Okuribito came out in 2008 in Japan but I only saw it last October. I had to do a post about this movie because it touched my heart. It is one of those must see movies, a classic I would say!!
It is the story of Daigo Kobayashi, a cellist in a Tokyo orchestra. He loses his job because of the dissolution of the orchestra. After quitting as a professional cellist he decides to sell his cello and move back to his old hometown, with his wife Sakata, Yamagata. One day he finds a classified advertisement for “Assisting departures” for an “NK Agency”. He goes to the job interview thinking it is for a job at a travel agency but discovers that NK is an abbreviation for “encoffinment” 納棺 nokan in Japanese and that he is instead to aid the “departed” by ceremonially preparing the dead in front of mourners before their bodies are placed in the coffin. The interviewer, the President of the NK Agency, immediately decides to hire Daigo after confirming that he is able to work hard. The salary is 500,000 yen per month with an extra 20,000 yen bonus for the interview. With no other job prospects, Daigo decides to accept the offer. However, when he comes home to his wife he finds himself unable to admit the type of work he will be doing so he dissembles, saying that he is to be employed in the ‘ceremonial occasions industry’, which his wife misunderstands as a wedding company.
I can’t tell you the rest of the story but it’s a beautiful movie, a life story and a wonderful example of ultimate respect.
The English version
It is one of the rare movies I would watch back from time to time.
Be sure to rent this movie. I like the Japanese original version better but it’s a personal choice.