Morning for the Osone Family

MORNING FOR THE OSONE FAMILY

Keisuke Kinoshita’s Morning for the Osone Family (1946) probably couldn’t get made today. It’s an anti-WWII film that exposes how the military and government squelched free speech and exploited citizens even when Japan was at a point when it was clear they were bound to lose.

Curiously, the film begins with the Osone family celebrating Christmas and singing “Silent Night.” After some chit chat, the eldest son is summoned by law enforcement and is soon imprisoned for writing an article that subtly questioned Japan’s militarism.

It’s a big hit for a family whose father died a while back. The mother has tried to live up to the father’s pacifist philosophy. She continues to support her second son, who’s a struggling artist, and her daughter who wants to marry for love, but now that her fiancé has been drafted, is getting pressured by her uncle to marry a scion he’s lined up.

The family unity continues to dissolve. The painter gets drafted and the daughter goes to work in an army support job. The uncle, who’s an officer and very pro-war moves into the family home with his haughty wife. Their presence, and particularly their lavish lifestyle enjoying black market goods, while most citizens starve, sickens the mother and daughter. The final straw is when the uncle urges the youngest son, who’s still in high school, to enlist in the army.

Morning for the Osone Family offers a beautiful, moving view of history. My hunch is few Japanese have seen this film, but they should. We should too. I’m glad I did.

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Sepia Saturday

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Dance is this week’s Sepia Saturday theme and I have found all kinds of different dances and dancers. Enjoy!

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Dancing in an Egyptian Tomb, National Archives of Estonia, 1910

I’m not convinced that’s a real tomb.

Ruth St. Denis (above) was an early pioneer of modern dance. She taught Martha Graham.

You can see more dancing posts by clicking here.

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Japanese high school girls learning to dance – 1926

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Midsummer Dance, Swedish Heritage Board, 1931

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VFW Hall Dance, US National Archives, 1946

Patema Inverted

Patema Inverted has a strange premise that kept playing with my mind. In this Japanese sci-fi-fi anime, there are two worlds one civilization inhabits the surface of the earth and gravity effects them like it does us. It’s a society that demands conformity and does not allow people to question the status quo. We see this in the robotic school children who ride conveyor belts into their schools and all have the same blank expression on their faces. The only rule breaker is Age (pronounced ah-gay) whose father was an inventor who tried to build a kind of flying machine and when testing it met with dire consequences.

Patema lives underground in the other civilization where gravity works in the other direction. In this artful dystopia, people stand on the ceiling (in terms of our orientation) and things fall up. The two civilizations are off limits to each other. In fact the elders of each just prohibit any inquiry into societies other than their own. One day, Patema sets off exploring as her older friend Lagos has. By accident, she finds herself in Age’s world and the only way she can stay put is to either hold on to Age by the waist, which lifts him off the ground, but prevents her from flying through the sky indefinitely or by standing on a ceiling.

In this totalitarian society, the dictator realizes someone from the other world has entered and most of the film is his evil chase to get Patema and then destroy her people.

The film’s background art was stunning. The concept was interesting, but often melodramatic. The evil leader was just too hokey for me.

Which Way Challenge

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Phnom Penh

The Which Way Challenge, that Cee began, has been picked up by the Sonofthebeach69 blogger.  The beauty of it is that it’s very free form. You can include images of doors, gates, roads, streets exits, signs, paths, waterways, you name it.

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London

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Kyoto

Join the fun. Share some directionally oriented photos and link to Sonofthebeach69 so we can find them. Include the image below.

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Halloween Starbucks Drinks in Japan

Simon and Martina take one for the team and test the Halloween-themed Starbucks drinks.

We’ve got a special Witches’ Brew Starbucks drink but though it looks funky, I don’t need the calories or the expense so they’ll be the ones to give the vicarious thrill.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Places People Go

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Peoria Civic Center

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Sydney Opera House

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of Places People Go.

Join the fun.

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Junior High School


 

If you want to see more fun photos, click here.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Red

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Jinan

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Beijing

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Pekanbaru Indonesia

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Chicago

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Kyoto, Japan

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that feature red, one of my favorite colors. Join the fun.

If you want to see more fun photos, click here.

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