Seeing a film, “Equinox Flower (Higanbana)”

The other day I received an invitation from Ms. Fujiko Yamamoto for an event at SOGO Department Store in Yokohama.  Ms. Fujiko is a famous Japanese actress and we’ve known each other since she performed with my husband on his stage before.

I called my friend right away and we went along to the event.  The hall can accommodate approximately 600 guests and it was completely full.  This indeed proved to me that Ms. Fujiko is a highly recognized actress.

The film, “Equinox Flower (Higanbana)” is an old motion picture film directed by Yasujiro Ozu in 1960.  It was the very first Japanese motion film that was produced in full color.  The director chose the red color of equinox flower as a them color for the film.

In the very first scene when Ms. Fujiko appeared, she was in a plain kimono with a red lining inside.  She was running with short steps in that scene, where the red-colored lining was very impressive.

In the film were many other great actresses such as Kinuyo Tanaka, Ineko Arima, Yoshiko Kuga and many more.  Among all of them, Ms. Fujiko played a role as a daughter of a mother (played by Chieko Naniwa), who was the owner of a restaurant with an inn in Kyoto.  I think Ms. Fujiko’s performance was so excellent that she expressed a perfect image of the inn hostess’s daughter as pure and clever by having a very crisp way of speaking in Kyoto tongue.  It was totally different from being graceful and noble that Ms. Fujiko’s usual attraction.  I found her being not only beautiful but her dignity as a top-rank actress in this film.  Ms. Fujiko was awarded with Blue Ribbon Award for her performance in this film.

This film expressed feelings of fathers who have daughters in the marriageable ages.  I also realized that people used to intervene with lifestyles of young women in marriageable ages in those days, which eventually helped those girls to select appropriate partners.

Meanwhile, the film was set in the era around 1955 when young women started to be conscious of independency.  The plot of the film incorporates such new trend of the times with old-fashioned father-daughter relationship.  The nosy fathers got shocked being rejected by their daughters, but in the end they acknowledged choices and responsibilities their daughters decided to commit themselves to.

Marriage is like polishing brass to gold.  The grass always looks greener on the other side.  Don’t complain about your marriage life by saying yours is like brass while others’ are gold.  All marriages start on your call.  Polishing up your marriage life with your partner.  That is what the marriage is all about.  The implied messages in phrases may be gifts from Mr. Ozu to the audience.

The second part of the event was the Ms. Fujiko’s talk show.  She talked about how she spent her life with her late husband, Mr. Takeharu Yamamoto.  She told us how they spent as a genuine, brilliant gold-like couple; how they tried to brush up themselves for each other while loving each other, caring, respecting and supporting each other so as to overcome whatever hardships either of them had encountered.  She described it a wonderful life.

Ms. Fujiko Yamamoto is over 80 years old but she still has an incredible beauty surrounded by a brilliant and elegance aura.  Her talk with a lilt gave me a powerful impact and encouraged me to look back my life deeply once again.

After this event, I made up my mind that I would spend each day of the rest of my life without regretting making effort.  I felt tempted to step up as a person and find something new and happy each day.  I will keep smiles on my face and stay cheerful and gentle as much as possible.  It was such a precious day and I truly appreciate Ms. Fujiko.

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