Re: Japanese Film “IKIRU” (生きる) or “To Live”, Directed by Akira KUROSAWA (黒澤 明)

[In English]

It was a national holiday, Coming-of-Age Day, today in Japan. Since it was cold and occasionally snowing, I decided to watch the Old Japanese movie on TV, which is known as one of the representatives by KUROSAWA. The production was made in 1952, the same year as I was born, so many cast were long-forgotten faces and almost have already passed away. The scene was a city government office in those days, which was filled with a way of thinking to concede to anything to avoid trouble, or shallow sectionalism. The main character himself was being carried away for a long time with the “unproductive mood” too, until he noticed he got a cancer.

The film was relatively long, 143 minutes, during when I laughed at the characters’ natural plays which I would see similar scenes when I was still a boy. At the same time, I was also moved to tears when the main character repeatedly asked his surrounding divisions’ manager and the top of the city to move a plan forward, with a daily weakening body.

He died after the plan completed, but all the local people weepingly thanked the section manager at his funeral for his “productive” contribution, which is thought to be a real job as a civil servant.


They say that the movie remake will be released soon in the US.

[In Japanese]

今日、日本は「成人の日」の祝日でした。 時折雪が舞い散る寒い日だったので、黒沢監督の代表作の一つとして知られているこの古い名作映画をテレビで見ることにしました。 この作品は私が生まれたのと同じ1952年に作られたとのことなので、キャストの中には懐かしい顔ぶれが多く、すでに亡くなっている方も少なくありません。 この映画は、“ことなかれ主義”や上っ面の“縄張り主義”がはびこっている当時の市役所が舞台となっています。 そしてこの主人公自身も、30年間もの長い間、「多忙だ、多忙だ」と言いながらも、ハンコを押すだけの決まりきった“非生産的な毎日”に流されていました。自分自身の身体が癌に侵されているということを自覚するまでは。

この映画は143分と比較的長いものでした。私がまだ少年だった頃に似たような場面を見た登場人物たちのふるまいに思わず笑ってしまいました。 それと同時に、日々衰えていく身体でよろけながらも、周囲の部門や市の助役へ住民が要望している計画を進めるよう繰り返し訴える主人公の姿に涙が溢れました。



The Poster of the Film (映画のポスター)

The Section Manager of Citizens, played by Takashi SHIMURA [志村 喬] (志村喬が演じた市民課長)

One Famous Scene When the Manager is Singing a Song at the Children’s Park He Drove Forwards (自分が推進してきた児童公園で「ゴンドラの唄」を歌う主人公:有名な一シーン)

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