11 October 2014

太陽の坐る場所 Taiyō no Suwaru Basho

Title: 太陽の坐る場所 Taiyō no Suwaru Basho
English Title: The Place Where the Sun Sits
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2015
  • 水川あさみ Mizukawa Asami
  • 木村文乃 Kimura Fumino
  • 三浦貴大 Miura Takahiro
  • 森カンナ Mori Kanna
  • 鶴見辰吾 Tsurumi Shingo
  • 椎名琴音 Shina Kotone
  • 山谷花純 Yamaya Kasumi

Ten years ago, Takama Kyōko was the most popular girl in high school. When a new girl named Suzuhara Kyōko joins the class, Kyōko gave her the nickname Rin so that she won't use the same name. Because Kyōko is the reigning queen bee, everyone followed along.

Kyōko never left her hometown, and she currently works as a radio announcer for a local radio station and as a weather girl for a local television station.

The other Kyōko who was called Rin by her classmates later went to Tokyo, and she claimed the name that was rightfully hers. She is now a famous actress who goes by the stage name Kyōko.

The class decides to hold their ten-year reunion at their old high school, and it seems that everyone can finally attend the special event.

Taiyō no Suwaru Basho is an interesting movie about human nature; such as how people act and react when they are insecure, or how groups of people always have a de facto leader and how everyone else are willing to do whatever it takes to belong in group activities.

The movie is also about how things change over time. It's frustrating, but people invariably compare everything; how they are in the present in relation to the past, but particularly how they stand against other people they consider important in some way.

Takama Kyōko used to be on top of the world when she was in high school, but she can still be considered successful ten years later all things considered. However, when her status is compared to that of her classmate Suzuhara Kyōko, she seems not quite as accomplished.

Mizukami Yuki: People who stayed behind have this inferiority complex when it comes to those of us who left for Tokyo.

I think it's annoying how hierarchy is predominant in people's lives, such as how one thing or one person is supposed to be better than another thing or another person. Like how it was shown in the movie, it's like people who have stayed in their hometown are somehow worse off than people who moved to the country's capital and biggest city. And sometimes, it's also like how people who relocated to more progressive countries are even better off.

Takama Kyōko: There are people who can only face the past by being surrounded by it, and I'm one of them.

Anyway, the movie got me thinking about how I deal with the past. Kyōko, who was formerly known as Rin, went away and started over in a different place.The other  Kyōko stayed behind in a place she doesn't like so that she wouldn't ever forget and she refuses to move forward.

The title Taiyō no Suwaru Basho is in reference to a goddess in Japanese mythology who brings sunlight wherever she is, even if she is in the dark. I'm afraid I don't really know much about it, and after watching the film, I'm even more inclined to finally read the book about Japanese mythology that has been in my 'books-to-read' pile for ages.

Takama Kyōko: But you should know that getting locked up and shutting yourself in are different. I am different from those afraid of the dark.
Takama Kyōko: No matter where she goes, a Goddess will bring the daylight with her. The sun burns bright wherever she is.

Takama Kyōko: On the day when I came in here on my own, I realized that I couldn't be the one to decide where the sun sits.

太陽の坐る場所 Taiyō no Suwaru Basho