A few hours after landing in Japan to revisit my grandmother’s hometown, I was asked to make a ‘day in the life of’ film about Onomichi.
This was my third trip to Japan and Onomichi after coming here for the first time while making the film, Obaachan’s Garden.
There is something about this town, which makes one breathe differently. Maybe it’s the Inland Sea air, or the light, the sounds or the people. Maybe it's the sounds, the people, the 25 ancient temples, the food or the narrow paths that wind up and down the mountainside.
It’s one of those creative spots in the world that attracts artists, musicians, painters, writers and filmmakers to come and do their work from all over Japan and the world.
The main characters from Yasujiro Ozu’s classic movie, Tokyo Story, are from Onomichi in this Ozu film that is often ranked number one in the history of world cinema. German filmmaker Wim Wenders spends time in Onomichi following Ozu’s path.
The famous poet-writer, Fumiko Hayashi (Vagabond’s Song and Floating Clouds) lived here when my grandmother was in high school here.
And art house director Nobuhiko Obayashi (House, Ten Kousei, Exchange Students) has made several films in Onomichi, which is also his hometown.
I always feel happy and inspired when I am here. So being offered to do this ‘one day in the life of Onomichi’ project was a surprise treat for me.
A Sense of Onomichi