Warm Water under a Red Bridge/
Akai Hashi no shitano Nuruimizu  (2001)
Cast:
Koji Yakusho: Yosuke Sasano
Misa Shimizu: Saeko Aizawa
Mitsuko Baisho: Mitsu Aizawa
Sumiko Sakamoto: Masako
Yamada
         
Directed by Shohei Imamura
Based on two stories by Yo Henmi
Scinario: Motofumi Tomikawa
          Daisuke Tengan
           Shohei Imamura
Release date: November 3, 2001
Running time: 90 min.
"Akai Hashino Shitano Nuruimizu" was mainly shot in Himi City, Toyama Prefecture, which
borders the Japan Sea.

The shooting started in Tokyo on October 18, 2000, with a scene where Yosuke (Koji Yakusho)
visits the homeless people living along the River Sumida.
From October 25 to mid-December, the film was shot in Himi City.

The film was nominated for the 54th Cannes Film festival competition and was shown on May 19,
one night before the Festival was closed.
Koji Yakusho who attended the Festival with Misa Shimizu said that quite often there was a peal of
laughter during the showing of the film!
 Synopsis (based on the brochure for the Cannes Film Festival)

Yosuke has been laid off.  His wife has given up on him and he's living through on the streets of
Tokyo, constantly looking for work.  He hears an interesting story from Taro, a homeless
wanderer.
It is about a gold Buddhist statue which Taro stole from a temple in Kyoto and hid in a house by
a red bridge in a town on the Noto Peninsla of the Japan Sea.  Another clue is that there are
trumpet flowers at the entrance of the house.

After Taro's sudden death, Yosuke recalls the story of the Buddhist statue and decides to go and
find it.  Upon reaching the town he is in a supermarket when he spots a woman shoplifting.  The
woman turns out to be Saeko, granddaughter of Mitsu, who both live in the house by the red
bridge.  After Saeko leaves the scene, Yosuke notices an earring in a pool of water where Saeko
was standing.

Yosuke tracks down Saeko and gives her back her earring.  Then he encounters the mystery of
Saeko's water.  Yosuke gets a job with some fishermen and decides to stay on the town.  He
gradually becomes obsessed with Saeko and her mysterious water.

Gradually, Saeko's long suffering from her water condition begins to heal with Yosuke's attention
to it.  The volume slowly decreases.  Yosuke becomes skeptical and then eventually jealous.

Another acquaintance from the streets of Tokyo, Gen, has also heard Taro's story.  He arrives in
town and asks Mitsu what she knows about the long-missing golden treasure.  It turns out that
long ago, Mitsu and Taro were in love, and Taro carried his love to the grave.  Mitsu has waited in
vain for Taro to return....

Koji Yakusho was awarded the Best Actor Award  at the 2001 Chicago Film Festival!

September 1, 2010
J Film POW-Wow selected
this film as one of the top-ten sexist scenes in Japanese films .
Updated on September 1, 2010
Misa Shimizu as Saeko