A Boy Called H 2013
Shônen H (original title)
2h 1min | Drama | 10 August 2013 (Japan)
Narrated and viewed from the perspective of a child in the family, Shoonen H portrays the daily trials and societal difficulties of a Christian family from just prior to the commencement of World War II to its aftermath. Distrusted as Christians, yet steadfast, the parents become sources of reassurance and discipline for the children in a society in turmoil.
This movie portrays the life of a tailor and his family from their boy’s viewpoint. The locale is Kobe, Japan before, under and after the WW2. The husband and wife are protestant Christians, minority in Japanese society even today.
The father looks confident as a tailor, always having positive view of life. The mother has strong sense of mission as a Christian, sometimes excessively strong faith. For the boy, having such mother sometimes makes his daily life difficult, but thanks to his father who even takes him to his foreign clients, the boy learns a lot in life.
As the nation goes towards militarism and fascism, tribulations come to the Christian home. As people see Christians close to foreigners and thus suspect them of spying. The father’s attitude for each issue is reassuring. From his attitude after the war, we can see it is not only his faith but also his pride as a professional tailor that support him.
As a movie that portrays Japan around the war, and as a movie that portrays a family, I think Shonen H will be seen for long. Since the plot is written from the child’s viewpoint, it has simple plot structure, without any side stories. Therefore everyone may have own sentiment.
As for acting performance, the boy and the girl act very well. When the girl is sent for evacuation, getting on the train, she is nearly crying. The boy quirks his face to make her laugh, and the girl’s face becomes half smiling and half crying. Her face is unforgettable.
Director: Yasuo Furuhata
Writers: Kappa Senô (based on the novel by), Ryota Furusawa (screenplay)
Stars: Yutaka Mizutani, Ran Itô, Tatsuki Yoshioka
Release Date: 10 August 2013 (Japan)
Filming Locations: Hapcheon, South Korea