Yakusho Koji and Okada Junichi will be teaming up in the period movie “Higurashi no Ki” based on the 146th Naoki Award winner novel by Hamuro Rin which sold 200,000 copies to date. They will be joined by co-stars Harada Mieko and Horikita Maki who plays Yakusho’s wife and daughter respectively. This is the first time Yakusho and Okada are working together and they both commented that they are looking forward to the filming. As for Horikita and Okada, they last worked together in the 2003 movie “COSMIC RESCUE” which also happens to be her debut movie.
The movie is set in the later part of the Edo era where Okada plays the character Danno Shozaburo who had been involved in a bloodshed incident with his longtime friend but was left off the hook and did not get punished. In return, a minister of the feudal lord orders Danno to keep tabs on Toda Shuukoku (Yakusho), a man who had been ordered to kill himself three years later after he was caught committing adultery with a nobleman’s concubine seven years ago. As Shuukoku used to be a feudal lord and had been tasked to finish the family register of the aristocrats, Shozaburo’s mission is to make sure Shuukoku doesn’t run away with the secrets he knows and he has to kill him and his wife Orie (Harada), son Ikutarou and daughter Kaoru (Horikita) if Shuukoku tries to escape. While living in confinement with Shuukoku’s family, Shozaburo happens to see Shuukoku’s diary i.e. Higurashi no Ki and is touched by the latter’s dedication to finishing the family register despite being on death row so he decides to find out the truth behind the adultery case 7 years ago.
Filming is scheduled to be done from late April to late June at 10 different places in Iwate and Nagano Prefectures. The filming of the other scenes will be completed by end September and the movie is due to be released in 2014.