The Pain as Ikigai in the Filmography of Hirokazu Koreeda


Hirokazu Koreeda is a Japanese film director and screenwriter who became famous, in the last decade, both in Japan and in the West. His filmography has a special quality related to the Japanese concept of ikigai. It is not easy to translate ikigai. It seems to be a feeling related to the “reason to live”. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how Koreeda’s filmography communicates internationally through this human feeling to express different singularities of family affections. We will analyze three films: The Light of Illusion (1995), Distance (1999) and Still Walking (2008). All of them have presented questions about life and death based on family memories. Silence, melancholy and resilience of wounds and pains are attached to past experiences that express ikigai as a reason for living. Through Koreeda’s images, ikigai can also be intimately connected to the dark side of human behavior. Therefore, in his filmography, the reason to live is not necessarily happiness, but also a complex ambivalence between life and death, sadness and happiness.

Author Information
Célia Maki Tomimatsu, Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo - PUC-SP, Brazil

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2017
Stream: Humanities - Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication

This paper is part of the ACAH2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon