“Tempura”, Mitsuko seeks her way


With a thirty-something metropolis woman as her heroine, director Akiko Ohku’s movie evokes the ultra-modern solitude and propriety of Japanese society.

Mitsuko, a thirty-something in Tokyo, lives solo; she cooks single, eats single

The heroine of "Tempura" is a thirty-year-old woman in Tokyo, Mitsuko, who has a semblance of a social life but in fact suffers from loneliness.
The heroine of “Tempura” is a thirty-year-old lady in Tokyo, Mitsuko, who has a semblance of a social life however in actual fact suffers from loneliness.

, in actual fact she does every part single. Firstly of “Tempura”, a movie by Japanese filmmaker Akiko Ohku (to be launched on July 20), she takes half in a workshop to make pretend tempura, pretend doughnuts that appear like the true factor. Again in her small residence, she places these objects on show, as a copy of the pretend life she leads.

Actually, Mitsuko has a semblance of a social life, she has a job and a co-worker for a pal and confidant. Her solely pal now lives in Italy, from the place she sends her limoncello that she sips alone. The little mannequin worker is discreet within the workplace, however in personal she is cheerful, which nobody actually is aware of. She generally takes on challenges, going alone to locations the place {couples}, households and associates often go. However she is afraid of every part, particularly flying, and it is going to be the last word take a look at, an actual expedition, when she agrees to go to Italy for Christmas.

The standing of the younger single lady

Mitsuko would merely prefer to be cherished, however she is blocked by her shyness, her neuroses, her inhibitions, the standing of the younger single lady, the conventions of Japanese society and workplace life. It takes her a while earlier than she admits that she is in love with a younger man, Tada, whom she has met within the firm, and who’s actually just a little youthful than her. On the probability of a gathering on the street, she provides to organize small dishes for him, a meal basket that Tada involves fetch whereas staying on the touchdown and that he takes to style, alone, in his so small residence. It will likely be a very long time earlier than she lastly invitations him to dinner one evening at her place, and even longer earlier than Tada invitations him to a terrific restaurant, and earlier than he makes his declaration on the steps of the Tokyo Tower.

As a result of it’s vital “to hook up with oneself earlier than connecting to the opposite”, says the director, Mitsuko’s relationship with Tada is the topic of lengthy conversations with… herself; the younger lady talks to herself, questions herself, she chats with a voice, her internal voice, an imaginary pal, a double with whom she exchanges on her life, her each day life, and doesn’t make any choice with out having exchanged. “You and I are one,” this voice assures her, as Mitsuko searches for her means. There’s something each pathetic and poetic in these intimate discussions.

Cooking serves as a hyperlink, a sharing, on this movie by Akiko Ohku, however “Tempura” evokes above all of the throes of ultra-modern solitude, the one that may drive one mad, the issue of sharing easy and honest human relationships, and the ache of feeling alone however nonetheless pretending.

Patrick TARDIT

“Tempura”, a movie by Akiko Ohku (launched on July 20).

Two “Tempura” for the value of 1: for each buy of the particular version of “Consuming Japan”, printed by Tempura Journal, obtain a ticket to see “Tempura”, the movie by Akiko Ohku.

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