On May 6th, the media was invited on the set of the upcoming movie “Yokomichi Yonosuke” in Chiba, where they were able to interview two starring actors Kora Kengo and Yoshitaka Yuriko, as well as director Okita Shuichi.
“Yokomichi Yonosuke” is the live-action adaptation of a novel of the same name by famed author Yoshida Shuichi (“Akunin”, “Parade”). It’s set in the 1980s and depicts the life of the young ‘Yokomichi Yonosuke’ (Kora) who moves from Nagasaki to Tokyo in order to go to college. Yoshitaka plays the role of his girlfriend ‘Yosano Shoko’.
The filming began on March 24th and took them to various places, including Yoshida’s alma mater – the Hosei University, as well as Kawagoe (Saitama), Yokosuka (Kanagawa), Shimoda (Shizuoka), and Tokyo. Between April 12th and 14th, they filmed in Yonosuke’s hometown Nagasaki. Today, the filmed the indoor scene during which Yonosuke visits Shoko’s parents for the very first time. The set was a gorgeous reception room with various trophies, stuffed animals, and a billiard table. Awkwardly they confessed to her parents, “We are going out with each other.”
Yoshitaka is playing a lively daughter of a wealthy family and confessed that it’s difficult to play such a role. “Ever since the scenario reading I already tried to say ‘watakushi’ (instead of ‘watashi’) all the time until the start of the filming,” she explained. However, today she fumbled over her words at a different part, when she mispronounced ‘~desu’ as ‘~dasu’ at the end of one sentence, which caused her co-star Kora to burst out in laughter. At the interview she stated, “I thought we almost had this scene, but of course Kora had to start laughing.”
Since the filming is scheduled to end on May 9th, there are only a few days left. Kora expressed, “I’m really enjoying the filming,” which is no surprise as he can finally portray a bright character after so many gloomy roles in his recent past. “When I play a gloomy role, I usually become gloomy myself and don’t even want to go to the set, however, this time I really enjoy coming to the set. Now I’m actually sad that it’s going to end soon.”
Kora and Yoshitaka already worked together in the movie “Snakes and Earrings” (orig: “Hebi ni Piasu”) five years ago.
Yoshitaka commented, “It’s my first time seeing Kora being so positive (laughs), it’s the complete opposite to our previous movie. It was fun seeing him like that.” She added, “It’s the same feeling I felt back then, the feeling that I can depend on him no matter what.”
Kora responded, “Yoshitaka isn’t acting with measuring up. It’s like she doesn’t want any pre-established harmony, which is very enjoyable.”
Director Okita also stated that the chemistry between the two of them is amazing, “What those two are showing me is pure enjoyment and beyond anything I had in mind. It’s quite exhausting to capture everything when they are giving me so much.”
Born in 1987 and 1988 respectively, the two young actors also expressed their amazement about the atmosphere and the props used to bring back the feeling of the 1980s. Kora realized how essential mobile phones have become today, while Yoshitaka somehow felt all nostalgic despite not remembering anything from that generation herself.
“Yokomichi Yonosuke” is planned to open in cinemas nationwide sometime in 2013.