Weekly Japanese Pop Culture Thread (August 26, 2020)

Welcome to The Avocado’s weekly discussion of Japanese pop culture! I have a confession to make: I don’t really enjoy most movies. There’s a running joke among my friends that if I like a movie it must be spectacular because I’m so reluctant to actually sit down and watch one. Of course, the truth isn’t that extreme. I love certain movies so much I’ve seen them many, many times, and I can be persuaded to watch something if someone I know really enjoys it. But it’s true that I’m very rarely in the mood to watch a new movie. But for some reason1 I’ve been wanting to watch more movies lately. And so–this is where we get to the Japanese Pop Culture part of this story–the other day I went searching for a new movie to watch and thought “I haven’t seen every Ghibli movie yet, I wonder if one of those might be good tonight” and that’s how I ended up reading this description of Only Yesterday:

In 1982, Taeko Okajima is 27 years old, unmarried, has lived her whole life in Tokyo and now works at a company there. She decides to take another trip to visit the family of the elder brother of her brother-in-law in the rural countryside to help with the safflower harvest and get away from city life. . . .The trip dredges up forgotten memories (not all of them good ones) — the first stirrings of childish romance, puberty and growing up, the frustrations of math and boys.


It’s hard to imagine a more perfect description to get me to watch something. And the actual movie exceeded my expectations. I’m sure this is not news to many of you because this movie isn’t exactly new, but my opinion of Only Yesterday is that it is incredible, beautiful, moving, inspiring, relatable, and simply perfect. As I’m writing this I have the urge to watch it again, right now, that’s how much I loved it. So rarely do I see a movie that feels as real as this one does. I’m left wondering what my 10-year-old self would want me to be doing right now. I hope she’d be proud of me. 

Anyway, thanks for reading. I just wanted to gush about this movie for a minute because it left me feeling like this, or something kind of like this, it’s hard to explain with words:

And, as always…

What have you been watching/reading/playing/eating/listening to lately?

Happy Wednesday! 🙂