Sakuran ;; Haken no Hinkaku


Mika Ninagawa's lavishly produced, broadly-scaled period epic Sakuran unfurls in 18th century Edo, the embryonic fishing village that in later years blossomed into the Japanese metropolis of Tokyo. Anna Tsuchiya stars as Kiyoha, a social-climbing courtesan who inhabits and works in a bordello of the exclusive Yoshiwara district. Exceptionally particular regarding her customers/bedmates, Kiyoha seeks liberation from the lifestyle and career that have ensconced her - but refuses to accept such emancipation at the hands of a rich man's purchase. Deliberately, yet with great assurance and conviction, Kiyoha approaches the prospect of freedom and attempts to surmount the social and cultural obstacles that stand in her way.

Mika Ninagawa is a popular Japanese photographer who is known for using bright, vibrant colours. Sakuran, I think, is her directorial debut. Sakuran is definitely a beautiful piece of art. Mika really did a good job making the set look appealing to the eyes and stayed true to herself while at it. Every scene is like a bright, beautiful painting. Is it accurate when depicting Edo historically? Probably not.

I haven’t read the manga, but I’ve put it on to my “plan to read” list after the movie! With that said, I can’t say how closely they follow the manga so I’m not sure if the characters were portrayed correctly. Kiyoha is a loud-mouthed girl who always dreams of the day where she can achieve her freedom. If you piss her off don’t be surprised when she beats you up for it because she’s sure as hell not afraid of speaking her mind. Anna Tsuchiya seems to play the role quite well and I believed her. Maybe it’s the rocker side of her showing through.

What I noticed though is that their image of a geisha in Sakuran is very different from Memoirs of a Geisha. While Sayuri in MoaG is expected to play a delicate, respectful woman full of class, Kiyoha seems to be the complete opposite. I don’t know if that’s how she’s supposed to be or if it’s Anna not playing that role. When she walks into a room do I feel like her presence and actions are brimming with class? No.

Kiyoha is often shown as short-tempered and bull-headed about thins which ends up in her getting punished.. a lot. It gets a bit confusing at some points because it’s a bit choppy. It shows a short scene and then it cuts to something else. Many times it cuts to her being punished haha!

There was one point in the movie that really confused me and I had to search google to see if anyone understood the significance of the scene. Kiyoha is shown crying when she saw her lover while outside of the okiya and proceeds to run to the river to cry by herself. I guess I’m a bit slow LOL I couldn’t understand why she cried when he smiled.. but google saved the day.

There are some sex scenes in the movie but nothing overly done. They don’t make a big scene out of them which I’m glad about. The scenes do play a role to a certain extent so it’s not just some good filler for the boys to ogle over haha.

Movie wasn’t bad, and I think it’s a pretty good one to check out if only to look at how beautiful everything looked haha. It’s a more contemporary view on an old subject.


Haken no Hinkaku

Oomae Haruko is an A+ Temp worker who never cracks a smile or minces words, and leaves work on the dot. But her cynical nature indicates she has something painful to hide. Satonaka Kensuke has just been promoted to head S&F’s new Marketing Division. Saddled with a rag-tag group of subordinates, he is struggling to lift his division off the ground. When Oomae is placed in Kensuke’s department, she finds herself doing more work than she’s ever done before.

This is a timely drama that examines the different attitudes toward temp workers and regular employees, and the ways to overcome frictions in interpersonal relationships. This follows an October report on labor conditions by the Labor Ministry, which showed that, after regulations were relaxed, the proportion of regular employees to Temps had doubled compared to that of eight years ago.

Due to an incident in the past, Oomae Haruko decided to live her life as a super temp instead of an employee that dedicates their life to one company. She’s a no-nonsense worker and stays away from making friendships with anyone she works with. Work life and personal life are to be distinctly separated.

I actually had a different drama in mind before watching it. The poster made it seem like she’s this power woman who is fashionable, adored by all, etc. The actual drama is very different from that. I wouldn’t call her fashionable – pretty sure she wears kind of the same thing every time. She’s hard to love because of her hard exterior. Of course, everyone changes their mind after when they see how competent she is. She’s like a power woman in the sense that she can do just about any job that you can think of. Her certificates need an album and don’t even fit on her resume.

The ending was pretty average. It left it off as a bit of a cliffhanger but not really one that I felt makes the viewers happy. The plot didn’t seem to have enough substance I think. Probably an okay drama to watch if you’re bored and don’t care too much about what you’re watching. Not one that would wow you.


2 thoughts on “Sakuran ;; Haken no Hinkaku”

    1. LOL! I keep waiting for you to tell me when you wanna watch My Princess!! When I ask you I feel like you’re always busy. ::sweat:: ::sweat::

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