Yakusho Koji & Okada Junichi to star in the movie adaptation of 'Higurashi no Ki'
On March 11, it was announced that Hamuro Rin's award-winning novel 'Higurashi no Ki' is going to be adapted into a film by director Koizumi Takashi ('After the Rain', 'Best Wishes for Tomorrow').
The period drama that depicts the love between a master and his pupil, the love between a husband and wife, and the love between the members of a family - is going to star Yakusho Koji as the protagonist. The supporting cast is lead by V6 member Okada Junichi - a long-time fan of Yakusho - as well as the two actresses Horikita Maki and Harada Mieko.
'Higurashi no Ki' received the prestigious Naoki Award in 2012 and Asada Jiro, member of the Naoki Award selection committee, described it as the highest level of completion he had ever read. Director Koizumi who served as an assistant director of the late Kurosawa Akira for 28 years, is very ambitious about this project and visited author Hamuro to share his vision for the adaptation. Koizumi also brought along many of the staff that had already worked together with him and Kurosawa on numerous films.
"Danno Shozaburo" (Okada) caused a bloody affair within a castle. Fortunately, he was able to escape from committing 'Seppuku', but he was ordered to keep a watch on a man named "Toda Shukoku" (Yakusho) until the man will perform Seppuku 3 years later.
Shukoku has been confined with his family since 7 years ago under a suspicion for having illicit liaisons with a concubine of a former feudal lord, and also for killing a page who discovered the infidelity. Under normal circumstances, he should be ordered to perform Seppuku right away, however, he was in the middle of recording a genealogical table for the feudal domain. Therefore, Shukoku's Seppuku was postponed to be committed 10 years later until he finishes making the genealogy.
Doing the job, Shukoku would know all the secrets of the federal domain, so Shozaburo's job was to keep an eye on Shukoku, and he was also ordered to kill Shukoku and his family if Shukoku ever tries to escape.
However, as Shozaburo actually lives together with Shukoku, his wife "Orie" (Harada), his daughter "Kaoru" (Horikita), and his son "Ikutaro", he starts having doubts if Shukoku really committed such a crime, and he begins searching for the truth of the case.
'Higurashi no Ki' is slated for a release in 2014 and will be filmed in 10 different locations all over the country from the end of April until the end of June this year.
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