On Saturday, September 10, the Japan America Student Association screened the 2010 Japanese film “A Boy and His Samurai.”
Movie-goers met in room 100 in Clark Hall on a warm Saturday afternoon to eat complimentary Japanese candy provided by JASA and enjoy the film. A comedic drama directed by Nakamura Yoshihiro, “A Boy and His Samurai” tells the quirky and heartwarming story of Hiroko, a divorced single mother whose life takes a turn for the unexpected when she finds a samurai from the Edo period wandering around her apartment complex.
The film provided moments of laugh-out-loud humor as viewers watched Yasubei the samurai discover the joys of desert-making.
After being magically transported to the year 2009 from his own time period, Yasubei must learn to adjust. After many comedic mishaps he begins to apply his disciplined ways to the work of household chores and child-rearing, much to the delight of Hiroko, a working woman who struggles to balance her job with raising her young son.
Many of those in attendance to see “A Boy and His Samurai” had also gone to see the first film shown in the Series, “Only Yesterday,” an animated feature about childhood that follows a 27-year-old office worker on a trip to the countryside.
Jerry Bates, audience member, has been enjoying the film series thus far. “I went to the showing last week too. [Because of work] I am going to start missing these, unfortunately, but I really like them.”
“When it started last semester, I started going. I went to the last film [Only Yesterday] and I really enjoyed that one too. I will definitely be going to the next ones,” Shelby Morris, sophomore, Japanese, said.
Shown on September 1, the first showing of the series garnered an audience of almost 50 members. Attendees packed into room 527 of Clark Hall to share pizza (provided by JASA) and watch a film together after classes had ended.
Though attendance for the Saturday showing was more modest, that fact only served to create a more relaxed, intimate movie-going experience for those in attendance. “Attendance was not that high that first semester, but the first showing [of this semester] went really well,” Daniel Hasemann, JASA president, said.
The Japanese Film Series will run all semester. Hasemann hopes the series will continue next year as well.
“This is our second semester doing it. I started it last semester,” said Hasemann. “I’ve always had an interest in international film and I’ve been studying Japanese. I really got into Japanese movies especially.”
Preceding the showing, tickets were on sale on the MSC bridge for five dollars each. “A Boy and His Samurai” was chosen by Hasemann specifically for the fundraising screening. “I tried to pick something that I thought a lot of people would like,” said Hasemann.
All money raised from the showing will be donated to the Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund. JASA, who held a fundraiser during the film series last semester as well, is pleased with the amount they were able to raise this time around.
Other films in the JASA’s fall 2011 Japanese Film Series include “The Human Bullet,” a 1968 film centered around a Japanese soldier assigned to a kamikaze mission in World War II.
“Mourning Forest,” a film from 2007, which follows a nurse and an elderly man suffering from dementia who find themselves lost in a forest together, both grieving individual losses of a loved one. These films will be shown on September 14 and December 7, respectively.
Seven more films will be shown throughout the rest of the semester. For more information on the Japanese Film Series, visit JASA’s Facebook page or look for flyers around campus.
The Association offers the UMSL student body a piece of culture that is often overlooked.
By: Sharon Pruitt, Staff Writer