kawaki -- Thirst (2014)
The World of Kanako
Created on August 12, 2013
Updated on January 25, 2015
Today it was announced that Koji Yakusho will star in Tetsuya Nakashima’s Kawaki (lit. “Thirst”), a movie adaptation of
Akio Fukamachi’s debut novel Hateshinaki Kawaki, winner of the 3rd annual “Kono Mystery ga Sugoi!” award in 2004.
This marks Nakashima’s first feature film since 2010, when Confessions took home Best Picture, Best Director, and Best
Screenplay from the 34th Japan Academy Awards.
In the story, a beautiful honors student named Kanako suddenly goes missing. Her father, former detective Akihiro
Fujishima, begins searching for her and is faced with a series of shocking revelations as he follows her trail.
According to Nakashima, the original work was so nightmarish that he became convinced adapting it to a film would be
impossible. However, the combination of Yakusho’s bravery in playing such a flawed main character and a meeting with
rookie actress Nana Komatsu?who the director hand-picked to play Kanako?convinced him to go ahead with the
Filming is currently underway. Referring to the film’s staff and cast as “bloodstained”, Nakashima expressed his aim to
make the kind of “violence fantasy” which has yet to be seen in Japanese cinema.
Yakusho, who last teamed up with Nakashima on 2008’s Paco and the Magical Book, will have the challenging task of
conveying the emptiness of a lonely man who’s blind to the fact that the collapse of his family is due to his own actions.
Completely free of inhibitions, he dreams only of regaining the facade of a “family” as he tracks down his daughter.
Additional cast members have also been announced. Satoshi Tsumabuki will play a former subordinate of Fujishima
named Asai who becomes closely involved in the case. Joe Odagiri will play a detective named Aikawa who takes
particular interest in the collapse of Fujishima’s family.
Fumi Nikaido will play Endo, a juvenile delinquent who went to the same middle school as Kanako. Ai Hashimoto, who
had her breakout role in Nakashima’s Confessions, will play Kanako’s high school friend Morishita who hints at a
reason for her disappearance.
Miki Nakatani, who starred in Nakashima’s 2006 film Memories of Matsuko will play Kanako’s former middle school
teacher. The character becomes very important as Fujishima begins unraveling events from his daughter’s past.
“Kawaki “will be released in Japan in summer 2014.
Ultra-Violence of ‘World of Kanako’ Stirs Japanese Box Office, Online Uproar
4 July 2014 8:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »
Tokyo – “Confessions” director Tetsuya Nakashima’s latest hyper-violent drama “The World of Kanako (Kawaki)”
has stirred up a storm of controversy since its June 27 release in Japan.
Slapped with an R-15 rating, meaning than no one 14 and under can see it, the pic stars Koji Yakusho (“Memoirs of a
Geisha,” “13 Assassins”) as a former detective with a hair-trigger temper searching for his missing teenage daughter,
whose “model student” image turns out to be a sham.
The hero’s outrageous behavior, from violent rape to attempted vehicular homicide, has prompted a flood of critical
comments on message boards and social networks, especially when theaters offered a special student discount to
encourage more teens the daughter’s age to see the film. “This is a film that shouldn’t be shown to students,” one
In reaction Nakashima has issued a statement saying “I’m really sorry if (the film) is too grotesque. »
January 25, 2015
The World of Kanako (Kawaki) will be shown during the 2015 (44th ) International Film Festival Rotterdam
(January 21 - February 1).
October 17, 2014
Informed of the news that he was awarded the ‘Best Actor’ Award, Koji Yakusho commented: Receiving
such a wonderful prize, I’m now recollecting the shooting days last year when I was covered with blood,
sweat, mud and snow. I owe thanks to Director Nakashima, the staff and cast members for this award.
October 14, 2014
Koji Yakusho was awarded the Best Actor Award for Tetsuya Nakashima's "The World of Kanako
(Kawaki.)" at the SITGES Film Festival 2014.
October 5, 2014
The Blue-ray and DVD of "The World of Kanako (Kawaki.) will be on sale from December 19, 2014.
August 22, 2014
Kawaki/The World of Kanako will be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Here's the review by Mr. Mark Schelling (The Japan Times)
Twitch Film Net: Here's the review for the Toronto International Film Festival.
Koji Yakusho: Akikazu Fujishima
Nana Komatsu: Kanako Fujishima