Tag Archives: Japan

Raiou / The Lightning Tree (2010) Ryuichi Hiroki, Yû Aoi, Masaki Okada, Pîtâ, Romance

Raiou AKA The Lightning Tree (2010)
Set during the Edo Period, a young man from a noble family meets a young woman under a special tree called “Raiou” (the tree was struck by lightning at one time with the broken part eventually sprouting out cherry blossoms). The young woman lived freely in the mountains after she was abducted as a young child. The couple soon fall in love under the Raiou tree, but become acutely aware of their different social positions & the ramifications it has on their relationship.

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Yasha / Demon (1985) Yasuo Furuhata, Ken Takakura, Ayumi Ishida, Hisamitsu Nakamura, Drama, Crime

Yasha (1985)
Retired yakuza gangster Shuji (Ken Takakura) moves back from Osaka to a remote coastal village to start a new life as a fisherman with his family, his arrival from the city coinciding with that of the beautiful bar hostess Keiko (Yuko Tanaka, who provided the voice of Lady Eboshi in Princess Mononoke). Keiko’s new bar, as its name Hotaru (‘firefly’) suggests is soon acting as a magnet for all the local fishermen, much to the chagrin of their wives. Not soon after the arrival of Keiko’s roguish lover Yajima (Kitano), also an ex-mobster, the locals are drawn into a host of collective vices including gambling and all-night drinking sessions. After a truly stand-out scene in which Yajima runs rampage through the village on a heroin-induced spree with a carving knife, he is run out of town by Shuji, but not before slashing Shuji’s shirt open during the fracas to reveal the tattoo of a woman’s face upon his back. With Shuji’s gangster past now revealed he finds himself ostracised by the local community and drawn towards the sympathetic character of the bar hostess with whom he shares a common past. When Yajima rears his ugly head one more time in order to borrow money from Keiko to pay off a debt to the yakuza, it is to Shuji that she turns for help, threatening to upset his domestic apple cart and pitch him back towards his old life.

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Rape Shot Momoes Lips (1979) Katsuhiko Fujii, Minako Mizushima, Yûko Asuka, Noriaki Abe, Crime, Erotic

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Toru, a down and out tabloid reporter is looking for his next “big” story. In order to get paid decent money in the supermarket rag business, you need to find controversy! The elusive “Momoe” is forbidden fruit, so he sets his sights on Miki Yoko, an up and coming young singing sensation. She’s young and beautiful and Toru thinks her record company is pumping her full of drugs. He will do anything to get a story, even assaulting her and tailing her everywhere she goes. One night, she is kidnapped right in front of him and, with his reporter instincts at work, Toru’s life spirals into a torrid world of sex, drugs, and corruption in the entertainment business. In his quest for a huge story, will he come out unscathed?

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Honey and Clover (2006) Masahiro Takada, Shô Sakurai, Yû Aoi, Yûsuke Iseya, Romance

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5 college age art students become close friends as they share common interests in the field of art. The newest member of their group is Hagu. She is the niece of an art professor at the university and is known as a child prodigy. Immediately two of her friends grow to like her, Takemoto and Morita. Morita is the type that lives life on the edge, is extremely confident and talented in art. When Morita gets to spend time alone with Hagu, he expresses his feelings to her by kissing her suddenly. His friend and neighbor in the dormitory is Takemoto. He is more withdrawn, not as talented in art, and, even though he is in love with Hagu, tries to act like a friend to her.

The other two friends are Mayama and Yamada. Yamada is in love with Mayama, but Mayama is in love with an older woman, who is also his boss at work.

As they all grow closer together, they must cope with the unpredictable nature of love, as well as find their own respective places in life.

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El regalo de la Pachamama / The Gift of Pachamama (2008) Toshifumi Matsushita, Christian Huaygua, Luis Mamani, Faniy Mosques, Drama

El regalo de la Pachamama (Toshifumi Matsushita, 2008)
Kunturi is a 13-year old boy living a traditional life with his family near Uyuni, a salt lake. They cut bricks of salt by hand, which they use to exchange for other products of the the Andes. One spring, his father takes him on his first caravan. That travel will teach him who he is as a young boy and a Quechua. By the end, he discovers what his grandfather means by “the gift of Pachamama”.

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