• 時間を守る日本人

    [From February Issue 2012]

    It is customary for Japanese to be punctual. As Japanese are especially concerned about not being late, most have naturally acquired this habit. For example, in companies and public institutions, and for meetings with others, it is considered common sense to “be prompt.” Though it’s possible to turn up late for a date with someone close to you, it’s always necessary to text to say you’ll be late.

    If a train arrives even one-minute later than scheduled, Japanese railway companies announce their apologies over the PA. Moreover, Shinkansen (bullet train) arrival and departure times are timed within 15 second periods.

    For the Japanese who have been raised in such a time conscious society, it is sometimes hard to embrace the more laissez-faire attitude to time that comes with living in other countries. A Japanese living in Canada recalls an incident that occurred while moving house: when he called the electric company to confirm his appointment, he was told that, “someone will come by sometime between Monday and Wednesday, but I cannot guarantee exactly when.” In Japan, such a way of conducting business would be unthinkable.

    “It is ordinary for Americans to be late. Some buses and trains do not even have a timetable, and it is common for trains to be a half-hour late,” said a puzzled Japanese resident of the US. However, some Japanese who have lived longer in such an environment have commented: “Once you get used to that sense of time, you become very easy going. Thanks to this, I am more relaxed and not as frustrated as before.”

    On the other side of the equation, what do non-Japanese think of this Japanese custom of punctuality? We asked non-Japanese people living in Japan. “Mail and parcels came punctually during the specified hours and that surprised me at first,” said one Canadian man. “Japanese people arrive at least 15 minutes before the agreed time. If you are only a little bit late, they look cross. I can’t understand why they get so upset, just over someone being late,” commented one Korean woman.

    “My University scholarship application was rejected just because I mistakenly turned it in during the afternoon, rather than the morning, which was the deadline. I think it lacks flexibility,” added a Chinese man. “I was apologizing every time I was late, so now I have a habit of saying gomennasai,” said a French man. “I was one-minute late for my part-time job, and everyone gave me the cold shoulder throughout the day,” said a Nepalese woman.

    As regards to the railways in Japan, a Nepalese man commented: “During rush hours, when the trains are packed with people, there are some passengers who run up to the train and pry open doors that are obviously closing. I can never understand such an attitude. Is time more important than life?” On the other hand, a Korean man said: “I was particularly impressed by the punctuality of the trains, as some stations don’t have train timetables back in my home country.”

    To sum up, many non-Japanese people think that the Japanese can get a little hysterical with their obsession with time keeping. The tension on trains and at train stations that arises from the lack of elbow room makes a particular impression on these people. On the other hand, there were a lot of comments that stated that Japanese people are reliable because they are strict about time and keep their promises.

    So when did Japanese people become so time conscious? It seems there are various theories, but none precisely pins down the real reason. According to one theory, traditionally, Japanese people were generous with time. At the start of the Meiji era, a half-hour delay on the trains was very common and many factory workers were often late for their shifts. As a result, at the start of the Showa era, approximately 80 years ago, the Scientific Management System was introduced. First created in the US, this system of managing workers was used to boost productivity in factories by standardizing elements such as time keeping.

    This theory states that ever since the Scientific Management System was introduced in the beginning of the Showa era, tardiness and delays in both public institutions and private firms has decreased. Another theory suggests that during the Edo period, the samurai class considered tardiness and absence to be a sign of foolishness and those beliefs have remained strong in the national consciousness. It is also said that this punctuality originates from the astronomical and orientation systems the Japanese traditionally used; marking seasons and time according to the direction and length of the shadow made by the sun, rather than by the moon and the stars.

    While many history books from around the world have no record of the date, month, or year they were written, old Japanese literature such as the “Nihon Shoki” (Chronicles of Japan) is marked with the date, month, year, and even the Oriental zodiac. This also proves that the Japanese have long been conscious of the passage of time.

    The fact that there are clocks in every part of Japan, including in parks, stores, and on billboards, may be related to the fact that Japanese are strict about time. Moreover, there are many people who use their cell phone as a watch, an alarm clock, and a stop watch.

    LIANG Lin Lin, a Chinese native who has resided in Japan for three years, said, “When I first came to Japan, I was late for school and work almost every day. But recently, I have become more conscious of time, and I am now able to balance my schedule better. Now my friends have more confidence in me.”

    These days, there are more Japanese people who have become more relaxed about time, but “keeping time” is still very important for enjoying daily life in Japan. In recent years, there has been an increase in the numbers of punctual American businessmen and the numbers of firms outside of Japan that are strict about time.

    Text: NAKAGOMI Kouichi

















    Read More
  • よさこい鳴子踊り――高知県から日本各地へ

    [From February Issue 2012]

    “Yosakoi Naruko Odori” is a dance that has been recently seen at festivals and events in areas all across Japan. While dancing to music, teams lined up in rows move down the street. The audience shows their support by cheering the dancers on. Flamboyantly decorated trucks, which also function as mobile stages, lead the teams of dancers. Unlike the Bon Dance which is performed in summer, the Yosakoi Naruko Odori is held throughout the year, regardless of the season.

    The Yosakoi Naruko Odori originated in Kochi Prefecture in the Shikoku Area. It is thought that the custom has its origins in a traditional dance that was performed indoors to the folk song, “Yosakoi-bushi.” The first Yosakoi Festival was held after the war in August 1954, with the aim of reviving and revitalizing society, bringing health and prosperity to the townspeople.

    Yosakoi Naruko Odori has two rules. The first rule states that you have to hold a “naruko” in each of your hands. A naruko is a wooden instrument which, like a pair of castanets, clicks when you shake it. It was originally a farming tool used to drive birds away from crops.

    The second rule states that you have to use the phrase “Yosakoi Naruko Odori,” somewhere in the performance. Yosakoi Naruko Odori is a song that TAKEMASA Eisaku, a composer from the Shikoku area, wrote for the Yosakoi Festival. “Nangoku Tosa O Ato Ni Shite” (Leaving Behind Tosa, my Southern Home Town) was also composed by Takemasa and became a big hit when it was sung by Peggy HAYAMA. The local dialect is used in the lyrics of both songs, bringing to life the scenery of the Shikoku area.

    Teams can comprise of a few dozen members, to a maximum of 150 members. It’s fun just to watch them perform synchronized dances in their colorful costumes. But the music, made to suit modern tastes by adopting such styles as jazz or rock, is also bursting with originality. Since around 1992, the dance broke out of Kochi and began to gain popularity around Japan. Beginning with the Yosakoi Soran Matsuri Festival in Hokkaido, the Yosakoi Naruko Dance was introduced to various parts of Japan.

    Office worker OTA Akane saw the Yosakoi Naruko Odori while on vacation and was charmed by it. About two years later she joined the Yosakoi Naruko Odori Circle in Tokyo. “The members of the circle vary in age and occupation, but when we dance together, in an instant, we feel united. I think the Yosakoi Naruko Odori impresses the audience because the performers themselves are really getting a kick out of it,” she says.

    In order to deepen ties made through Yosakoi, the “All Japan Yosakoi Meeting” is held annually in Kochi Prefecture by the Kochi City Tourism Association. Held at five locations around Kochi City on the final day of August’s Yosakoi Festival, this event first took place in 1999. Now around 70 teams and about 5,800 people from within and without the prefecture take part in the event.

    Yosakoi is a festival that can be adapted to match the spirit of the times as well as the local culture. The tradition takes root in different regions and buds, contributing to the revitalization of that area.

    Kochi City Tourism Association
    Yosakoi Festival, Kochi Chamber of Commerce & Industry

    Text: MUKAI Natsuko










    高知商工会議所 よさこい祭振興会


    Read More
  • 日本のワインを世界に広める

    [From February Issue 2012]

    Ernest SINGER

    Up until recently the majority of Japanese wines were made for domestic consumption only. However, a long-term non-Japanese resident of Japan has changed all that. American Ernest SINGER, president of wine importer Millesimes Inc., has introduced Japanese wine to the international market by creating Shizen, a white wine made from the domestic Koshu grape.

    “I would say it has flavors and fragrances that are unique to Japanese cuisine and so the wine is basically made to go with sashimi. If you’re making wine for Japanese food, it needs to be a velvet that shows off the diamonds, not something that competes with it,” explaines Singer.

    Back in 2003 Singer flew internationally famous winemaker Denis DUBOURDIEU into Japan to act as consultant winemaker for the Japan Wine Project. Though at that time a lot of wine was made in Japan with the Koshu grape, the standard to which these wines were made was rather low with many winemakers guilty of either adding alcohol or sugar to hide poor quality. Dubourdieu created a light citrus flavored wine that was a great match for sushi. “Like someone discovering the sea for the first time. This is a legendary wine that was sleeping, and I woke it up,” explained Dubourdieu.

    Singer took the first vintage of wine to world famous wine critic Robert PARKER to find out his opinion. Parker, who usually prefers a heavier wine style and is famously hard to please, gave the wine a score of 87/88 out of 100 and commented that the wine had great potential for improvement.

    Following four years hard work, in 2008 Singer’s Shizen was the first Japanese wine to receive approval for sale in Europe. After Singer gained approval for his wine, other Koshu winemakers followed his example and now three other Japanese wineries have begun to export their wines to Europe.

    Wine expert Lynne SHERRIFF is consultant to Koshu of Japan, an organization of 15 Koshu wineries that promotes the wine overseas, “In the last four to five years, the quality has improved dramatically, with the result that some Koshu wines entering international competitions have picked up medals.”

    Grace Winery in Yamanashi, for example, now sells its wines to Zuma, an exclusive seafood restaurant in London. The winery has been in the Misawa family for four generations and is currently run by MISAWA Shigekazu. His daughter MISAWA Ayana is chief winemaker and, learning from Singer, has improved winemaking techniques by adopting the European method of training the vines upwards, instead of growing them on trellis, which used to be the method traditionally used in Japan.

    As Japanese food becomes more and more popular worldwide, there is a growing demand for a wine that matches the cuisine’s delicate flavors. Because of this, Koshu’s popularity looks set to grow.

    Millesimes Inc.








    ワイン専門家のリン・シェリフさんは、ワインを海外に販売促進する15の甲州ワイナリーでつくった団体、Koshu of Japanのコンサルタントです。「この4~5年で品質は劇的に改善され、国際コンペに出展してメダルを獲得する甲州ワインも現れました」。




    Read More
  • 日本最古の温泉と文学の街――松山

    [From February Issue 2012]

    Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, is on a plain bounded to the west by Seto Inland Sea, and to the east by the Shikoku Mountains one of the highest mountain ranges in western Japan. Because of its unique geographic conditions, the city is rarely hit by typhoons or other natural disasters, and is blessed with a warm and mild climate. Matsuyama Castle is the symbol of the city and is located in its center. From the square at the top of the mountain 132 meters above sea level where the castle stands, you can enjoy views of the city, the mountains and the sea.

    You can take a cable car or a lift to the top of the mountain. Matsuyama Castle is the largest castle in Shikoku. Although it was built before the Edo period, the castle has a keep (a central tower) and is one of only 12 such castles that remain in Japan today. The keep offers a 360-degree panoramic view. Within the castle you can try on a suit of armor, an attraction which is popular among tourists.

    At the foot of Matsuyama Castle is “Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum.” The museum presents “Saka no Ue no Kumo,” a historical novel by SHIBA Ryotaro that depicts how Japan grew into modern nation during the Meiji period. As well as dealing with the Meiji period, the museum has exhibits that retrace the steps of the novel’s characters – AKIYAMA Yoshifuru, AKIYAMA Saneyuki and MASAOKA Shiki – in Matsuyama. In addition, it has interactive exhibits about the development of the town, giving visitors an opportunity to get a sense of the passage of time.

    There are a number of sites in Matsuyama associated with the (aforementioned) three characters. They include “Akiyama Kyoudai Seitan-chi” – the birthplace of the Akiyama brothers, where Yoshifuru and Saneyuki used to live, and “Shiki-dou” (Shiki Hall), a reproduction of a house where Masaoka lived, which enable you to see how the three spent their childhood. What’s more, the streets around Matsuyama Castle are designed to match with the period that the novel “Saka no Ue no Kumo” is set in.

    MASAOKA Shiki, was a great haiku poet, and brought baseball to Matsuyama. As he was an enthusiastic baseball player when the game was first introduced to Japan, Shiki used the pen name “No Ball,” which was derived from his childhood name “Noboru.”

    A famous haiku by Shiki is, “Kaki kueba/ Kanega narunari/ Horyuji” (Eat a persimmon/ And the bell will toll/ At Horyuji). By producing a number of haiku related to baseball, such as, “Mari nagete/ Mitaki hiroba ya Haru no Kusa” (Throw a ball in an open space/ To see spring grass in the field), he contributed to popularizing baseball through literature. At a literary museum called Matsuyama City Shiki Memorial Museum, you can learn about Matsuyama’s traditional culture and literature through such anecdotes about Shiki.

    Another famous figure in Matsuyama City – which is also known as the town of literature – besides Shiki is NATSUME Soseki. Shiki and Soseki were friends who discussed haiku together. The author of the novel “Wagahai wa Neko de Aru” (I Am a Cat), Soseki is considered to be such an influential figure, that his image was printed on 1,000 yen bills. His masterpiece “Botchan,” a story about a teacher who moves to Matsuyama from an urban area, introduces the city and is a work of deep profundity.

    Operating in Matsuyama City is the “Botchan Train,” modeled on a small locomotive which appears in Botchan, and the “Madonna Bus,” a vintage bus with a front engine. The unusual sight of these classic vehicles driving about the modern city is refreshing and evocative of times gone by. Traveling around the city on these cute trains and buses allows you to enjoy their retro feel to your heart’s content.

    Two kilometers northeast of Matsuyama Castle is Dogo Onsen, the largest tourist site in Matsuyama City, a spot which can be accessed by riding the Botchan Ressha. After arriving at the station, the train sits on display until its next departure, and is a popular spot for taking commemorative photos. The station building is designed to look like it did during the Meiji period, enabling you to take photographs in which it appears as if you had just traveled back in time.

    Once you get off at Dogo Onsen Station, you enter the world of Botchan. At the square in front of the station, you are greeted by a huge red automaton clock called “Botchan Karakuri Dokei” (Botchan Automaton Clock). The automaton works once every hour (once every half hour during the tourist seasons), and the characters from Botchan make their appearance dancing merrily. Tour guides dressed as Botchan and Madonna are popular among tourists, as are rickshaws.

    With a history spanning over 3,000 years, Dogo Onsen is said to be the oldest hot spring in Japan. Dogo Onsen Honkan (main building) is one of the buildings on which “Spirited Away” – an animation film directed by MIYAZAKI Hayao – was modeled. Twelve locations in the area, including inns, offer free footbaths, where visitors can easily take time out from sightseeing by enjoying Dogo’s hot spring waters. Taking a footbath is the best way to rest your legs after walking around Dogo.

    When you have become tired and hungry from walking around, we recommend a pot of nabeyaki udon, a specialty of Matsuyama. Served in the pot in which it has been cooked, nabeyaki udon features a rather sweet soup peculiar to Matsuyama. Cooked in a pot for one person, the noodles absorb the flavor well. A little soft and without koshi (firmness or elasticity), these udon are also called “koshinuke udon” (koshi-less udon).

    Matsuyama is a city in which the old, in the form of hot springs, a castle and classic literature, co-exists with the modern. Traditional crafts that have been passed down through the generations are still practiced today. These crafts include “Iyo-kasuri,” a method of dying cloth a natural indigo hue, and “Tobe-yaki” a kind of pottery which has its roots in Tobe-cho in the southern part of Matsuyama City. At Mingei Iyo-kasuri Kaikan and Tobe-yaki Kanko Center, you can experience these crafts and make an item that is the only one of its kind in the world.

    The flight to Matsuyama from Haneda Airport in Tokyo takes about one and a half hours. If you take the Shinkansen from JR Tokyo Station and then a special express train, it takes about six hours and ten minutes. Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen are ten to 20 minutes’ drive from the airport and the station. The Botchan Train is available for traveling between major tourist spots.

    Matsuyama Convention and Visitors Bureau

    Text: HINATA Kunpei






    正岡子規は松山市が生んだ偉大な俳人で、松山に初めて野球(ベースボール)を伝えました。日本に野球が導入された最初の頃の熱心な選手でもあり、子どもの頃の名前「のぼる」をもじった「No ball」というペンネームも使っていました。

    子規の俳句は「柿食えば 鐘が鳴るなり 法隆寺」が有名です。また「まり投げて 見たき広場や 春の草」など野球に関する俳句も数多く残していて、文学を通じて野球の普及に貢献しました。文学系博物館「松山市立子規記念博物館」では、そんな子規のことを通して松山の伝統文化や文学を学ぶことができます。











    Read More
  • 親しくなれる隠れ家飲み屋

    [From February Issue 2012]

    It took a lot of courage for me to walk into, my local nomiya (bar), sit down and order a drink. I’d passed by this tiny ramshackle building a number of times while exploring my neighborhood. From what I could see of the interior through the steamed up windows, this was a very cosy-looking place. A group of artistic looking types were gathered inside enjoying a beer and each other’s conversation.

    After living in Japan for four years, I’d acquired a number of Japanese friends to hang out with when I went out into central Tokyo, but when it came to having a casual drink in my local area at short notice, I realized I had no one to call on. It seemed sad that I didn’t know anyone in my area and I wanted to change that, that’s when I decided to see if I could find a bar that suited me.

    The first hurdle to becoming a regular is the worst and just has to be done as quickly as possible, like ripping off a bandage. Don’t linger by the door or you’ll never get up the confidence to go in, just walk in with your head held high, sit down and order a drink. Just like in the Westerns, once you step through the saloon doors, the conversation becomes hushed and people will dart nervous glances at you.

    There’s an upside and a downside to being a foreigner in Japan, on the one hand you’re seen as exotic and interesting, but on the other people are a little wary, and are probably worried that they will have to speak English. This is where you have to leap in and start making conversation to assuage their fears and if you’ve chosen your nomiya wisely, this should be no problem.

    Many nomiya, are tiny, my local only has space for around eight customers at a time, but huddling round the bar like this creates an intimate atmosphere that’s really encourages conversation. Because I’m a music fan, I was able to bond quickly with SHIBA Kazuhiko, a musician and owner of Ba Cáfe. We both love really noisy experimental rock so once the geeky conversation was out of the way I found myself accepted and introduced to the people gathered round the tiny bar.

    The owner or “master” (“mama” if it’s a woman) acts as the gatekeeper to the bar and will make it subtly known to those who don’t fit in that they aren’t really welcome. If you find yourself politely turned down, there’s bound to be a place that’s more your style as there are nomiya tucked away into just about every nook and cranny of Tokyo. Golden Gai, in Shinjuku for instance, is a tiny ramshackle row of streets packed with bars catering to almost any type of customer.

    I tend to visit my nomiya about once every two weeks and usually bump into a familiar face when I go there. A few are journalists, like me, and it is fun to talk shop with them a bit as I unwind with a drink. I live in Nakano, an area which despite being home to a lot of people who work in the arts and media, is also refreshingly unpretentious. At my nomiya I’ve met musicians, a film director and even a pro wrestler, but I also get to meet people who work in local businesses who tell me interesting information about my neighborhood.

    Whatever your interests, you can find a nomiya to suit. There are nomiya for rockabillies, photographers, film fanatics, karaoke fans, and there are bars staffed by monks who discuss the finer points of Buddhist philosophy with you over a beer. The ideal way to discover a nomiya is to go with a Japanese friend who’s already a regular, but if you don’t have that option my advice is just to dive right in on your own.

    Text: Felicity HUGHES











    Read More
  • 日本語に突撃

    [From February Issue 2012]

    Daniel ROBSON

    Japan can be intimidating for newcomers, but plenty of people who arrive with little or no language skill under their belt can still find success. “I came to Japan armed with a teeny, tiny amount of spoken Japanese,” says Daniel ROBSON of his arrival here in 2006.

    That little Japanese was “mostly learned from Japanese punk and pop songs or from this awful home study CD that taught me how to speak perfect Japanese circa 1930. Whenever I spoke Japanese learned from that CD set, people laughed.”

    Now, his work relies on interactions in Japanese. “I work as an editor at The Japan Times and a freelance writer for publications around the world. I also run a tour agency, ‘It Came From Japan,’ which takes Japanese bands to tour abroad, and I put on a monthly live show in Tokyo called ‘Bad Noise.’”

    He explains, “As a freelance writer, I use Japanese to line up assignments, interview bands or videogame creators, and so on – I write about music, games, city guides and Japanese culture in general, so of course I need to understand what the hell is going on around me in order to write about it.” And moreover, “As for booking bands for live shows and organizing tours, I couldn’t do a good job at any of that without being able to contact bands, create promotional material, chat with customers and so on.”

    So how did Robson do it? “I really wanted to become fluent, but as an overworked freelancer I never had much time to study.” At first, “I mostly learned by osmosis, drinking in the sort of bars where no one knew any English and I would be forced to speak Japanese.” It was slow going, “but I picked things up slowly but surely, and eventually got a teacher for one-on-one lessons, which I kept up for a year and a half.”

    He also met his future Japanese wife, who spoke little English, the bonus was that it, “helped in terms of practice!” He recalls, “I guess the biggest challenges at first were things like phone calls to sort out a bill or some other problem, and of course kanji.” But persistence is key: “Bit by bit it all sticks.”

    “It’s inevitable that one has to adjust to the customs and culture of another country.” Yet there are still situations when Robson says, “You want to smash your head repeatedly against a wall … Like when someone says ‘it’s difficult’ when what they really mean is ‘no.’ You have to learn to read those situations.”

    And I still struggle with kanji, whether it’s penetrating a short email or enduring 50 hours of Final Fantasy XIII for a review.” But as he says, “There are other difficulties, sure, but no one ever got anywhere by focusing on the negatives!”

    Being married to a Japanese, “We speak Japanese at home 99% of the time, and these days I even understand my in-laws slightly old-fashioned vocabulary.” Besides, he loves living here. As he says, “Tokyo is 300 times better than London in almost every way, and I love it here.”

    Bad Noise

    Text: Gregory FLYNN





    今では、彼の仕事は日本語でやりとりします。「私はジャパンタイムズで編集の仕事と、世界の出版物のフリーライターをしています。バンドツアーの手配会社『It Came From Japan』も経営しています。これは日本発信の仕事で、日本のバンドを海外ツアーに連れていきます。『BAD NOISE!』というライブも東京で毎月行っています」。


    それでは、ロブソンさんはどうやったのだろうか? 「流暢になりたいと本気で思いましたが、働きすぎのフリーランスには勉強する時間があまりありませんでした」。最初は「主に英語を知らない人しかいなくて、自分から日本語を話すしかないバーのようなところで飲んで、少しずつ学びました」。それには時間がかかりました。「でもゆっくりですが確実に理解し、やがてマンツーマンでレッスンしてくれる先生を見つけて1年半続けました」。





    Bad Noise


    Read More
  • いたずら好きな男の子が戦国時代で大暴れ

    [From February Issue 2012]


    Crayon Shin-chan:
    The Storm Called: The Battle of the Warring States (Directed by HARA Keiichi)

    This film is based on a cartoon series depicting the everyday life of NOHARA Shinnosuke, a cheeky and naughty five-year-old kindergartener, involving his parents and others. While his way of mimicking adult speech and teasing habit of showing his butt are disapproved of by some parents as being a bad influence on children, the cartoon is also highly regarded for its heart-warming episodes that occur in the midst of the laughter.

    After it was released in 2002, this tenth Crayon Shin-chan movie won numerous awards. USUI Yoshito, the original writer of the cartoon, has passed away, but his long-serving staff continues on with the “New Crayon Shin-chan” series. TV anime series and movie versions of Crayon Shin-chan have also been made. Even in other countries, translations of the manga are published and anime are broadcast.

    The story of this movie begins one morning when Shinnosuke and his parents have the exact same dream. Shinnosuke becomes entranced with the “pretty lady” from that dream. His dog also seems to have had the same dream and begins digging a hole in the yard. Shinnosuke discovers a wooden box in the hole. There’s a letter inside written in his own handwriting that says he’s in the second year of the Tensho era (1574).

    Even though he has no recollection of the letter, while standing at the bottom of the hole, he unwittingly travels through time to an unfamiliar place. Now he’s in the second year of the Tensho era, in the middle of the Warring States period. Stumbling into the middle of a battle, he saves the life of a young samurai called Matabe. That leads to an invitation to the castle of Kasuga where the lord takes a liking to “the boy from the future.”

    There Shinnosuke meets the lord’s daughter, Princess Ren. He’s convinced she’s the “pretty lady” from his dream. However, Shinnosuke gets frustrated by the fact that, held back by the difference in their class status, Matabe and Princess Ren don’t declare their mutual feelings of love. Matabe, who’s a warrior, tells Shinnosuke not to tell Princess Ren about his feelings for her. Declining a political marriage proposal with OKURAI Takatora of a neighboring state, Princess Ren instead yearns to live in the world Shinnosuke describes: a peaceful world where people can love freely.

    Meanwhile, Shinnosuke’s parents, who had been looking for him, travel through time themselves. The Nohara family is happy to be reunited. Staying at Matabe’s house, they struggle to return to the present day. Because Princess Ren has refused his marriage proposal, Takatora’s army invades the castle. Prepared for death, Matabe’s army fights back desperately and, after a difficult battle, defeats Takatora’s army, thanks partly to the support of Shinnosuke and others.

    The story is set in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, and in 2004, Shinnosuke was chosen to be the city’s official mascot. To mark the occasion, the Nohara family was issued with special resident cards. Their fictional registered address was 904, Futaba-cho, Kasukabe City. “Futaba-cho” comes from Futabasha, the name of the publisher of the original cartoon, and 904 – pronounced in Japanese as crayon “ku”, “re”, “yon” (9,0,4) – is a play on words.


    映画クレヨンしんちゃん 嵐を呼ぶアッパレ!戦国大合戦(原恵一 監督)








    Read More