?
You're too old for that.
Give it to her.
I don't want it.
Keep the stupid purse.
Then I won't give it to you.
I'm not buying you a new one.
Good. I actually really like it.
I hate it.
Ready for dinner.
Take this away.
See, has to be thrown away.
What a waste.
Don't throw it away!
Please Mother.
It's your fault.
Finish it yourself next time.
You three are so selfish.
Father, buy me an enamel purse.
Yaeko won't give me hers.
You said you didn't want it.
Yeah, but...
You said it, you have to do it.
Hurry up and get ready.
I'll wear these!
Why is Yaeko coming?
You said it was just the three of us.
Because I finished my homework.
Is that a problem?
It's Chinese food.
The more the merrier.
Grandma's not coming.
She doesn't eat oily food.
If you don't want to come, stay here.
We're going Taeko.
Come on slowpoke.
I don't have a purse.
Lend her that enamel one.
Let's go.
I'm not going.
Okay. Let's go Mother.
Stay with Grandma then.
Not coming Taeko?
No I'm not.
We're off then.
I'm coming too!
No shoes!
Father please.
A button came off.
We didn't go out, of course.
My face was swollen and a cold towel...
...didn't stop the stinging.
That night I couldn't sleep...
...wondering why it was always me.
Figuring I must've been adopted...
...I cried myself to sleep.
Was it the first time he hit you?
Yes, the first and only time.
Dad slaps me often... well, sometimes.
Maybe that's easier.
When it's only once,
you can't stop thinking why.
It's hard to imagine you
a selfish brat.
A spoiled brat.
I wasn't just fussy about
onions, either.
Now I don't feel like I'm that bad.
Wait a second!
Your poor Mom.
I shouldn't encourage you.
I'm giving up on the Pumas.
Good girl.
Maybe I'll slip you some pocket money.
100 yen each.
Let's go for a drive to Zao.
- Zao?
- Yes.
You went to Yamadera
last year, right?
The family said it was okay.
The views at Zao were beautiful.
But Zao had become famous
and touristy.
How come you're not married?
Do you find that strange?
Well, no, not really.
Lots of women work now.
Most of my friends are single.
Oh, is that right?
That's right.
I see.
It's true.
Really. It's very common.
In elementary school, could you
divide fractions?
When they said reverse the numerator
and denominator, could you do it?
I don't remember.
I wasn't bad at math though.
I see.
Lucky you.
I bet you don't remember
'cause it was easy.
Why do you ask?
It seems that people who could do it...
...went on to have easy lives.
One girl, completely average
...not even good at math,...
...always could do it
perfect right away.
She grew up really normal...
...and now is married with two kids.
I was no good at it.
Not smart enough to know when to quit.
Room 5, Taeko Okajima, 25 points
Before the test...
...we had art class.
And... um... we did blow pictures.
Blow pictures?
Yes. We drop paint on the paper...
...and blow patterns in it.
You blow like this,
really hard, right?
So, I got a headache.
From blowing so hard.
That's why you did so badly?
That's right.
I see.
Do you know the answers now?
The correct answers?
Have Yaeko help you with them.
That's right.
Or Nanako, whichever.
I'll ask Nanako.
Nanako's not back yet.
Can I wait 'til after dinner?
I'll ask Yaeko...
Mother! Mother!
What is this?!
How on earth...?
Please teach her.
She doesn't seem to get it.
But this is beyond belief!
That's why I'm asking you.
Is she alright in the head?
Just help her.
Normally this is easy.
But that child's not normal!
Taeko, your sister's going to help.
You had a headache from blowing,
didn't you?
Say your times table from the top.
I know that.
I'm in fifth grade already!
Then why so many mistakes?!
It's dividing fractions.
Just flip the top
and the bottom and multiply.
They taught you that, right?
Then why do you get it wrong?
Yaeko, one step at a time.
What's dividing a fraction
by a fraction anyway?
Two-thirds of an apple
divided by a quarter means... would this divide...
...between four people, right?
So, it's one, two, three,
four, five, six... each, right?
No, no, no, no. That's multiplication.
How come it's less when you multiply?
Two-thirds of an apple
divided by a quarter...
Forget about apples...
...just remember to inverse and multiply.
Is her sister in Takarazuka?
No, S.K.D.
- She got "D" in math.
- "D"?
Yes, and just barely.
If she got half right,
it'd be worth scolding her.
Should you get her IQ checked?
They said it was fine
when she started.
Maybe she turned dumb?
Remember she fell downstairs
as a baby?
Right, in her walker!
I thought she was dead.
It was just a bump.
It's affecting her now.
That's it!
She's just no good at math.
She chats too much in class.
If she'd just listen;
even an idiot can do it.
It's only two more years
until Junior High.
Two-thirds of this apple,...
...divided by a quarter...
I can't even picture it.
Two-thirds of this,...
...into a quarter makes it.
Even now, dividing fractions
is difficult.
We farmers give up too easily.
We just yield to the flow and
follow what they do in the cities.
Let's rethink the real
meaning of prosperity.
Return to the old ways of farming.
So, that explains the organic farming?
I'm just quoting my friend.
But I agree with it.
It's great the way you hold onto
your memories of math class.
It wasn't meant to impress you.
People say you work
in a great place
but I could never give myself
up to it completely.
I really admire
your devotion to farming.
You're being sarcastic?
Of course not!
There aren't many people like you.
Farming's in total decline, right?
So we can't just carry on as normal.
We've got to think about the future.
We help each other out,
cheer one another along,
otherwise we can't keep it up.
Taeko do you ski?
I've been with friends a few times.
Come next winter.
I'll teach you.
Are you good?
No, but I'm an instructor here.
An instructor?
You must be great.
All my friends are too.
At last, we're in the
middle of nowhere.
"Nowhere" huh?
Sorry. I didn't mean it like that.
Interesting point though.
City people see the trees and rivers...
...and are grateful for "nature".
But what you see here
is all made by man.
By man?
- That wood?
- Yes.
- Those trees?
- Yes.
- That stream?
- Yes.
Every bit has its history,
not just the fields and rice paddies,...
...someone's Great-Great Grandpa
planted it, or cleared it,...
...gathered firewood
or picked mushrooms there.
I see.
Mankind battles nature
and receives from it.
They evolve together,
and create this scenery.
So without man, this wouldn't exist?
Farmers can't exist without nature.
So they've always taken great care
to give her a helping hand in return.
A collaboration between
man and nature.
That's the heart of country life.
That's why I feel so at home.
I didn't grow up here,
but somehow always felt... soul was at home here.
So that's it.
My back aches.
What's so great about organic farming?
Only the theory.
Like I said... nature a hand is hard work.
Things haven't changed
in a hundred years.
No, even "organic" rice
uses weed-killer.
There's not enough labor
to weed by hand.
You're really working hard.
How about some tea?
I felt like a break.
Toshio let me try
a variety of things...
...until I felt I knew
all about country life.
How wonderful.
"Behold, the crows fly home.
First one..."
At last I can say this
in the right setting.
It was my line in a school play.
I was "Village Child A".
Oh, I see.
I only ever had small roles too.
And you Naoko?
Only lead roles,
since there are so few of us.
These days people leave
and go to the cities.
And now there are fewer kids.
I see. But getting the big
roles must be fun.
Not really. I prefer sports.
I'm a pretty fast runner.
Good for you.
I was always mediocre.
The sports version
of "Village Child A"
Still, I'll never forget that line
as long as I live.
It was going to make me a star.
A star?
What kind of star?
That tiny role?
Even though you weren't the lead?
Because I was the most enthusiastic.
'Cause you were the cutest?
No, not that!
I rehearsed endlessly
in front of the mirror.
Even for "Village Child A"...
The line was so short,
I felt something missing.
"Behold, the crows fly home.
First one..."
I know. You made up more!
Look up there, the crows fly home.
- First one...
- Then two...
- Then three...
- Then four...
Farewell dear crows.
You take care now.
And your teacher loved it.
Just the opposite.
Very good everyone.
But let's stick to the script.
After all that.
It wasn't a good line,
so I didn't mind.
I wasn't discouraged at all.
I realized that I could act
even when there were no lines.
Behold, the crows fly home.
- First one.
- Then two.
- Then three.
- Then four.
That was all.
It was worth the effort.
"Village Child A" was a hit.
Believe it or not.
People asked if I'd had lessons.
Teachers praised me.
Then something amazing happened.
Anyone home?
...and then the dynamite blew up
right in my face!
...right in my face!
What? Our Taeko?
We need a girl to star
in our college play.
As a service to the community,...
...please let your daughter perform.
A star!
We'd rehearse Saturday afternoons.
We wouldn't take too long.
Well, but...
Of course we'd bring her
straight home.
I'll be in a real play.
Not with a bunch of kids
but with real grown-ups!
I'll be a star!
Oh, oh, oh,
oh what a wonderful day
So? So?
A nice boy from the university
wants you in their drama.
You were so good
in the school play.
And? And?
He practically begged me!
Wow that's great!
At least you're good at something.
She writes good essays too.
She's certainly better at that
than she is at math.
That's right. That's right.
I was lead in "The Poor Sparrow"
but no one came for me.
You see, you see!
Are you going to do it?
This could lead to a career.
Join the Takarazuka Theater.
Start rehearsing now,
it's perfect timing.
Acting is out.
Show business people
are no good.
"Show business"...
don't exaggerate...
That's right. It's...
I said no.
Father's so stubborn.
Why did you have to
mention a career?
- Can I bathe first?
- Sure.
Or Takarazuka...?
Or show business?
You know Dad...
Why did you say that Nanako?
That's enough.
Poor boy, poor boy,
Don't you feel sorry for me?
We won't take much of her time.
I know but...
I beg you.
She's rather shy...
...the timid type...
Sorry you came so far for nothing.
Poor boy, poor boy...
...such a long way from home...
Poor boy
Aoki's going to play the part instead.
I see.
She's boasting to everyone.
I see.
Today her Mom met her at school... get her changed
into a fancy dress.
A frilly thing out to here.
Don't tell anyone
you got the first offer.
Because that would hurt
Aoki very much.
Do you understand?
Do you understand?
Breaking through the waves
Shooting through the clouds
Where is it heading, Hyokkori Pumpkin Island?
Where will it take us?
Something special waits for us,
just over the horizon
There'll be hard times,
there'll be sad times,
but we'll never lose heart
We hate to cry,
so let's laugh instead
Let's go!
Hyokkori Pumpkin Island!
Poor little Taeko.
I joined the drama group
in high school.
I couldn't forget what had happened.
And then?
It was a lot of fun, acting and all...
...but it wasn't for me.
As for becoming a star...
...that was a joke.
I guess Dads are the same all over.
When I was in high school,
I so wanted to live in Tokyo.
I even wrote to my cousin
about universities there.
Did you really?
I gave up. But it annoyed me
to hear other guys
bragging about life in Tokyo.
Not anymore though.
I respect my Dad...
He's an expert farmer.
But I know how you felt.
Mine's just a funny story.
No it's the same, I understand.
But we'll never lose heart, we hate
to cry, so let's laugh instead.
I also watched
Hyokkori Pumpkin Island.
Machine Gun Dandy was so cool.
He was my hero!
Of course.
Those songs were full
of encouragement.
What was that other one...?
" If today's no good,
you'll have tomorrow"
" If tomorrow's no good,
you'll have the next day"
" If that's no good,
there'll be another"
"There's always a tomorrow"
What a weird song!
That song, about putting things off,...
...Toshio took in a positive,
ffirmative way.
I liked his approach to life.
You're going tomorrow?
You're going tomorrow?
Thank you for having me for so long.
Thank you, my dear.
Do you like it here?
Very much. I feel so at home.
Glad to hear it.
I've lived here all my life.
Been to Tokyo just once.
For your sister's wedding.
You think it's better than Tokyo?
Without a doubt.
Tokyo's packed with cars, buildings...
People shouldn't live like that.
This is a different world.
You really like it here then?
Yes. The nice surroundings,
the kind people...
Why don't you live here? With Toshio?
Since his brother moved to Tokyo,
why don't you stay here
and marry Toshio?
Mother... you've gone too far!
Taeko's shocked.
Please think it over.
Don't pay any attention. She's joking.
Joking, right, Granny?
No. I'm serious.
Don't deny you wouldn't like it.
It's not a matter of what we'd like.
Of course we'd love it.
But Taeko's a city person.
Of course.
But she loves it here,
she works so hard on the land,
it's a joy to watch.
There'd be nothing better
than her marrying Toshio.
You're being rude.
You're embarrasing her.
She's got a decent job in Tokyo.
Besides, she's older than him.
There are jobs in Yamagata too.
Please don't be angry.
Most of the young wives
work these days, so...
What're you talking about?
She's only been here
twice on holiday.
Suddenly bringing this up...
you're upsetting her.
So you're against it?
I didn't say that.
I said let's be realistic.
We don't even know
how Toshio feels.
One look at him and it's obvious.
Don't dismiss it before
we've asked her.
Let her be.
See what you did.
You can't rush these things.
I don't think I was wrong.
I'd never even thought
of being a farmer's wife.
I was strangely moved,...
...even imagining it
might be possible.
If only I could've replied:
" I'd love to... " like in a movie.
But I couldn't.
Suddenly my love of the country,
and my play-farming,...
...seemed so phony.
Declaring my love for country life...
...based on a ten-day vacation,
now felt so embarrassing.
Then with no warning...
...everyone seeing right through me.
It was unbearable.
I ain't shaking hands with you.
That shirt he wore today...
What about it?
Tanaka's old shirt.
Don't tell anyone.
When it's his turn to feed the ducks,
he takes the bread home.
Did you see his hands?
Glad he's not sitting next to me.
Poor Taeko.
Have him switch places.
He should sit with the boys.
Right Taeko?
I don't mind.
You shouldn't talk like that.
You don't mind?
Don't be a goody-goody.
Don't you dare tell anyone
what we said.
I'll beat you up!
Don't go!
What are you doing out here?
Nothing. Taking a walk.
You're getting wet. Quick, get in.
A little souvenir.
Some of Mom's pickles.
Please don't go back yet.
Why not?
Just drive... anywhere.
Something wrong?
I knew a boy named Abe.
He came from another school.
He sat next to me.
He once said,
" I ain't shaking hands with you."
His family was poor.
He never had sports gear.
Always picking his nose
or wiping it on his sleeve.
And if I complained or
even dared frown at him,...
...he'd threaten to hit me.
I hated it. I longed for
the end of the term,... we could change seats.
I hated holding hands
in dance class,...
...hated having to lend him
my homework.
The girls gossiped
and called him names.
But I wouldn't join in.
I thought it was terrible
to talk behind his back.
But one day...
He was transferred in
the middle of the term.
The teacher made us all
shake hands and say goodbye.
A feeling of disgust swept the room.
His hands were filthy.
Walking around,
shaking hands with us,...
...he looked so nervous.
Back at his own desk,
only I was left.
When I held out my hand he said,
" I ain't shaking hands with you."
" I ain't shaking hands with you."
I hated him the most.
He knew that.
That's why he didn't shake my hand.
What happened at the farmhouse?
Ever since I was little...
I just pretend to be nice.
Nothing's changed.
You're strange, today.
Not the usual you.
I don't know what happened, but...
It's nothing to do with that.
I'm sorry.
I just feel bad about what happened.
I think that boy was stupid.
Maybe he didn't shake your hand
because he liked you.
No, he liked the class president.
He was always acting tough with me.
Hands in pockets, spitting,
swearing, swaggering along,
...showing off.
I know how he feels.
When I was little,...
...I used to bully the girl I liked.
That's not it.
He shook hands with everyone but me.
There's the problem.
Girls never understand how boys feel.
As if you know...
Let me guess, then...
He wasn't that tough.
He couldn't bully any boys.
He had no friends.
You sat next to him, an easy target.
He needed you to be tough with.
No way he wanted
to shake hands with everyone.
He could only prove how
tough he was with you.
Don't be filthy!
I felt so guilty and so sorry for him...
...that I began copying him.
Too late though, huh?
I couldn't take back...
...the pain I caused him.
It's stopped raining.
Oh, yes.
The moon's out.
Sometimes at night
you see raccoons here.
Shall we go back?
They must be worried about me.
This'll be the talk of the town.
I'm sorry. You've been so kind.
I wonder what happened
at the house, though?
Please, for my sake,
don't ask anyone.
Shall I play that music?
I began to think of
my feelings for him,...
...and of his feelings for me,
for the very first time.
How come he seemed to sort out
my mixed-up thoughts?
How come I let him get so close?
Somehow he seemed older than me.
He was the one I wanted
to shake hands with.
Just shake hands?
What was this feeling?
My mind raced as I sat beside him.
Have you got everything?
Yes, I'm fine.
We'll see you in the winter.
I'll do my farming homework.
What about skiing?
That just takes practice.
Consider what I said, Taeko.
What's that?
That's our secret.
Something was strange yesterday.
Sorry. Next time I'll be fine,
I'll leave the ten-year-old me at home.
Wait for me!
Take care, Naoko.
Some say love, it is a river
that drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor
that leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger,
an endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
and you its only seed.
It's the heart, afraid of breaking,
that never learns to dance.
It's the dream, afraid of waking,
that never takes a chance.
It's the one who won't be taken,
who cannot seem to give.
And the soul, afraid of dying,
that never learns to live.
When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed,
that with the sun's love,
in the spring becomes the rose.