Tea ceremony tale launches 2020 Japanese films

A scene from Every Day a Good Day - the first of this year's Japanese film series screening monthly at the Auckland campus, Albany (photo credit/@2018 Every Day a Good Day Production Committee).

A young woman discovering the intricacies of the ancient tea ceremony is the theme of a 2018 Japanese film to screen in February – the first of 2020’s free monthly Japanese films at Massey University’s Auckland campus in Albany.

Every Day a Good Day depicts the protagonist learning important life lessons through the tea ceremony, based on essayist Morishita Noriko's top-selling book. 

The film is directed by Omori Tatsushi, of The Ravine of Goodbye, and stars Haru Kuroki of The Little House, with co-star Kiki Kilin of Shoplifters. 

At the recommendation of her mother, 20-year-old Noriko (Kuroki) and her cousin Michiko (Tabe Mikako) start taking tea ceremony lessons with Takeda, who has a reputation for being an extraordinary teacher. At first, Noriko is confused by the intricate rules, but after two years she comes to realise the profundity of the tea ceremony.

This movie was awarded in the 2018 Busan International Film Festival, A Window on Asian Cinema.

The intricacies of the ancient tea ceremony are at the heart of Every Day a Good Day (photo credit/@2018 Every Day a Good Day Production Committee).

Story of lunch turned into movie

Dad’s Lunch Box, the March film, is based on a true story and features Midori (Takeda Rena), who ate the lunch in her bento box (Japanese-style lunch box) made for her by her father every day for the three years she attended high school. On her very last day of school, Midori finds a photo of her first lunch along with a hand-written note from her Dad. 

The story was re-tweeted by 80,000 people at the time and liked by 260,000 people on Twitter. The 2017 film was directed by Masakuzu Fukatsu.

Preceding the main feature each month is a short documentary on life and culture in Japan, which starts at 6.15pm. The monthly movies – with English sub-titles – are presented thanks to the Consulate-General of Japan in Auckland and the Japan Foundation. The film series provides an opportunity for New Zealanders to gain insights into the culture, customs, and traditions of Japan through film, says Yuko Wiles, from the Information and Cultural Section of the Consulate-General.

Dr Mitsue Tabat-Sandom, a lecturer of Japanese language in the School of Humanities, says, “I hope this free movie programme will enable members of the Albany community to feel the Japanese culture close, in this special year of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

Event details:

Every Day a Good Day (rated G, 130 mins)

Time and date: 6.30pm on Wednesday, 5 February.

Venue: Sir Neil Waters Lecture Theatre 100, Albany campus, Gate 1, Albany Expressway.


Dad’s Lunch Box (rated G, 76 mins)

Time and date: 6.30pm on Wednesday, 4 March.

Venue: QB 5/Quad Block lecture theatre, Albany campus, Gate 1, Albany Expressway. 

Admission is free and bookings are not required – please feel free to bring your own snacks. Parking is free and available on campus.

For more information on Japanese film screenings, please visit this site.

Information on campus maps and parking is available here.

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