Madadayo (1993)

Produced by DAIEI STUDIOS,
General Producers - YASUYOSHI
He's coming!
All rise.
Be seated.
Someone's been smoking.
Smoking is forbidden
in the classroom.
that just makes you want
to do it all the more.
When I'm
in the faculty room...
and I hear the bell
and begin heading to class,
I suddenly
feel the urge to smoke.
I light a cigarette.
Then, despite myself,
I light another, and another.
So I'm always
20 to 30 minutes late.
But Professor,
what happened today?
It's been more than 30 years
since people began
calling me "professor."
During that time,
like water running
from an open faucet
onto a dirt floor
and into a ditch,
students have drifted away
before my eyes, year after year.
It's impossible to remember
each and every face.
there's one among them
that I remember vividly.
That face belongs to a boy
who slept through class
with his eyes open.
that master snoozer
was your father.
By the way, gentlemen...
today's the last day
for me to be called "professor."
As of today...
I am resigning
my professorship.
my writings
have found a market.
I can make a living off them.
That's not to say...
that I dislike teaching.
But as they say, "He who chases
two hares catches neither,"
so I'm quitting teaching.
Even if you quit,
you'll still be our professor.
My dad graduated from this school,
and so did his friends.
To this day
they still call you Professor.
They also say you're pure gold.
Pure gold?
A lump of gold
with no impurities.
I guess they mean
you're a true professor.
You're our German professor,
but I feel you've taught us
a lot of other
very valuable lessons.
TOKYO, 1943
From a distant island
Whose name I don't know
A lone coconut
Drifts ashore
You left the shore of your home...
This is the house
our professor moved into
after he quit teaching.
Ma'am, put the professor
away somewhere.
He's in the way.
Put that in the front hallway.
I plan to turn the hallway
into my study.
While I work
I'll also be the gatekeeper,
protecting the house
from invasion
by riffraff like you gentlemen.
I wonder if it'll be all right.
The rent here is cheap
for such a nice house.
I knew something was fishy.
When I went to buy these noodles,
the shop lady told me
that this house
gets broken into a lot.
Nobody lives here for long.
It stood vacant
for quite a while.
Who cares about burglars?
There's nothing
worth stealing here.
Still... I'm a bit frightened.
Don't worry.
Nobody will break in.
I'm certain of it.
I've been afraid of burglars
ever since I was a child,
so I've tried to find ways
to keep them out.
I've devised a sure-fire method.
Really, sir?
Yes, really.
One o'clock.
The dead of night,
when burglars come out.
I'll go over this wall
and open the wicket.
You go in through there.
Wait a minute.
Aren't we acting like burglars?
I thought we were worried
about what his wife said,
so we're here to check
his precautionary measures.
How can we check them
unless we really try to break in?
Look at that.
What a joke!
"Don't worry," he said.
"Just leave it to me," he said.
It's unbelievable.
BURGLAR'S EXI Score one for him.
I stole this to get even.
Isn't that his hat?
He wore this as an army instructor.
He shouldn't need it anymore.
I'll keep it as a memento.
It'll make a fine family heirloom.
What about the wicket?
What about it?
It's still unlocked.
You have to climb over, lock it,
then climb back.
It's risky leaving it like that.
Really? All right.
Get down!
- What is it?
- Someone's coming.
Oh no! It's a cop!
Is it okay leaving it
open like that?
Any burglar who saw those signs
would rush right out.
He's really something.
Yeah, pure gold.
We got your invitation,
and we all decided to come.
Come right in.
We can't with you sitting there.
You look like a scribe
or fortune-teller.
What can I say?
I'm a man of letters.
He uses these to beat
visitors away at the door.
Not to mention that
anybody who reads this will run away.
A waka poem by Nampo Ota.
"In this world of ours /
A visitor at your door / Is really a pain
Having said that, however /
That does not apply to you."
By our host:
"In this world of ours /
A visitor at your door / Is a true pleasure.
Having said that, however /
That does not apply to you."
Come in.
Is it good like that?
There are only five cushions,
so only I will use one.
I think
that's rude to your guests,
but oh well!
What do you mean, "rude"?
You barge into my house
and pull out my sliding doors.
What kind of guests are you?
Professor, today isn't a visiting day.
Why did you invite us?
Today is a special day.
A special day?
The day I finally become
a genuine old geezer.
Today is my 60th birthday.
I've turned 60.
Is that true?
If we'd known,
we'd have thrown a huge party.
No, none of that.
We're at war.
This is no time for birthday parties.
I'd have forgotten
about it myself
if not for some venison
my relatives back home sent me.
I thought it would be
a good idea
to knock back a drink with you
over some venison.
We pitched in
for some beer and sake.
I appreciate that.
By the way,
how many of you are there here?
Sixteen, sir.
I wonder if we have
enough pots and stoves.
If not, we'll go buy some.
Oh, sorry.
Happy birthday!
Please make yourselves
I sit this way because
it's most comfortable for me.
Please start cooking
your venison.
Ma'am, please join us.
Don't worry about her.
Actually, she can't.
She's never eaten horse meat.
Horse meat, sir?
Isn't this venison?
We got a whole lot of venison,
more than
the two of us could eat,
so I decided to invite you.
But considering
how big your stomachs are,
I realized it was quite
a meager amount.
Venison stew
is a rare delicacy,
but adding horse to the stew
adds a nice linguistic twist.
The characters for "horse"
and "deer" together mean "stupid."
I get it, sir.
You're calling us stupid.
Don't get me wrong.
Beef, pork, and chicken
are hard to come by now.
I happened to hear
that horse meat was available.
How "dear"
I thought it would be
to garnish the venison stew
with some horse.
I set out for a butcher's
quite far from here
and bought this horse meat.
What a tale of heroism!
For his beloved students,
an aged man whipping
his old bones to buy horse meat.
Just picture it.
Like the graduation song:
"We stand in awe
of our teacher's kind favor."
what's more, I found myself
in an awkward situation
at the butcher's.
That horse
was a charger
I had known quite well
at the military academy
where I taught.
It stared at me
with narrowed eyes as if to say...
"What in the world
are you buying there, sir?"
I was so ashamed.
I wished the ground
would open up and swallow me.
By the way, gentlemen...
horses have big eyes,
don't they?
Well, let's eat.
The meat should be ready.
Professor, your odd tale
made me lose my appetite.
Just imagine it's all venison.
the two meats are all mixed up.
You can't tell which is which.
Bon appetit!
It's good.
It really is delicious!
If the lights go out
in an air raid,
this "stupid stew" will turn
into a "blind stew."
I hate air raids.
I don't like turning off the lights.
I've been afraid of the dark
since I was little.
I even have to sleep
with the lights on.
- Even now, sir?
- Yes.
Aren't you afraid of the dark?
- Of course not.
We aren't kids anymore.
What's so scary about the dark?
You gentlemen are impossible.
Why's that?
Anyone not afraid of the dark
is a deeply flawed human being.
You lack imagination.
Take a proper human being.
He can't see
anything in the dark,
so he imagines
that there's something there.
He doesn't know
what's lurking there.
It might pose a threat.
That's why he's afraid.
It's quite obvious.
In my case...
if I hear there are
raccoon dogs somewhere,
everyone I meet there
begins to look like a raccoon dog.
Or rather, I suspect
the raccoon dogs have disguised
themselves as humans.
It's only natural
for a normal person with imagination.
It may be natural for you
because you're pure gold,
but for us -
To the pure gold professor!
We stand in awe
Of our teacher's kind favor
How quickly
the years have passed
In this garden of learning
How quickly they've passed
The months and years
And now we say...
Our professor's house
was one of those burned down
in the air raids.
This was the professor's
next house.
It won't all fit in.
Thanks for coming.
My, my.
The most important thing of all.
Indeed, like rain in a drought.
May I put this bag there?
You coming inside?
There are too many people.
- Are you all right?
- I can't budge.
Now I know
how canned sardines feel.
- Anything to pass over here?
- Yes, this.
- Watch your head.
- Don't worry about that head.
Would you take this too?
Ma'am, if you need anything,
please let us know.
Thank you very much, everyone.
We're always such a bother.
Not at all.
I want an umbrella.
Keep that one, sir.
Our washroom
is that new building over there.
It has no roof.
So on rainy days like today,
we can't use it.
this place is a little -
We have to find them
another place.
It's a miracle this place
didn't burn down.
Finding it was an unexpected
stroke of good luck.
Besides, the owner's
an acquaintance. A baron.
- What's a "baron"?
- A nobleman.
- He lived here?
- Don't be an idiot.
This was...
the shack for the baron's
elderly groundskeeper.
His mansion and our house
burned down at the same time.
That morning,
when we fled our home,
we found this shack
and decided to rest here.
The baron came
to inspect the remains.
I asked him if we could rent it.
"Absolutely," he replied.
We were very lucky.
You're familiar with this, aren't you?
Yes, sir.
Books are so heavy.
I fled with this one book,
my favorite.
The author, Kamo no Chomei...
lived in the capital
during the Heian Era.
He experienced many calamities
such as war, fire and famine.
He grew weary
of the impermanence of worldly things
and secluded himself
in a hut in the mountains.
Recently, I must say,
I've come to understand
exactly how he felt.
For the time being,
I intend to settle down here
and think of it
as a hut like his.
Well, gentlemen,
I wish I could invite you in,
but I'm afraid I can't.
It's crowded enough
with just my wife and me.
Don't worry.
Care for a cigarette, Professor?
We had so many birds,
but most burned to death.
My wife said that
if we couldn't take them along,
we should
at least set them free.
But a bird freed
from its cage at night
would just fly right
into the fire.
If they're going to burn anyway,
they might as well meet
their fate in their familiar cages,
so we left them behind.
This white-eye
was caught by a neighborhood child
and given to us.
It must have fallen
from its nest.
It was just
a tiny fledgling at first.
Since my wife had raised it
from the very beginning,
she refused to let it die
and ran out clutching the cage.
What you see here
is all we could take with us.
But you know,
the only resemblance between
this hut and the one in the Hojoki
is that it's small.
It lacks that elegance.
There isn't the sound
of clear mountain water
running through bamboo pipes.
The only sound of water here
is that of people urinating
against that clay wall.
But really...
why does everyone
pee in the same place?
They all do it right there.
The "No Urinating" sign
has no effect.
Even a picture of a shrine
isn't enough.
Well, I came up with an idea.
I devised a special
good-luck charm.
I think it just might work.
Go take a look.
It's on the other side
of the wall.
Oh no!
It's brilliant!
The one thing you don't want chopped off.
- He's a genius at these things!
The rainy season
should be ending.
That reminds me.
You think the professor's all right?
Where's the professor?
You see how he is.
He's hopeless
once it begins to rumble.
That's why I always keep
this lucky incense on hand
to ward off lightning.
You brought
so much stuff here,
so I hesitate to say this,
but people accumulate too many
things in the course of living.
Everything burned in the air raid.
It actually lightened the burden.
But even in this hut,
things have begun to pile up.
I sometimes wish the B-29s
would pay us another visit.
Still, it's a relief
that the war's over.
I wonder.
I feel just the opposite.
How has anything become easier?
At least we had food rations
during the war, however meager.
Now they're gone...
and we're reduced
to living like beggars.
Long ago,
when I was a kid,
we had a vacant lot behind our house.
We built a hut there
out of bamboo and straw.
I just loved sitting in it.
When my grandmother
found me there,
she couldn't stop crying.
"What in the world
is this boy doing?
He'll surely grow up
to be a beggar."
She wept and wept.
And now...
it's exactly as she said.
What are you saying?
Didn't you want to be like Chomei?
Have you forgotten his spirit?
This isn't like you.
"The flowing river never stops,
and the water is never the same as before.
Bubbles floating on stagnant pools
form and disappear.
They never linger for long.
So it is with the people
and dwellings of this world."
I understand.
It's just an old man's grumbling.
I apologize.
Actually, that's what
we've come to talk about.
We can't have you
living here forever.
We all plan to build a house
for you somewhere.
Nonsense. I won't let you.
Of course,
it won't be right away.
We'll have a concrete plan
by the first "Not Yet Fest" next year.
What is this "Not Yet Fest"?
It's a party
celebrating your birthday.
We decided to call it that
since you're not likely to die soon.
Like in hide-and-go-seek.
"Ready?" "Not yet."
Hence "not yet," or maada.
Ma from the goddess
and A and Da
from the Amida Buddha.
Isn't that a great name?
I guess it is.
Ready yet?
Ready yet?
Here I am.
It's a genuine
Johnny Walker bottle,
but the contents are different.
I got it
from a pharmacist friend.
It's medical alcohol
with green tea
and raw sugar mixed in.
It doesn't taste that good,
but it packs a punch.
Yes, I must say
I'm beginning to feel good.
when we were students,
we often got drunk with you,
and you led us
in a lot of mischief.
We'd switch nameplates
on houses.
And when he sobered up,
he'd make us put them back again.
Thank you.
By the way, Professor,
what kind of house do you want?
Japanese or Western style?
As I already said,
I won't allow it.
Professor, don't act
as if we're strangers.
Now that the war is over,
major publishers are reopening.
One of them is offering
to pay for the right
to publish your works.
Leave it to us.
There's a piece of land
we're considering now.
We could make a small garden.
What kind would you like?
I'd like a pond.
A pond?
A garden pond?
A large one wouldn't fit,
but a small one should be possible.
Not too small.
I'd like to keep some fish,
but fish all swim
in the same direction.
If the pond is too small,
they'll constantly be curving
in the same direction.
It'd be a shame
if their backs got bent.
The fish's backs?
How about this?
Make the whole garden a pond.
That'd be a lot of work.
In that case,
make the circumference
as large as possible...
and build
an island in the middle.
A doughnut-shaped pond.
You come up
with the strangest ideas.
Ordinary fellows like us
can't keep up.
He's genuinely concerned
about the fish's backs.
He's extraordinary.
He's a child
and always will be.
Now I see.
That's why you fell in love with him.
- Don't be silly.
- Don't hide it.
Now that I think about it,
that's what we like about him too.
That's why it's fun
to be around him.
Isn't that right, ma'am?
The moon is out.
The moon is out
The moon is out
Round, round
Perfectly round
I love old songs.
Like Henri Rousseau's paintings,
so innocent and unaffected.
I love songs of the old days.
Professor, during the war
we forgot about the beautiful things
in life like the moon.
The moon is out
The moon is out
Round, round
Perfectly round
Round as a platter
"How many houses
have been lost
in the constant fires?
Only a makeshift hut
remains tranquil
and free of worry.
Though small,
there is place to sleep at night
and sit by day,
enough to shelter one person."
THE FIRST "NOT YET" FES To celebrate
our professor's 61st birthday,
we hereby begin
the first Not Yet Fest.
Under the Allied occupation,
food and alcohol
are not easy to come by.
Luckily, thanks to
our members' tireless efforts,
we are able to hold this banquet.
As chairman,
let me voice my appreciation
to all of you
who've worked so hard.
Now for a word
from our professor,
after which we'll ask him
to down that huge glass
of beer in one go
as we toast in his honor.
Dear friends and students,
thank you all
for inviting me here tonight.
Thank you
for setting aside time -
though some of you
clearly aren't busy -
in your busy schedules
to attend
this wonderful gathering.
"Is the old goat dead yet?"
Seems to be the driving question
behind this Not Yet Fest.
"Ready to die yet?"
You seem to be asking.
I have come to say,
"Not yet."
Though this party was perhaps
in expectation of an affirmative,
please ask me again next year
and the year after,
"Ready yet?"
Of course, one day
I will surely respond,
"Yes, I am."
I'm quite well-prepared
for that eventuality.
The person to my right
has taken care of me for years.
He is my physician,
Dr. Kobayashi.
He will sign
my death certificate.
This gentleman on my left,
known to all of you
as a classmate,
continued in the family line
of business
and is now a priest at a temple.
Reverend Kameyama
will administer the last rites
after I die.
In any case,
I'm about to empty
this large glass of beer
in one go.
So even if I die on the spot,
there's nothing to worry about.
Not yet!
Happy birthday!
Gentlemen, before you're too drunk
to know what you're saying,
let's have a speech
from each of you.
Keep them short and simple.
Long live the professor!
That was too short.
Congratulations should be short.
It's eulogies that are long.
I am deeply grateful
to the professor.
When we staged the opera Faust
in German under his guidance,
I was given a wonderful role.
I will never forget
that grand occasion.
Did you play Mephistopheles?
No, sir.
I played the eternal virgin with whom
Faust fell in love - Marguerite.
I'm bad at giving speeches,
so I'll recite all the station names
from Kushiro to Kagoshima.
- Express stops?
- No, local.
This should be something!
Kushiro, Shin-Fuji, Otanoshige,
Shoro, Shiranuka, Onbetsu...
We'll leave him to it.
I don't understand
why today is an auspicious day.
I guess it's because
the professor is still alive.
I'm still alive too,
but I don't think that's too auspicious.
Tell me, Your Holiness -
I'm not the head of a sect.
Then... Your Eminence.
Still too much.
Your Reverence.
Just as bad.
Then just... Priest.
That's better.
How's business these days?
Are you busy?
Quite busy.
That's why I don't want you
to come yet.
Then I'll have to wait.
Tell me, Dr. Quack,
candidly speaking...
how long would you say
I can hold out?
Let me see.
If you follow my advice
and don't do anything stupid,
I'll guarantee another
15-16 years.
If he lives that long,
our responsibilities will never end.
Drink up, Professor.
You're an executive now,
aren't you?
Yes, sir.
Have you ever thought
about the word "executive"?
Not particularly, sir.
That's the trouble.
"Ex" is a prefix shared
in common with "exasperate,"
"execrable," and "excrement."
Don't be proud
just because you're an executive.
Such excessive pride
must be exorcised!
Go easy on me, sir.
Now that my turn has come,
I'd like to say
that I owe it all
to the professor.
Thank you, Professor.
Professor, you taught us
the pleasures of drinking,
but some of us just got drunk
and caused you trouble.
Sugino over there would often
swing beer bottles around.
When Kitamura got drunk,
he'd hug people
and kiss them.
Did you shave off your beard?
Yes, I did.
You mustn't do such a thing
without telling us first.
Why, sir?
That beard was a part
of your face for many years.
We all recognized you
because of that beard.
Now it's gone.
I didn't recognize you at first.
That beard was yours,
but it was ours too.
You shouldn't have
shaved it off without permission.
Sorry. I'll grow it back.
That won't do either.
If you grow it back,
we won't recognize you again.
Thank you.
As you all know,
the professor is a man
of great learning.
On one occasion
he told us not to assume
that ears are always
attached to the head,
because Ampriobiris spirias
has ears on its feet.
What's Ampriopisisus spirias?
No, it's Ampriobiris spirias!
Please, Professor.
don't stampede me like this.
I'm no match for all of you.
Let's make another toast,
and then you can all go back
to enjoying yourselves.
thank you.
Happy birthday!
Thank you.
Drinking parties are interesting,
aren't they?
Somehow everybody gets drunk
at the same moment.
It's like a pot of water
coming to a boil.
...and she is now my wife.
To this day
I'm still embarrassed
toward both the professor
and my wife.
Quiet, please!
Tada, it's your turn.
The professor is great.
That's right!
He isn't great because he's a professor.
He's a professor because he's great.
The professor
is like the sun to us.
Don't exaggerate!
That would indeed be
an exaggeration,
so I'll say he's like the moon.
Still an exaggeration.
There are half moons,
and crescent moons,
and sometimes no moon at all.
Just like the professor's classes!
That's why I compare him
to the moon.
The moon is great
Sister to the sun
Now it's a circle
Now it's a bow
Shining all over Japan
The moon is out
The moon is out
Round, round
Perfectly round
Round as a platter
The moon is hiding
The moon is hiding
Black, black
Perfectly black
Behind clouds black as ink
The moon is out again
Round, round
Perfectly round
Round as a platter
Gentlemen, you remember
"One-Two Medicine Peddler"?
Let's sing that.
One-Two Medicine
is number one in Japan
One, two
Buy One-Two Medicine
One, two, one, two
Here's what it cures
One, two
stomach trouble, diarrhea
Dizziness before
and after childbirth
Asthma, headaches
And influenza
Now I'm going to improvise!
Keep in step!
Medicine can cure
many illnesses
But only death
can cure a fool
Plenty of foolishness
to go around
Japan is blooming
with fools now
Defeated and occupied
But fools call it
the end of the war
Right turn!
"Democracy, democracy!"
The crooks shout
as they throw their weight about
Bribery and corruption abound
Flagrant and unconcealed
Paradise for the corrupt
Endless hell for the rest
The fools never learn
They chirp and twitter,
all in unison
Chirp, chirp, twitter, twitter
The end.
Ijuin, Manju-shi,
Nishi-Kagoshima, Kagoshima.
End of line!
What's this?
Where'd everybody go?
I don't know.
Have some more.
Is that supposed to be me?
So it seems.
Ready yet?
Ready yet?
Not yet!
Ready yet?
Not yet!
The professor's new house
was completed.
There's only one men's pair.
All the rest are women's.
My Japanese garden
isn't very large.
They'll manage without them.
The house had to be small
to make room for the pond.
Compared to that matchbox
we lived in before,
this is truly a palace.
It is indeed.
We're flattered.
If I do say so myself,
this doughnut-shaped pond
was a brilliant idea.
The Pacific may be vast,
but if you swim in a straight line,
you'll eventually hit America.
But in this pond you can swim
in a circle forever.
I want to keep carp in this pond.
The big ones
you only see in dreams.
I want carp as big as boats.
That's impossible.
Infinite as this pond may be,
they'd curl up and stop moving.
It would be bad for their backs.
I meant it
as a figure of speech.
Like in the Chinese poem,
"Gray hair 3,000 yards long."
I mean, could you imagine
a carp the size of a whale?
By the way...
the famous Temple of the
Golden Pavilion sits next to a pond.
Though my little pavilion
doesn't have
the same golden radiance,
I think they're quite similar.
That's why I put up that sign.
"The Temple Where Guests
are Forbidden."
So in this temple,
boisterous groups like ours
are forbidden.
It will serve as my study,
so nobody else can go in.
What do you think?
Is the lot too small?
That depends
on the design of the house.
It's 49.5.
Tea is ready.
Who's the man
who bowed to you just now?
The owner of that lot.
He came by the other day
to ask if I'd buy it.
I don't have that much money,
of course,
so I had to decline,
but he was very courteous.
He brought it up so politely
that I found it hard to decline right away.
- It seems he found a buyer.
- Yes, I'm glad.
Is that your cat?
I call him Alley,
because he's an alley cat.
My wife gives him dried mackerel,
so he sticks around.
he has good physiognomy.
Cat physiognomy?
Sounds odd.
How else can I say it?
But it does sound rather odd.
In any event,
he's very well-bred.
He has better manners
than you gentlemen.
Well, I'll be!
Excuse me.
Good kitty.
It's the man from next door.
He'd like to pay his respects.
That's the only reason
I came to see him!
- But -
- No buts!
I bought the plot.
It's my land now.
I can build whatever I like.
That's true...
but please consider
your neighbors.
Building a three-story house
next to their fence is unreasonable.
The lot's smaller
than the survey implied.
That's why I have
to add another floor.
If you do that,
you'll block their sunlight.
So what?
That's not my concern.
Let's go.
Please wait.
There's nothing to discuss.
Please wait.
The deal is off.
I'm not selling the lot.
Don't be ridiculous!
The contract's drawn up.
The land is mine.
I haven't signed it yet.
It's still my land.
I refuse to sell it to you.
Just a moment, please.
I'm truly grateful to you
for being so considerate.
But doesn't this
put you in a bind?
Even if there's no sunlight
for my house -
- We have to do something.
- Like what?
- Let's buy it.
- Shall we?
We can talk to the owner.
Professor, this is a good cat,
just as you said.
He raised his hackles
at that blockhead.
The owner of that lot
seems to be a good man.
Where does he live?
In a shack
at the end of the lot.
Well, we must be going.
Stay a while longer.
I'm still quite rattled.
Let's have a drink.
And I cooked up
a little something.
Sorry, ma'am,
but I have business to attend to.
So do I.
If you'll excuse us.
Professor, what does
this nanzanju mean?
"The Longevity
of Nanshan Mountain."
It's an expression
wishing someone long life.
I prefer to have people read it
as nanzansu.
I put it up to discourage
unwelcome visitors.
Nanzansu is how courtesans
used to ask, "Whaddya want?"
That's how they spoke in the licensed
quarters in the Edo period.
It's short for nan zamasu.
Perfect for that stubborn fool.
"Whaddya want?" indeed!
"I hate that bastard.
He's such a lousy john."
Good-bye, sir.
Now that's fishy.
Why did they rush off like that?
Good boy, little Alley.
Let me hold him.
Come on.
So it seems
we have an agreement.
Thank you.
Now I can buy a small house
and send for my family.
They were evacuated
during the war.
I don't know how to thank you.
You can thank our professor.
He was very moved
by what you did.
We understand how he feels, so -
It'll be pretty awkward
if he finds out about this deal.
You're right.
Please keep this
a secret from him.
He'll figure it out eventually, but until
then, please leave the lot as it is.
You gentlemen
are truly good people.
You're a good person yourself.
But our professor
is the best of all.
We just try to emulate him.
Well, good-bye.
That was lucky.
- Well, anyway -
- "Whaddya want?"
- Let's get a drink.
- Good idea. Where?
Let's go back to the professor's.
"Great idea, big boy!"
The professor's in trouble!
- What's wrong with him?
- It's not him. His cat's disappeared.
His wife called
for us to come over.
He hasn't stopped crying
since the cat disappeared.
Please go in.
Your wife called me.
Are you all right?
Of course I am.
It's just a cat.
I'm fine.
Besides, this isn't the first time.
Alley has disappeared
many times before.
He'll come back.
Thank you for coming by.
I'd be grateful if you could
spare some time to eat with us.
You'd be doing me
a great favor.
He's hardly eaten a thing
since Alley disappeared.
You may think I'm being silly.
to be honest, I am.
I'm completely hopeless.
Ever since Alley disappeared,
I've been so worried
that I can't do a thing.
He's all I think about.
You see that willow tree?
first came in through an opening
in the fence there.
Since then he's been like
a member of our little family.
Ever since he disappeared,
all I can do
is stare at that hole.
All I want
is to see him
come through that fence again.
The other day...
I went to Kyushu
to give a lecture.
On the way back...
Through a window
in that dark station...
I saw Alley.
It may sound strange,
but I really did see him,
clear as day.
I felt an odd sense
of apprehension.
When I reached
the Tokyo station...
I called home.
It was just as I'd feared.
That evening...
after nightfall...
Alley wanted to go out.
I picked him up and said,
"Stay in. It's late."
But he wanted to go out...
so I carried him out
to the garden.
He grew impatient
and wiggled out of my arms.
He ran out through that opening.
After a while...
it began to rain.
Later it began to pour.
There was no way Alley could find
his way back in that rain.
Alley sleeps...
on top of the bathtub cover.
My husband
goes there sometimes...
and just stares
at the little cushion.
He caresses it...
and weeps.
I really don't know what to do.
I'm ashamed to show
my miserable face.
I may be...
or overreacting...
or weak-willed,
or whatever you like,
but I just can't help it.
I try to forget...
but I keep remembering Alley.
Then I feel such pain
that I can't bear it.
Professor, we'll find Alley.
We'll form a search party.
So please, Professor -
That's a dog.
We promised to find Alley.
What do we do?
We might have better luck
in places that survived the fires.
But why is the professor so -
He isn't like you or me.
His sensitivity and imagination
are beyond us.
When he thinks of Alley,
he can imagine in detail
all the cat's going through.
That's what makes it
so unbearable.
We can't just stand by and watch.
You're right.
We mustn't give up.
This is the diary
in which our professor wrote
about Alley with great affection.
Here you are.
Hey, mister.
There are tons of cats around.
But it has to be this cat.
How come?
Do you have any brothers?
Sure, but he's still a baby.
Would you like it if he were
replaced with some other baby?
Of course not.
This cat is my baby.
I cared for him like my own child.
That's why it has to be this cat.
You see?
Tell me if you find him.
There's a description here,
and my address is there too.
please help us find
a cat named Alley.
He's probably
somewhere around here.
It's a male cat,
white with reddish stripes.
His tail is thick and a bit bent.
You'll know it if you feel it.
If you call out "Alley,"
he'll prick up his ears
and stare at you.
Whoever finds him
will receive a reward.
Please help us.
We received
many kind phone calls
from people who'd seen
a cat resembling Alley,
but alas...
Professor, you aren't eating much.
That's right.
These days he hardly
eats or drinks a thing.
I can't sleep much either.
You can't live like this.
He hasn't taken a bath
since Alley disappeared.
It's because Alley's cushion
is on the bathtub cover.
I have to use
the public bath far away.
Is that rain?
I used to love
the sound of rain.
Now I hate it.
It makes me think of Alley,
and the pain is too much to bear.
Professor, what if we make
inserts for the newspaper?
I can take them
to the newspaper distributors.
That's a good idea.
It never occurred to me.
What a fool I am!
I really am.
I wrote this announcement
in anticipation of Alley's return.
"L"...meaning Alley...
"I have been away for some time.
I have worried my master terribly
and caused all of you
a lot of trouble.
Now that I have returned unharmed,
please set your minds at rest.
Upon seeing my face,
my master burst into tears,
so I'm writing this letter
in his place.
To celebrate my return,
my master wishes
to invite you all
to a modest dinner.
See you tonight."
In preparation for Alley's return,
the professor bought a collar
with their address
engraved on it.
Yet Alley had yet to return.
I received a letter
saying I should wait eight months
for a stray cat to return.
That person's cat returned safely
after eight months.
We've received
some very thoughtful phone calls,
but there are
some strange ones too.
The other day, one person
asked me if Alley meows.
I said yes.
"You mean he doesn't bark?"
He replied, laughing,
and then hung up.
Your cat still hasn't returned?
That's right.
He might have been stolen.
Lots of cats are stolen, ma'am.
Some people make a living
from cat-snatching.
They sell the cat skins.
They fetch surprisingly
good prices.
Shamisens are made with cat skin.
That may be
what happened to yours.
I'll look into it.
Good-bye now.
Honey, they found Alley.
So that's where he was?
It's Alley.
It's the fishmonger's wife.
She knows Alley well.
It must be true.
Thank you.
My wife will be right there.
Thanks so much.
They found Alley.
This time it's for sure.
Will you tell the others?
I had a wonderful dream
this morning.
I dreamed I was feeding Alley
baby mackerel.
I knew he'd be back.
I wanted to come tell you,
and now this!
I brought some baby mackerel.
Professor, congratulations.
This is from my boss.
My thanks to all of you.
Thank you.
He needn't have taken it
so seriously after all.
Cats do come home.
It turns out they were wrong.
It wasn't Alley.
I'll get it.
That's right.
Who the hell is this?
I'll beat you to a pulp!
What was that?
Son of a bitch!
"Alley became a shamisen
a long time ago."
Then the bastard played one.
Here, kitty.
Here, kitty.
This was for Alley,
but it's yours now.
Go on, eat it.
Have some more.
Is it good?
You like baby mackerel,
just like Alley.
That's a good cat.
The professor seems
to have recovered.
His wife called about the cat.
- They found Alley?
Calm down. It isn't Alley.
That black-and-white,
or black-on-white, or white-on-black -
Calm down yourself
and spit it out.
- Some water.
- Right here.
- So that's that.
- What's what? Calm down.
What's this black-and-white cat?
Oh, right. Remember the cat
his wife was feeding?
It's there to stay.
The professor plays with it now.
What's "Kurz"?
How could you forget
such a simple German word?
"Kurz" - "short" in German.
It has a short tail.
- What tail?
- The cat's tail!
That black-and-white cat
has a short tail,
so the professor named it Kurz.
Now that he's named it,
it's there to stay.
That's great!
She wants us all
to come by tonight.
I'll pick up Kiriyama.
You pick up Sawamura.
- Phone them.
- Ah, right.
The phone's over here.
Calm down.
Kuru, Kuru...
You're such a nice baby.
Leave it to my wife
to turn "Kurz" into "Kuru."
Kuru - like "come" in Japanese.
"Welcome to come, and free to go."
It's pronounced "kitaru"
in that saying.
Well, never mind.
In my case, you know,
Alley wasn't "free to go" at all.
I caused you all so much trouble
on that account.
- Don't be silly.
- I'm really ashamed.
Where's Kurz?
- Sleeping in Alley's bed.
I never know when to give up.
I always wallow in regret.
Just look at this.
It isn't mosquito repellent.
It's a charm to bring back
missing cats.
I'm still at it.
It's truly pitiful.
But I'm all right now.
I've always been like
the hare of Inaba
saved by Daikokuten,
the god of wealth.
Don't you know that song?
He sees
the white hare of Inaba
Skin peeled off
As naked as can be
Now I remember.
A large bag
slung over his shoulder
Who might Daikokuten be?
That's the fourth verse.
It's quite a long song.
It's about a hare
who gets injured
and is then saved
by the god of wealth.
I am that hare.
Who might Daikokuten be?
It's nobody.
Rather, it's all of you.
When it came to losing Alley,
the people who sent kind letters,
the people who called,
the people who worried
about Alley with me -
they are all Daikokuten.
A large bag
slung over his shoulder
Daikokuten's large bag...
is filled with everybody's kindness.
That kindness
is what saved me.
A large bag
slung over his shoulder
Daikokuten comes
around the bend
He sees
the white hare of Inaba
Skin peeled off
As naked as can be
Daikokuten sighs with pity
And teaches the hare
To bathe in pure water
And wrap himself
in woven cattail leaves
The hare does as he's told
He bathes in pure water
And wraps himself
in woven cattail leaves
And once again becomes
a white hare
Who might Daikokuten be?
Memorial stones to Alley and Kurz
were erected in the garden.
Alley was never found.
Kurz enjoyed a long life
and now rests here in the garden.
And the willow tree
has grown to a great height.
THE 17TH NOT YET FES I'm remembering now the time
when I turned 60 years old.
At the time...
I thought I'd become
a genuine old geezer.
But now that I'm 77,
an auspicious age,
I realize that when I was 60,
I was nothing but a young punk.
Now, at last,
I'm a genuine old geezer for real.
At one time,
when you asked me
if I was "ready yet,"
I thought,
just so I'd be able to say yes...
that I might go out
to the willow tree in my garden
and hang myself from it.
But the willow was still
too small and slender.
There was no way
it could hold my weight.
But now that willow's
grown big and strong.
It's definitely up to the job.
Yet here I am, still standing,
so I have
no more excuses to offer.
My good friends,
ladies and gentlemen,
I thank you all
for this occasion.
As is our custom,
I will empty this large glass
of beer in one go.
What's this?
The glass got smaller again.
Dr. Quack,
was that your idea?
The glass gets smaller
every year.
It's not even
especially large anymore.
Even that's too big for you now.
Stop complaining and drink up.
Not yet!
A toast to the professor!
Happy birthday!
With this we conclude
our customary ritual.
I would now like to proceed
to the celebration
of our professor's 77th birthday.
First, the presentation
of flowers.
Your students' daughters.
Happy birthday.
Thank you.
from the Not Yet Association,
a birthday cake.
You can't be serious!
Will it have 77 candles
for me to blow out?
I can't do it.
You mustn't be so cruel
to an old man.
We couldn't fit all 77 candles on.
There are only seven.
I don't even know
if I can blow out seven.
Some of my teeth are missing.
When I blow,
the air goes in all directions.
Who are these children?
Your students' grandchildren.
How adorable.
I could gobble them all up.
I'd like to give this cake
to the children who brought it up.
come here.
Along with this cake,
there's something else
I want to give you.
Something I want to tell you.
Please find something
you really like.
Find something
you'll be able to treasure.
When you find it,
work for it as hard as you can.
You're sure to find
a treasure worth the effort.
That will be your calling,
the work you put your heart into.
Did that just go over their heads?
I'm sorry.
Here, take it.
Thank you.
We'll have it later.
Now, all you grandpas
and grandmas,
dads and moms,
let's drink up and have
a great time as always.
we haven't done "One-Two"
in a while.
As you say, it's been one
annoying thing after another these days.
Graft and bribery are at large
One, two
Let's pour out into the streets
singing that.
Right, Professor?
As the professor's family doctor,
I assure you
there's nothing to worry about.
It's just one of his chronic bouts
of arrhythmia.
I suggest he go home
and get some rest.
It's all right.
It's nothing.
Not yet!
The association officers
will escort the professor home.
Don't worry, and please
continue the party for his sake.
His cane.
Why are you so unconcerned?
You filthy priest.
Don't worry.
He isn't ready for me yet.
It's all right.
Thank you.
We stand in awe
Of our teacher's kind favor
How quickly
the years have passed
In this garden of learning
How quickly they've passed
The months and years
There's nothing to worry about.
With a good night's rest,
he'll be fine.
My only concern
is this bunch here.
Their motives may not be pure.
You want to wake him up
and keep drinking, don't you?
Are you kidding?
We're all going beddy-bye.
See that you don't wet the bed.
What a quack.
The futons are in here.
Shall I pull them out?
We'll do that, ma'am.
There may not be enough.
You may be cold.
Not if there's enough sake.
- It's fine cold.
- But -
We'll be like students
again tonight.
Remember his speech? We'll be
genuine geezers too soon enough.
I have so little to offer.
Thank you, ma'am.
I'll sleep in the Temple Where Guests
are Forbidden. If you need anything -
We're fine. Don't worry.
Be sure not to wake
the professor.
Yes, ma'am.
Good night.
Feels good.
What does?
When we used to stay over
in the old days,
he made us do all our homework.
That was a real pain.
None of that tonight,
and no school tomorrow.
We've got it made.
Not yet...
He's sound asleep.
He must be dreaming.
I wonder
what his dreams are like.
I'm sure they're pure gold too.
Ready yet?
Not yet.
Ready yet?
Not yet.
Based on the Books by
Written and Directed by
General Producers - YASUYOSHI
Executive Producers
Produced by
Directors of Photography
Production Design by
Lighting by
Sound Recording by
Music by
Costume Design by