• 日本の旅行を自分らしく楽しむ外国人

    [From February Issue 2011]

    There are many non-Japanese who travel around Japan by various means in order to slowly enjoy their trips.

    David M. WEBER, an American living in Tokyo, often travels by overnight bus because they are “cheap and convenient.” “I often take the JR Highway Bus because the seats recline like chairs and are comfortable. I get on a bus in Tokyo at night, sleep throughout the trip, and wake up the next morning in Kansai or Tohoku with the whole day ahead of me to enjoy sightseeing,” he says with a smile.

    David has visited many places across Japan. The trip that left the strongest impression on him was when he went to Hokkaido and saw ryuuhyou or Drift Ice in the ocean. “First, I went to see the Snow Festival (in Sapporo). Then I decided to go further north on an overnight bus to Abashiri to see the ryuuhyou. In Abashiri, I got on a ship to join a one hour ryuuhyou-seeing tour. It was the first time for me to see the beautiful ryuuhyou save on TV or in a book. I even fed the seagulls some food,” he recalls.


    David has used various means of transportation to travel around the Tohoku region. “I took an overnight bus to Morioka then got on a shinkansen to Kakunodate. From there, I took a rental car to Tazawako. Next, I took a local line to Aomori City. There I got on a night-ferry to Hakodate, Hokkaido. After looking around Hakodate, I took a ferry back to Honshu. Then, I took a local bus to Osorezan. I got to see not only a number of historical sites but also parts of remote Japan that few people get to see,” he explains.

    British Louise ROUSE quit traveling by air due to its effect on climate change. She came to Japan on the Trans-Siberian railway and then by ferry. “I use all means of transportation except airplanes to travel in and around Japan. On the railroad, I often use passes for foreign travelers and Seishun Juuhachi Kippu. The ultra luxurious night trains are my favorites. When I went to Kyushu, I carried a bicycle on the train and rode it around Kumamoto City and the surrounding area. When I went to Hokkaido, I made a round trip from Oarai (Ibaraki Prefecture) to Tomakomai on a ferry that had an inbuilt public bathing facility,” she recounts.

    Louise’s most unforgettable trip was the one she took with her parents to Kurobe Gorge. “It’s an area that is not often mentioned in sightseeing guidebooks for foreigners,” she says. “Although my mother is a Japanese translator, the Toyama Prefecture dialect can be quite difficult. So, I worked on my Japanese all summer to prepare. And we stayed at a kominka (old private house) that is a cultural property. It was a house where children stay overnight with their teachers to study history. We laid out futons and slept in an expansive, 40-tatami mat room, complete with an iori (sunken hearth).”

    Louise and her parents also took the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route where the mountains between Toyama and Nagano prefectures are visible. “We took a cable car, a trolley bus, a ropeway and so on to travel from Tateyama Station to Shinano-Ohmachi Station. Along the way, we saw the enormous Kurobe Dam, stayed at an inn in the Murodo Area, where we took a hot spring bath while looking at the mountains. My suggestion is to search for hidden places of natural interest, and not rely too much on guidebooks.”


    Canadian Moonie GARNER likes to hitchhike. “I like to travel slowly. I prefer traveling by foot, bike, boat, bus or train over airplanes. My most favorite way of transportation is hitch-hiking. It’s by far the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to travel,” she says.

    A few years ago, Moonie went to Kumano, Wakayama Prefecture. She hitchhiked from Kanagawa and spent some time in the mountains with an elderly couple. “I joined their organic farm, picking natural fruit, making umeboshi (pickled plums) miso and so on. We went to a sacred hot spring together. They were leading a very environmentally-friendly life,” she says.

    During her trip to Kumano, Moonie realized that she knew little about the rest of Japan outside of Tokyo. This made her start a hitch-hiking journey from Kagoshima to Tokyo in October, 2010. “Some friends advised me not to do it saying hitch-hiking is a dangerous way of travel for young females. But if you ask for a ride while looking closely at the driver, then it’s all right. Since hitchhiking is rarely seen in Japan, I surprised people, but more often than not, I was offered a ride”

    “When you hitch-hike drivers often share information about the area. You encounter different dialects and scenery along the way and that increases your knowledge of the country. This cannot be sensed while seated in a shinkansen or by an airplane window,” explains Moonie.


    Photographer Arina ANJONG traveled around Japan on a motorbike for 46 days in 2009. “Since I had to move from Okinawa to Tokyo, I decided to make a journey on a scooter. I started from Okinawa in the south, went all the way up to Wakkanai, Hokkaido then turned around and went south until I reached Tokyo. The journey covered a distance of 6,640 km and 23 prefectures.”

    Since Arina’s scooter is only 50cc, he could not ride on expressways and had to take regular roads. “I could see the various areas and feel the differences. I experienced both the untouched nature of Yakushima Island and the densely populated city of Osaka. I went to historical cities of Himeji and Nara. When I reached the Soya Promontory, the northern most part of Japan, I felt a sense of accomplishment,” he says proudly.

    During his journey, Arina made friends with many local people. “This happened in Miroku-machi of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. I noticed a festival being held in the streets so I stopped and took photos of it. Then a man came up and talked to me. He offered to let me join a banquet, and after the festival and let me stay at his home. Being treated so kindly by a person I hadn’t known a moment ago was the highlight of my trip,” he remembers.

    While the Japan National Tourism Organization offers non-Japanese travelers various kinds of options to help them enjoy easy traveling across Japan, there are still those who want to take the time to enjoy travelling in their own ways, and at their own pace.

    David’s website
    Louise’s website
    Arina’s website

    Text: SAZAKI Ryo


















    文:砂崎 良

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  • 人気の食品サンプル作りを体験

    [From February Issue 2011]

    In the windows and display cases of Japan’s restaurants and other eating establishments, delicious-looking ramen, soba, hamburger steaks, and more can be seen. These are real-looking, life-size samples of restaurant menu items. Now, similar food samples are made into small, popular, souvenir items such as key rings and fridge magnets.

    The technique of making realistic food samples was developed in Japan around 1920. Hachiman-cho, Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture dominates Japan’s fake-food market, and has recently drawn attention as the product’s place of origin. There is even a studio where visitors can try their hand at making food samples. Those interested often come from far away on organized tours.

    Located in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward, Yamato Sample was founded in 1952, and also manufactures fake-food samples. However, not only do they make and sell fake-food samples, but they also actively organize hands-on workshops in and around the Tokyo metropolitan area. At one event held at Sunshine City Ikebukuro, Tokyo, they had 150 people attend their two-day workshop.

    When making a mini-parfait, silicon is used for the cream. By making a similar soft ice cream shape, then adding the pre-made fruits and other garnishes, the parfait is completed. The fake fruits are all handmade and with very realistic color and texture, making it difficult to distinguish them from actual fruits.

    After putting a few drops of melted wax into a bucket of lukewarm water, wrap it around a prawn-shaped mold before removing it, which completes, in a blink, your fake, prawn tempura. The wax’s outer coating is then exposed to air and solidifies, giving it a crispy looking texture, just like real, fried batter. To make a lettuce leaf, which will resemble the relish, drop some white wax (the inside of the leaf) and green wax (the outside of the leaf) into the lukewarm water. Pinching the corners while keeping the wax submerged for a second let’s you quickly and easily create a piece of fake lettuce.

    ITO Yuichi, a Yamato Sample representative, visits each workshop participant one by one, to give detailed instruction. “At our hands-on workshops, children from two-years-old to senior citizens come to try and make food samples. Each participant is entrusted different fruit molds, so no two finished pieces look the same,” he says, adding that he started the workshops after receiving requests from customers who wanted to try making food sample for themselves.

    One participant, NAGANO Fumiko, expressed her pleasure by saying, “I was surprised that I could do it so easily. I feel attached to it since I made it myself. It’s now my treasure.” The participation fee to try and make a mini-parfait, a tart or a cup cake, is 1,575 yen. This includes the instruction and the cost of the materials. However, since melted wax could splash onto people and cause burns when making fake tempura, this type of workshop is presently not being offered. But they are planning to include it at their new studio, scheduled to open this spring, after they have devised a safer way to do it.

    Thanks to food samples on display at the entrances of many eating establishments, customers know what they can have there. “Displaying food samples was born out of the kindness of Japanese people who wanted to let their potential customers more easily understand what they offered. By having more people try to make their own food samples, we want them to more deeply understand this particular aspect of Japanese culture,” says Ito.

    Yamato Sample

    Text: MUKAI Natsuko












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  • くつろぎの機械 ― 人の疲れを癒すために

    [From February Issue 2011]

    It is said that the Japanese work far too much. In fact, it is very common for Japanese to work overtime until late at night, as well as over the holidays. That’s why fatigue-reducing equipment continues to evolve in this country.

    In 1954 Fujiiryoki Co., Ltd. became the world’s first company to design and manufacture a massage chair. Momi-dama (kneading balls) and air bags installed within the massage chair’s frame, mold and manipulate the human body. And while the company sells several different chairs types, presently its most sophisticated model is the Cyber Relax AS-840.

    The AS-840 was developed to mimic the same movements as human hands. It has been programmed to perform 796 different kinds of massage in order to meet various specific needs, including “massaging the whole body” or “loosening up the lower back.” Two kneading balls located in the chair back are powered by four electric motors which control the massage intensity, the up-and-down movement, and the tapping and kneading functions. The 42 air bags within the chair expand and contract to stretch and twist the body being massaged. Before starting to massage, a chair sensor measures the line from the occupant’s shoulders to waist, so that it can then perform a massage suitable to the build of that particular person.

    “Every time I design a new chair prototype, I test it on my own body. Sometimes, I get massaged all day long, for days on end. It’s during those times that I find it difficult to sleep at night because it feels like my body is still being massaged when I go to bed,” says FUJISHIRO Mitsuaki, product development team manager. “On my days off, I sometimes visit electric appliance stores to check out the massage chairs on display. And when I see someone praising one of ours, I get an extremely happy feeling,” he adds.

    Rinnai Co., Ltd. and Toho Gas Ltd. jointly developed the RBHM-C415K1U, a bathroom heater/dryer that installs into the ceiling and also offers a massage function. Located above the tub, it drops hot water onto the person below creating a relaxing feeling.

    “We developed this product, hoping to design a bathroom where you not only wash your body and warm yourself, but also relax and relieve your fatigue,” says SATO Shinjiro, a sales and planning department team member. “At hot springs and public bathhouses, you can get a similar massage called ‘utaseyu’ (hit with hot water) which uses this dripping technique. So I wanted to make that available at home, too.”

    Those in charge of the product’s development actually went to a hot spring to capture the way the water fell using high-speed photography, further researching and measuring the amount and speed of the falling water. What they discovered was that the water formed round droplets when it hit the body. So, in order to reproduce this for household bathrooms, they repeated experiments with different nozzle shapes and various amounts of water.

    “We were measuring and taking photographs at the hot spring very often, so some local people got suspicious and told us not to do it,” Sato laughs. “But when one of our customers told me that our product’s massages felt really good, then I knew that it was really worth all that trouble.”

    Fujiiryoki Co., Ltd.
    Rinnai Co., Ltd.

    Text: SAZAKI Ryo



    株式会社フジ医療器は、1954年に世界で初めてマッサージチェアを作ったメーカーです。マッサージチェアの内部にはもみ玉やエアーバッグなどが入っており、これらが動いて人の体をもんだり叩いたりするのです。同社は何種類ものマッサージチェアを販売していますが、今最も高機能なのは「サイバーリラックス AS-840」です。








    文:砂崎 良

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  • 400年変わらない姿の世界文化遺産 ― 姫路城

    [From February Issue 2011]

    Approximately an hour outside Japan’s second largest city of Osaka, on the JR Tokaido Main Line, is Hemeji, a town rich in history and culture. Just a 15-minute walk along Otemae-dori, right outside JR Himeji Station, you will find Himeji Castle.

    The castle hasn’t changed in 400 years. Throughout its long history, Himeji Castle has fortunately escaped the ravages of war. Because of the way it rises skyward, it is likened to a shirasagi (an egret) flying gracefully through the air, and is therefore also referred to as Hakuro Castle. In addition to being designated a national treasure because of its cultural value, Himeji Castle was also one of the first sites in Japan to be registered as World Heritage Site, along with Horyuji Temple (Nara Prefecture).

    Today’s Himeji Castle was built by IKEDA Terumasa in 1609 at the beginning of the Edo period. Before that, TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi, who ruled Japan, was once based there.

    The castle’s symbol is its keep (the central tower of a medieval castle, with a rooftop observation deck). Located on a hill, the castle contains several different keeps, with the main tower connecting to three small ones.

    Seen from the outside, Himeji Castle’s highest tower seems five stories tall. But seen from within, it actually contains seven floors, a security design intended to trick attackers. Since feudal lords lived in the castle, they had to be prepared to defend themselves against outside enemies, therefore various security systems can be found within the castle.

    Enemy troops entering through the “ote-mon,” or main gate, cannot easily get to the keep. Built throughout the castle are a maze of white walls that turn left, right, and 180 degrees around. Unless tourists follow the fixed route, they will most likely end up getting lost.

    Following along the white walls, visitors pass through a number of gates. Some of these are designed so that soldiers hiding in the ceiling above can spear an enemy walking below. In the walls there are also square, triangular and round holes called “sama” through which guns are shot and arrows released. Although the holes are intended for defensive purposes, their design blends into the castle’s decor, adding to its overall beauty.

    If the enemy somehow reaches the keep, even after slipping through the various traps, they will eventually come up against a high stone wall towering in front of them. Not only does the wall consist of stones piled high, but its sloping design, similar to an open fan (sensu) prevents the enemy from climbing up. This curved wall also creates a wider foundation that better supports the keep.

    As the castle has never been attacked, these defense systems have never actually been tested. The only time that it was really in any danger was during World War II. Hoping to protect the castle, citizens covered it with black nets. However, despite their efforts, a bomb fell into the keep through a window, but fortunately never exploded.

    The way Himeji Castle remained standing on such devastated land, provided symbolic emotional support for Himeji’s citizens during the reconstruction. In the castle’s surrounding park, cherry, maple and gingko trees have now been planted, decorating the castle in different colors throughout the seasons. During the cherry blossom viewing season, or for autumn’s changing leaves, the park crowds with families and groups of people who laugh cheerfully. Himeji Castle is the center of its citizens’ lives as well as a lasting symbol of peace.

    “Aijo-kai” (the castle loving club) consists mostly of local elementary and middle school students who have been regularly cleaning the castle for over thirty years. Furthermore, since the castle was designated as a World Heritage Site, Himeji itself has developed into an international tourist destination where English signs can be found throughout the city.

    In the castle’s vicinity are Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History, Himeji City Museum of Art, Himeji Center for Research into Castles and Fortifications, Himeji City Museum of Literature, and other cultural facilities where you can appreciate Himeji’s history and culture, all while seeing Himeji Castle from various angles. The retro-looking sightseeing bus is just one convenient method of transportation for tourists, costing 100 yen per adult, or 300 yen for a one-day pass.

    Admission to Himeji Castle is 400 yen per adult, although discount tickets that include admission to the art museum and Koko-en (a Japanese-style garden) are also available. The street running from JR Himeji Station to the castle is lined with numerous souvenir shops and restaurants offering local specialties, as well as seafood from the Seto Inland Sea.

    Traditional crafts unique to the town that developed around the castle include myochin hibachi (tongs), leather-made goods and himeyama ningyou (dolls). Local specialties include takoyaki, made with octopus from the Akashi Strait and plenty of eggs, and shioaji manju (salty steamed buns), made with salt from Akou. Also recommended are almond toast and Himeji oden, which are among the local dishes known as “Gotouchi Gurume (gourmet)” that are much talked about these days.

    Himeji Castle has been under repair since October 2009. As of spring 2011, the main keep will remain covered from the outside. However, an elevator for tourists will be in operation so that tourists can see it while repairs are being done. Although you won’t be able to enjoy the keep’s view in its entirety, this will provide the opportunity to see it up close. All repair work is scheduled to be completed in March, 2015.

    Himeji City
    Virtual Tour – Himeji Castle

    Text: OBAYASHI Hitoshi


















    文:大林 等

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  • 切り絵で日本の伝統美を伝えたい

    [From February Issue 2011]

    Kirie Artist, TAKEOKA Kaori

    “My first encounter with kirie (Japanese paper cutting) was when I tried it in art class in the fourth grade of elementary school,” says kirie artist TAKEOKA Kaori. “And since then, for the last sixteen years, I’ve been fascinated by and passionate about creating them.” Kaori quit her corporate job last fall choosing to follow the path of a kirie artist. “Kirie is the art of paper cutting, with an emphasis on how beautiful you make the cuts look by clipping designs out of the paper. Since kirie are made by hand, each one is unique so there will never be two identical pieces. I always cherish the warmth that comes from handmade work,” she admits.

    As a child Kaori was absorbed in drawing pictures at home rather than playing outside, and she copied anime and manga using her computer. She taught herself both graphic design and kirie, and based her kirie on the computer-generated sketches she created. “Using a utility knife, the kirie-making tool, just came naturally to me,” she says with a smile.

    A huge fan of cartoonist TEZUKA Osamu, Kaori was intrigued by the fantastic manga series “Hi no Tori” (Phoenix) and all the beautiful Phoenix drawings. She created a Phoenix kirie and gave it to her grandma as a present, hoping that it would help her live a long time. She also made kirie birthday cards for her friends. “Seeing how pleased they were to receive my kirie made me very happy,” Kaori recalls.

    Then in earnest she started learning computer graphics at a vocational school. After graduating, while working for a construction-related company, she also held private kirie exhibitions in her spare time, keeping her kirie-making alive. “When there was a pause in the conversation at a company drinking party, I enlivened the mood by creating a kirie portrait of someone I was talking with. So I would always carry my kirie tools in my bag whenever I went to such parties. For me, kirie is a means of communication through which people can connect with each other,” Kaori laughs.

    Recently, she won a prize at an illustration contest hosted by Kodansha Famous Schools, and also made kirie portrait gifts for the winners of the 2009 Best Father Yellow Ribbon Awards (awards given to celebrities chosen as the most fantastic fathers). She has also sent a piece entitled “Sharaku” to an exhibition in Paris. In addition to having private exhibitions at various galleries and cafes, she also holds shows in collaboration with other artists from various fields. Kaori is so skillful that she can finish a kirie portrait using a 10-centimeter-square piece of paper in 10 minutes, without first sketching it out.

    Kaori liked the idea of holding live kirie shows. Once, at a jazz bar, wearing a kimono, she completed a kirie that was inspired by the tune being played by the pianist, before the music stopped. Also, at readings of literary works by EDOGAWA Ranpo and TANIZAKI Junichiro, she created kirie inspired by the novels, as they were being read.

    “When I was working at a company, I was unhappy about not feeling the immediate results of my work. But with kirie, I can feel the response from the spectators on the spot. When I’m making kirie, I can be most like myself and shine with radiance,” she says, about the joy of having become a kirie artist. “My dream is to hold an exhibition in New York and introduce the beauty of Japanese tradition to the world through kirie.”

    Text: HATSUDA Sachiyo


    切り絵師 武岡香織さん





    最近は講談社フェーマススクールズ「イラストコンテスト」に入賞し、2009年度ベスト・ファーザー イエローリボン賞(『素敵なお父さん』とされる著名人を表彰)を受賞した人たちに似顔絵の切り絵を贈りました。そして、パリの展示会には「写楽」を出品しました。ギャラリーやカフェの個展をはじめ、さまざまな分野のアーティストと共同で展示会を開いています。10センチ角の紙の似顔絵は下絵なしで、10分で仕上げることができます。




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  • ぶりの照り焼き

    [From February Issue 2011]

    Ingredients [Serves 2]

    • 2 Yellowtail fillets (200g)

    Pickled turnip (kikkakabu pickled turnips a la chrysanthemum flower)

    • 2 small turnips
    • sweet vinegar (2 tbsp vinegar, 1/2 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tbsp dashi stock)
    • 1/2 red chili pepper


    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp mirin (sweet cooking wine)
    • 1 tbsp sake

    How to distinguish yellowtail fillet:

    Yellowtail fillets may be packaged either by backside (blackish skin) or belly-side (whitish skin). Belly-side fillets are usually fattier, so choose whichever you prefer.

    1. Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl, then soak the fillets for approximately 30 minutes (15 minutes each side).

    2. Skin turnips and make horizontal and vertical incisions three-quarters deep. Place turnips between disposable chopsticks to prevent incisions from being cut too deep. Cut across the backside to help the flavor more quickly seep through. Put turnips in salt water (1 cup water, 1/2 tsp salt) then place a dish on top to weigh them down, and soak for approximately 15 minutes. Mix sweet vinegar ingredients then add sliced red chili pepper. Once the turnips are tender, lightly drain and place in sweet vinegar mix for a minimum of 30 minutes. Cut accordingly into 2 ~ 4 slices, then display turnips to look like chrysanthemum flowers.

    3. Drain yellowtail fillets and grill over a high heat. When grilling from above, start with the skin side up for 3 ~ 4 minutes, then turn over and grill for 3 ~ 4 more minutes.

    4. While the fillets are grilling, mix the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and boil down to approximately half its original amount.

    5. Once the fillets are grilled, turn them skin side up and brush the sauce over top. Re-grill again to dry, and quickly repeat this step several times until the fillets glisten. It is not necessary to use all of the sauce.

    6. Place yellowtail fillets on flatware accompanied by the chrysanthemum turnips on the right side, and serve.



    • ぶり 2切れ(200g)


    • かぶ 小2個
    • 甘酢(酢大さじ2、砂糖大さじ1/2、だし大さじ1/2)
    • 赤唐辛子 1/2本


    • しょうゆ 大さじ1
    • みりん 大さじ1
    • 酒 大さじ1



    1. トレーにたれを合わせ、切り身をたれに30分程つけます。途中で上下返します。

    2. かぶは皮をむき、上から3/4厚さくらいまで縦横細かく包丁を入れます。かぶを割り箸で挟み、ストッパーにするとよいでしょう。裏は、浅い十字の切れ目を入れて味をしみやすくします。塩水(水カップ1、塩小さじ1/2)につけ、皿一枚を重しとしてのせて約15分おきます。甘酢を混ぜ、赤唐辛子を小口切りにして加えます。かぶがしんなりしたら、水気を軽くしぼり、甘酢につけ30分以上おきます。大きさに合わせて2~4つ割りにして、菊の花に見立てます。

    3. ぶりの汁気を切り、グリルで強火で焼きます。上火のグリルの場合は表から焼き、3~4分焼いたら裏に返して3~4分強火で焼きます

    4. ぶりを焼いている間に、たれを鍋に入れ、約半量になるまで強火で煮つめます。


    6. 平皿にぶりを、右側に菊花かぶを盛り付けて出来上がり。

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  • ノスタルジックな昭和を味わえる人間ドラマ

    [From February Issue 2011]

    Always: Sunset on Third Street (Directed by YAMAZAKI Takashi)

    This movie is set in the middle of Tokyo in 1958 (33rd year of the Showa era) when Japan was in the midst of its rapid economic growth. It was the age when the despairs of war had finally worn off and society began to shift toward convenience. The film portrays the common people who supported each other as they strived to live each day with hopes and dreams for a happy future. This motion picture won many awards including the Picture of the Year and Director of the Year awards for the 2006 Japan Academy Prize. Later, in 2007, the sequel was also produced.

    The construction of the Tokyo Tower is underway amid the nation’s ambition for it to become the world’s tallest. People and products are abundant here in downtown Tokyo where, located on one of its street corners, is “Suzuki Auto.” Mutsuko, who came to the big city following the promise of mass employment, is disappointed that her place of work is such a small automobile repair shop. However, while working as a live-in employee, she gradually discovers that the owner, his wife, and their son Ippei, are all very touching people, and her mood starts to change.

    Across the street from “Suzuki Auto,” CHAGAWA Ryunosuke, who dreams of becoming a novelist, runs a candy shop while also writing stories for boys’ magazine. One night, Hiromi, the mysterious and beautiful local bar owner, asks Chagawa to “look after an acquaintance’s boy.” He agrees to watch the boy named Junnosuke just because this beautiful woman has sweetly promised to “come to check on him sometimes.”

    Although still struggling, Chagawa grows happier inside as he spends more and more time with both Hiromi and Junnosuke. He even borrows some money from Suzuki to buy Junnosuke a Christmas present. Then he asks for Hiromi’s hand in marriage. But his happiness does not last long as Hiromi suddenly closes the shop and disappears. Soon after, some company president arrives declaring to be Junnosuke’s real father, and claims guardianship of his illegitimate child.

    “He is a wealthy man. He’ll buy you anything. I’m so glad I’ll finally get rid of you, you’re such a serious pain in the neck,” Chagawa says with false bravado to Junnosuke, who silently climbs into his father’s car. Chagawa, realizing just how important a part of his life Junnosuke has become, rushes after the fast moving car, but tumbles down. But Junnosuke soon returns and they embrace each other tightly as tears stream down both their faces.

    Hiromi, who has returned to work as a dancer to pay off her debt, is waiting on the rooftop of the theater to appear on stage. She holds up her hand against the glare of the setting sun, imagining the ring Chagawa promised her he would someday buy. The Suzuki family drops off Mutsuko at the train station where she will travel to meet her family for the New Year’s celebration. On their way home, the Suzuki family stops by the riverbank to admire the sunset. “The sunset will always be beautiful; even tomorrow, and the day after, and even 50 years from now,” Ippei says to his parents, who agree. The sunset softly washes over the family, with the freshly completed Tokyo Tower in the background, as the film comes to an end.


    ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日(山崎貴 監督)







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