Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Mortician tale an Oscar surprise


Even the lead actor was surprised when his movie “Departures”, about an out-of-work cellist who takes a job as a mortician preparing corpses for cremation, won the Oscar for best foreign language film today.


The film has been a box office hit in Japan but it faced stiff competition and Masahiro Motoki, did not expect to win against the Israeli favourite in the category, “Waltz with Bashir”.

“I saw the Israeli movie which I honestly had thought would win as it was wonderful,” says Motoki, who instigated the Japanese film and worked on it in a 10-year labour of love.

“So I walked the red carpet as a hanger-on who just observes the ceremony. Now I regret that I did not walk with more confidence.”