The Lightning Tree

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  • Movie: The Lightning Tree
  • Romaji: Raiou
  • Japanese: 雷桜
  • Director: Ryuichi Hiroki
  • Writer: Mari Ueza (novel), Masato Kato, Sachiko Tanaka
  • Producer: Takashi Hirano
  • Cinematographer: Atsuhiro Nabeshima
  • World Premiere: October 2010 (Pusan International Film Festival)
  • Release Date: October 22, 2010
  • Runtime: 133min.
  • Genre: Romance / Period
  • Distributor: Toho
  • Language: Japanese
  • Country: Japan

Plot

Set during the Edo Period, a young man from a noble family meets a young woman under a special tree called "Raiou" (the tree was struck by lightning at one time with the broken part eventually sprouting out cherry blossoms). The young woman lived freely in the mountains after she was abducted as a young child. The couple soon fall in love under the Raiou tree, but become acutely aware of their different social positions & the ramifications it has on their relationship.

Narimichi (Masaki Okada), born to the high ranking Tokugawa family, spends his sheltered days bored and lonely. One night, the family retainer, Sukejiro Seta (Keisuke Koide) tells Narimichi of a story involving Tenku, a monster who resides in the mountains near his hometown of Setamura. Narimichi is fascinated by the tale and heads off to Setamura with Sukejiro Seta.

Rai (Yu Aoi) lives on the mountains near Setamura. She lives with her foster father Riemon (Saburo Tokito). Twenty years ago Riemon refused orders to kill young Rai over disputes of water rights and since then has raised her as his own child. Rie often threatens villagers who come into the mountains to not damage the mountains.

On the way to Setamura, Narimichi decides to ride alone into the mountains to where the rumored Tenku lives. There he comes across Rai.

Narimichi, now back in Setamura, tells Sukejiro of a female Tenku he came across in the mountains. Sukejiro responds that he is sure the woman he saw is his younger sister Yu - who was kidnapped 20 years ago.

Rie, who was told by her foster father to go live with her birth family, then comes to live in the village of Setamura as Yu. Narimichi and Yu meet once again near the lightning tree. Yu, having grown up alone in the mountains, knows nothing of the class system & treats Narimichi in a frank, honest way. They are both attracted to each other ...

Notes

  1. Filming begins in March, 2009 and is expected to last one month. Shooting location will take place in the Kyushu region.

Cast

The Lightning Tree-Masaki Okada.jpg The Lightning Tree-Yu Aoi.jpg
Masaki Okada Yu Aoi
Narimichi Rai / Yu
The Lightning Tree-Keisuke Koide.jpg The Lightning Tree-Akira Emoto.jpg The Lightning Tree-Saburo Tokito.jpg The Lightning Tree-Yoshiko Miyazaki.jpg The Lightning Tree-Toshihiro Wada.jpg
Keisuke Koide Akira Emoto Saburo Tokito Yoshiko Miyazaki Soko Wada
Sukejiro Seta Kakunoshi Enokido Riemon Tae Suketarou Seta
The Lightning Tree-Risa Sudo.jpg The Lightning Tree-Ryuya Wakaba.jpg The Lightning Tree-Shugo Oshinari.jpg The Lightning Tree-Jun Murakami.jpg The Lightning Tree-Kengo Kora.jpg
Risa Sudo Ryuya Wakaba Shugo Oshinari Jun Murakami Kengo Kora
Ohatsu Hideosuke Sakakibara Tetsunosuke Imaizumi Rokurouhutoshi Ikanai Tomozou
The Lightning Tree-Tasuku Emoto.jpg The Lightning Tree-Ren Osugi.jpg The Lightning Tree-Bengal.jpg The Lightning Tree-Shinnosuke Ikehata.jpg The Lightning Tree-Mitsugoro Bando.jpg
Tasuku Emoto Ren Osugi Bengal Shinnosuke Ikehata Mitsugoro Bando
Shigezi Sennokai Takayama Monnosuke Hayasaka Bunnosusumu Tadokoro Ienari Tokugaa

Trailers

Image Gallery

Film Festivals

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Comments

Buttercup A poignant period drama, the story moves rather slowly, but it's got beautiful cinematography and the acting is first rate. The two leads are very nice-looking and I liked them, but I got a bit tired of Yu's screeching when she yelled or cried. Could that have been the way the director wanted her to yell?!

zarah anybody knows the title of the song played on the festival scene, when Narimichi came back to Setamura and looked for Yu from the crowd and everithing was in slow-mo? thanks!

Ki I came this -><- close to watching the world premiere of "The Lightning Tree" at the Pusan International Film Festival, but the movie played outdoors and heavy rains that evening made me leave before the movie started. I didn't want to leave but I also didn't want to see a real life lightning tree happen in front of me either. Even though I missed the world premiere I did get to watch Yu Aoi, Masaki Okada, & dir. Ryuichi Hiroki make a live appearance at the PIFF village for a Q&A session. Here's some photos of that :




haha Hope it's a nice love story. hahaha

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