- December 23 2015
[Introduce Japanese Movies] Mood For Nostalgia Of Japan? Always Sunset on Third Street
Always Sunset on Third Street was released in 2005 and won various movie awards in Japan. Ms. Akie Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife, introduced this movie in Japan-India Friendship Year 2007 in New Delhi.
In 1958, people in an old town Tokyo were struggled in poverty but still, they had a strong and warm bond with their neighbors. This movie gives you a different view of Tokyo by showing old Japan.
The movie is about two “families.”
The first family is The Suzuki’s. The family runs a tiny automobile shop called Suzuki Auto. A young girl Mutsuko came from Aomori Prefecture to live and work with them. The Suzuki’s becomes four members: a father Norifumi, a mother Tomoe, their 4th grade son Ippei, and Mutsuko.
Rokuchan (nickname for Mutsuko) dreamed working a big company like TOYOTA, so she was disappointed to work in such a tiny auto shop. However, she has become like a true family member after spending time with The Suzuki’s over years.
Mutsuko means 6th child in Japanese. She believed that her parents sent her out to Tokyo to reduce mouths to feed, but Mutsuko realized her mother’s deep love in the movie.
The other family does not have any biological connection.
A guy named Chagawa is a not-yet-successful novelist who also runs a small candy store acroos the street from Suzuki Auto. He unwillingly adopted a kid Junnosuke- Chagawa couldn’t say no to a lady named Hiromi, who Chagawa has fell in love to. Junnosuke is not even her kid, he was an orphan.
Chagawa felt disturbed by Junnosuke at first, but they reached out to each other after Chagawa finding Junnosuke loves to read and his admirable heart. Chagawa has started to dream to live with Hiromi and Junnosuke in the future.
These two rough shaped families have both good and bad times which makes the movie truely lovable. You will think of your loved ones after the movie...
Background Of The Movie
The huge success of the movie must cause of its historic backdround.
As you know, Japan lost WW2 in 1945, the country was devastated including the capital Tokyo. 1958 is one of the years that Japan went through its rough time and made huge economic growth after the war.
Of course there was no smart phones, computers, or video games at that time, but the relationship of families and neighbors were thicker and deeper than recent days. More importantly, people had dreamed and hoped of Japan being as an advanced nation.
Japan is a very rich country, but its material affluence may have created thinner relationship to each other, and young people have become less ambitious.
This movie brought the importance of connection to the others and hope for the future to Japanese whom lives in such modern time by showing hard working people with big hearts. Its nostalgic picture in the movie made everyone’s heart warm.
Places With Connection
Tokyo Tower appears as the symbol of the nation’s recovery and economic growth in the movie. The most advanced screen technology brought the tower back as a partly-assembled look. This symbolic tower is shown many times in it. Characters in the movie find hope in this tower, and they strongly believe that tomorrow is better than today.
Old Town Area (1) Around Kamiyacho Station
The setting of the movie is in Atago, Minato-ku, Tokyo, which is around Kamiyacho Station in nowadays.
The area is not touristy, but it still has atmosphere of old Tokyo. You can find how locals live in the area.
Atago Shrine is one of few sites in the area to visit.
Old Town Area (2) Yanesen
Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi areas are called Yanesen Area in one word. The area is not the setting in the movie, but it has nostalgic atmosphere. You can find old and traditional townhouses and shopping street in the area.
Yanaka Ginza is a popular shopping street in the area. If you want to see how it is, please refer here.
The movie shows what Japanese people have valued and the nation’s steps to be one of the advanced countries in the world. It is a great movie to check out before you fly to Japan ;)
There are two sequels of the movie in 2007 and 2012. If you liked the first one, find the sequels, too!