Less than a tenth of Japan’s population live in the countryside, but the furusato (hometown) exerts a powerful draw. There’s a whole subgenre of Japanese cinema devoted to the rural areas that many urban residents have left behind: tales of honest folk and time-honored traditions, often aimed at an older audience and teeming with picturesque shots that could have been plucked from a tourism video.
Director Yoshinari Nishikori is an expert at this kind of thing. His films, many of them set in his native Shimane Prefecture, are odes to the old ways — and while they may be dewy-eyed, they’re not without merit. Like comfort food, sometimes stodgy fare can be satisfying too.
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