March 11, 2006

KARIYUSHI IN AUGUST (2003) starring Ryuhei Matsuda

KARIYUSHI IN AUGUST (2003, Japan, titled "Hachigatsu no Kariyushi") Directed by Iwao Takahashi
Japanese Region 2 NTSC DVD review

Gentle ghost story shot on location in Okinawa and starring the leading man from Gohatto

The main reason I'm including this film is because there's so little written about it in english, anywhere on the net. It's not even on IMDB.

Kariyushi In August has a very slight plot, but is a nicely observed story of a young man visiting relatives in southern Japan on the island of Okinawa. As he meanders around, visiting old haunts and hearing local music, old memories return of his childhood there and he uncovers a terrible old family secret...

Shot on location, the film gives a very different view of Japan that we normally see. This is a hot, lush location by the sea, far away from the big cities. Time has moved on slowly here, and memories of the war are not as faint.

The main interest here is the leading actor, Ryuhei Matsuda, aged only 20. His career in acting started with the brave leading role in Gohatto (a.k.a. Taboo), a period film about a gay samurai. More recently he's appeared in 9 Souls, Nana, Rampo Jigoku, Otakus In Love, and Takashi Miike's Izo. His mother, Miyuki Matsuda, is also an actor and she appeared in Miike's infamous Audition. His father was a famous actor, Yusaku Matsuda, whose last film was Ridley Scott's Black Rain.

The Japanese DVD unfortunately has no english subtitles, but has a trailer and a making of programme included. Beind-the-scenes footage indicate that the feature was made on High Definition video, but I hadn't guessed that from seeing the film.


  1. I know this was posted eons ago, but I wanted to see if you've heard anything about english subs for this movie? I'm trying to incorporate less-known films like this into my Japanese cinema education, but I run into the problem of no english subtitles...or just no subs at all. I'd even settle for Spanish or French. I only started learning Japanese about three weeks ago so I'm decades off being able to watch without them.

    Any help would be much appreciated, and thanks for posting about this!

  2. Glad to hear that someone's reading the older reviews - I try and keep them updated with any news.

    I've got no news on English subtitles for this film. But try as Japanese films are very popular there. The French usually don't translate into anything other than French though.

    Quite a few Japanese films have English subtitles on their own DVDs. Obviously check what's available in the UK first, because the Japanese DVDs are far more expensive. are good for DVDs, but only order one at a time, because customs are very strict. Their subtitled releases are listed here...