April 28, 2012

Flowers in This Sky (Nagaoka Firework Story)/この空の花(長岡花火物語)


After I watched two TV programs introducing the movie, Kono Sora no Hana (Nagaoka Hanabi Monogatari), and this trailer on YouTube, I thought I just had to see it.
Kono = This
Sora = Sky
no = 's
Hana = Flower
Hanabi = Firework
Monogatari = Story
Note that the Japanese word for firework is hana + bi (flower + fire).
The movie is a semi-documentary one, depicting the history of Nagaoka Hanabi (Nagaoka Firework Show), but it's more than just that.  After I saw the movie yesterday, I had to do a lot of study today in an attempt to better understand the movie.  The movie covers a wide range of topics, ranging from Boshin War (the civil war before the Meiji Restoration), the philosophy of Kome Hyappyo (which emphasizes the importance of education), Nagaoka air raid, Pumpkin bomb, Yamashita Kiyoshi, who liked Nagaoka Hanabi, 2004 Chuetsu earthquake, and much more.
The first thing I learned from this movie is that Nagaoka Hanabi is not merely a tourist attraction; it is intended to commemorate the victims of wars and natural disasters and it's a prayer for peace.
While seeing the movie, I found myself weeping for no particular reasons, probably because of the stupidity of the human race, the strength of those who suffered, and the variety of other topics mentioned in the movie.
Nagaoka was among the first to accept evacuees from Fukushima and other prefectures after the Tohoku Earthquake on March 11, 2011.
Fireworks from Nagaoka were launched at the Honolulu Festival as described here.  Note that Yamamoto Isoroku, who was responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor, was born in Nagaoka.

映画「この空の花ー長岡花火物語」を紹介するテレビ番組と、YouTubeでこの予告編を見て、私はこの映画を見なければと思いました。
この映画は長岡花火の歴史を描いたセミドキュメンタリー映画ですが、単なるセミドキュメンタリー映画ではありません。昨日、映画を見て、今日はこの映画をもっと良く理解するため、色々と勉強をしました。この映画は、戊辰戦争(明治維新の前の内戦)、 米百俵(教育の重要性を説く)、長岡空襲擬似原子爆弾、長岡花火が好きだった山下清2004年の中越地震など様々な事柄に触れています。
私がこの映画から最初に学んだことは、長岡花火は単なる観光イベントではなく、戦争や自然災害の犠牲者を追悼するためのもので、また平和への祈りであるということです。
映画を見ながら、特に理由もなく泣いてしまいました。多分、人類の愚かさ、被災者の力強さなど、映画で触れられた色々なことのせいだと思います。
長岡は2011年3月11日の東日本大震災の後、いち早く、福島などからの避難者を受け入れました。
また、長岡の花火はここで述べられているように、ホノルル祭りに打ち上げられました。ちなみに、真珠湾攻撃を指揮した山本五十六は、長岡出身です。


17 comments:

Sissi said...

Wasn't there a film called Hanabi? (Kitano Takeshi if I remember well...) It's funny that I remember the title (it wasn't translated here) but had no idea what it meant!
Your film sounds very interesting. I realise I am very ignorant about the history of Japan.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Yes, HANA-BI.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hana-bi
You have good memory! I've totally forgotten about it! I knew of the movie, but it's not a type of movie I'd like to see.

Kono Sora no Hana is a totally different type of movie. It will make you think of just a lot of things, history, war, peace, love, hope, despair, hunger, anger, just to name a few.

Sissi said...

I imagine... Kitano Takeshi is a rather "light" film maker (but good although I'm not a fan of some of the kinds of films he makes: the ones with lots of violence and crime). I don't know if you know this one, but my absolute favourite was Zatoichi. I loved the sense of humour and the whole film was like a breath of fresh air.

Fräulein Trude said...

Very interesting movie - I am addicted to fireworks. But I am sort of a crybaby too. Cannot watch humans suffering (and animals) without feeling touched and in pain - worst if there are children involved. So documentaries and movies about the cruel realities of war and such are quite hard on me.

Concerning Takeshi: It was a pleasure to watch this movie:
菊次郎の夏 Kikujirō no Natsu

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I liked the original Zatoichi series on TV, but I've never seen the movie by Kitano.

Kiki: Nagaoka Hanabi (Firework Show) is one of the three greatest firework shows in Japan. Now that my son goes to a high school in Nagaoka, he says he wants to see it this summer. I hope to report on it if we make it to the show.

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I had no idea there was a Zatoichi series! I certainly learn a lot about Japanese series from you!
Kiki, I have just looked at the story and think I have never seen this film. I must rent it one day if I find it. Thanks for the idea.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi:
Zatoichi was played by Katsu Shintaro:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shintaro_Katsu
Just one episode of the Zatoichi series:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPnoceDTt8E&feature=related

okasan said...

「この空の花」は面白そうな映画で、機会あれば私も見たいんです!
私のきにいりの日本語映画は「菊次郎の夏」です。

Hiroyuki said...

okasanさん:
「この空の花」はとてもお薦めです!世界中の人に見てもらいたいです!

okasanさんも「菊次郎の夏」が好きなんですか?もしテレビでやれば、見てみます!

okasan said...

「菊次郎の夏」はこのリンクが見られます。
http://www.mysoju.com/japanese-movie/kikujiro/

私も一度見たいんです。

okasan said...

ホノルル祭りのリクはありがとうございました!とても綺麗な花火!長岡花火の歴史はわからないですが、
私も勉強をしようと思います。

ここには毎年の夏は国際花火競技大開があります。
今年、日本来る。。。かな!

YSC said...

Hi Hiroyuki, I love fireworks and can imagine what a touching movie it was. There's something so amazing about watching a big firework explode in the sky. I remember watching fireworks in Stockholm one summer. We were so close that the explosions seemed to shiver through our bodies. The whole sky was exploding -- a really unforgettable experience.

One of my favourite stories is "The Counterfeiter" by Inoue Yasushi. Have you read it? It's about a man who makes fireworks. Somehow that book stayed in my mind for a long time after I read it.

Hiroyuki said...

okasanさん: リンクをどうも!soju.comなど映画が見れるサイトのことをすっかり忘れていました。ゴールデンウィークの後半に見る時間があるといいのですが。

YSC: No, I don't think I have. I'm not even sure of the original Japanese title...

The movie is touching, informative, and above all, it will encourage you to study more about wars, atomic bombs, peace, and what you can do for the victims of natural disasters like the earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Fräulein Trude said...

Hiroyuki: I hope you really will find some time to watch the movie during golden week or later on. Would be interesting to get your opinion on this one. I think it is very funny (so very japanese) and heart warming too.
楽しんでください

okasan said...

良いゴールデンウィークを!

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, thank you for the links. I will watch it.

muskratbyte said...

This sounds interesting, I'll have to look for it.