Cast (Credited cast)
- Yûko Tanaka ... Kiyoko Koyama
Shunsuke Kubozuka ... Kenichi Koyama
Eri Ishida ... Sachiko Kuratsune
Ittoku Kishibe ... Rihei Ishii
Chizuru Ikewaki ... Midori Nagasaka
Asuka Kurosawa ... Mizuka Ushiyama
Kyôko Toyama ... Kumiko Koyama
Rei Yoshii ... Nagisa Hamaoka
- Directed by: Banmei Takahashi
- Produced by: Ken Koide, Keiko Kusakabe
- Runtime: 114min
- Country: Japan 2005
- Language: Japanese
- Genre: Drama
- Color: Color
- Sound Mix: Stereo
- Original Music By: Shigeru Umebayashi
Hibi (Shunsuke Kubozuka and Yuko Takahashi)
Hibi turned out to be a fantastic and unique movie. Director Banmei Takahashi did a very nice job. Hibi is a genuine movie with a documentary touch.
Hibi tells about family of Koyama. The mother Kiyoko does pottery and prefers to live simple life, concentrating on pottery, while growing her children up. She discovers an ancient method to make pottery in her own tunnel kiln.
Her son Kenichi becomes her student. She is a hard teacher, smashing his son's attempts, telling him to concenterate more. Soon Kenichi falls in love with young Midori Nagasaka (Chizuru Ikewaki), choosing to accept her as his apprentice.
But then, Kenichi falls down with leukemia. Nothing is ever going to be same again.
Koyama family starts to fight hard to find a donor who has a matching bone marrow. They start a committee to find a donor. But it is a hard task. They even ask the Mayor of Shigaraki to help. Eventually, their efforts bear a fruit when bone marrow bank is started. But can they find a matching bone marrow for Kenichi before it's too late?
The movie is unique and beautiful story about life, but at the same time, very hard and realistic movie. Other themes of this movie are ambition and creation. Kiyoko's family is poor as there is not much income from pottery alone. To get by, the mother fries the edges of bread for food.
Eccentric character of the mother Kiyoko, (Yuko Tanaka) is fantastic. She conveys so much. Such powerful female characters haven't seen in Japanese movies since eighties. I was really impressed about Yuko Tanaka's acting. She was very natural as determined artist who never gives up. She won many awards from this movie as best actress, such as Hochi Film Award and Kinema Junpo Award.
Shunsuke Kubozuka also impressed me. (His brother Yosuke also convinced me in movie "Go") His acting is simple but natural. I really wish to see him in future movies.
Maybe the message of this movie would be that living and dying exist in this world not as opposite, but as a parallel forms. Everything which has a form will eventually break down, whether it's piece of art of pottery, or a human life.
The movie takes place in Shigaraki (Shiga prefecture), the birthplace of the unglazed ceramics Shigaraki-yaki.