Tsuchimoto Noriaki Memorial Service

I have been incredibly busy with my Japanese cinema class in Tokyo, so sorry for the lack of updates. 

I did want to write about the memorial service for Tsuchimoto Noriaki last Saturday. We arrived early at the Josui Kaikan in Jinbocho because my wife had been asked to help at the reception desk. And then more and more people arrived. In the end, the hall was packed with about 500 people and many had to stand. (See the photo in the lobby below.) Pretty much everyone in the documentary, and many in the fiction film world was there.

It was a nice service. Tsuchimoto's daughter showed photos of his last days, staff members like Otsu Koshiro talked about his work, and his elder sister made everyone laugh by kindly suggesting that there might have been a little exaggeration here and there in his description of their childhood life. Hani Susumu gave the toast at the end. At the event, they were selling copies of Tsuchimoto's last book, Dokyumentari no umi e, which is a thick interview book done with Ishizaka Kenji. Chock full of pictures and information, it is a must for anyone who wants to know about postwar Japanese film.

Tsuchimoto-san did not want a religious service and he preferred if we drank and laughed rather than prayed and cried. But his ashes were there in front of that famous shot of him on the sea. I brought my son and we lined up in front of Tsuchimoto-san's ashes. My son had only met Tsuchimoto-san when he was really small, but he put his hands together too. I thanked him for the wonderful and powerful work he left us. 

Update: My wife has released four of Tsuchimoto-san's works on DVD in the USA.


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