Tell us about contemporary Japanese films, "Jidaigeki"

Making one's departure

Okuribito isn't exactly a Jidaigeki film, but since many samurai are sent to their great reward in the big castle in the sky Okuribito can be remotely related. In any case, it's an excellent film and if you haven't seen it you should. Watching it will give you a better understanding of the Japanese psyche regarding death and the departure we take from these earthly bonds.

Released in 2008 it won the award for best foreign language film (Oscar) and Japan Academy Prize for Picture of the Year at the 32nd Japan Academy awards.

The rituals shown in the film are seldom seen in the modern cities of Japan, but still hold sway in many parts of the countryside.

It's a good mixture of drama, comedy, and familial emotions. If you haven't seen it rent the DVD or check online. The film has English subtitles.

by Joe Peters

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