The economic situation is parlous in a small metal factory on Japan’s eastern coast that produces parts for other companies. Ever since the tsunami struck, which also hit the industrial town of Hitachi, the workers are unmotivated, they harrass their Chinese colleagues. It’s only thanks to the creativity of skilled young worker Kenji that the company has landed another contract. Yet he dies in an accident on his very first day at the clients’ site. His colleague Takumi is to blame, who becomes the object of hatred for the whole workforce, as all take sides with Kenji’s widow Shiori. But she gradually develops sympathy for Takumi, her hatred turning over time into love. Atsushi Funahashi’s fourth feature film was supposed to be shot two years ago before the tsunami put an end to the project, leading the director to turn his attention to the disaster in Nuclear Nation. The finished film is clearly marked by the altered atmosphere in Japan. While the cherry blossoms referred to in the title represent purity in Japan, here they also symbolise transience. Beauty has rarely been so bleak.
by Atsushi Funahashi
with Asami Usuda, Takahiro Miura, Yo Takahashi, Yurei Yanagi, Taro Suwa