The Moon and Lightning (Tsuki to kaminari) by the multiple award-winning Red Circle author Mitsuyo Kakuta has been successfully adapted for film and is now being shown at theatres nationwide in Japan.
The book, which the film is based on sold in the tens of thousands, was orginally published in Japanese in hardback (tanko-bon) in July 2012 by Chuokoron Shinsha, the book publishing arm of the Yomiuri Shimbun Group, one of Japan’s largest media conglomrates.
A paperback edition (bunko–bon), which following the release of the film is now expected to sell in large numbers, was published in May 2015 also by Chuokoron Shinsha.
The Moon and Lightning directed by Hiroshi Ando stars Eriko Hatsune and Kengo Kora. Eriko Hatsune a highly regarded actress in Japan has acted in eleven films including the 2012 Hollywood co-production Emperor, directed by Peter Webber. Hatsune received excellent reviews for her role in the 2010 film Norwegian Wood directed by Tran Anh Hung, based on Haruki Murakami’s novel of the same title, a film that Kora also appeared in. Kora also stared in the film adaptation of Hitomi Kanehara’s Akutagawa Prize-winning novel Snakes and Earings.
Initial feedback on their roles in this latest major Japanese feature film has been be equally positive. The film is based around a complex family situation. Yasuko (played by Eriko Hatsune) who lived with her late father’s girlfriend and her son Satoshi (played by Kengo Kora) when she was a child, is suddenly reunited with Satoshi as an adult dramatically changing her ordinary mundain life.
Many of the film adaptations of Mitsuyo Kakuta’s novels, like the books themselves, such as The Eighth Day and Pale Moon have been extremely successful. The female roles in these films are said to bring out the best in actresses, helping them be seen in a new light, thereby furthering their reputations amongst critics and the public.
An English language review of the film can be read here and a Japanese language promotional video viewed here.
- About Red Circle:Red Circle Authors Limited is a specialist publishing and communications company that conducts bespoke projects on behalf of a carefully selected and curated group of leading Japanese authors. Red Circle showcases Japan’s best creative writing. For more information on Red Circle, Japanese literature, and Red Circle authors please visit: www.redcircleauthors.com.