FLEA-PICKING SAMURAI Press Notes and High-Res Photos from Toho
Source: Toho Co., Ltd.
Official Site: nomitori.jp (Japan)
A SCIFI JAPAN EXCLUSIVE
Toho Co., Ltd. has provided information and high-res photos from their new samurai comedy, FLEA-PICKING SAMURAI (のみとり侍, Nomitori Samurai), opening in Japan on May 18, 2018.
After incurring the wrath of his lord, he received one order — to be a “cat flea picker”?! Witness the birth of a hilarious comedy about a mysterious secret life!
FLEA-PICKING SAMURAI is written and directed by Yasuo Tsuruhashi. His most recent film, THE BLACK WIDOW BUSINESS (後妻業の女, Gosaigyo no Onna, 2016), a comedy with the theme of marriage fraud, became a smash hit. A highly decorated drama director, Tsuruhashi has received the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts for his film TORIDE NAKI MONO (砦なき者, 2005), as well as the Purple Ribbon in 2007, and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in 2013.
FLEA-PICKING SAMURAI is a project that Tsuruhashi has been wanting to adapt into film for 30 years. The original work is a novel of the same name written by the historical novelist Shigeo Komatsu, known for his humorous and historically accurate period depictions of society. Of his works, three episodes were selected and re-arranged by director Tsuruhashi himself.
Starring in the film is Hiroshi Abe (GODZILLA 2000, SHIPPU RONDO, THE CRIMES THAT BIND). Abe made Japan laugh with his comical performance in THERMAE ROMAE (テルマエ・ロマエ, Terumae Romae, 2012) leading him to win the 36th Japan Academy Film Prize for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. In this film, he’ll be portraying a samurai who is full of warmth and humanity, yet has fallen from his position in society to become the not-so-noble “flea-picking samurai,” and earnestly wants to climb the social ladder once more.
Hironoshin is a samurai of the Echigo-Nagaoka clan. One day, Hironoshin attends a party at a mansion in Edo where his lord, Tadakiyo was to recite poems. What Tadakiyo read was obviously plagiarized. Hironoshin, who was unluckily asked to give his opinion, to which Hironoshin foolishly comments that perhaps belonged to another. Naturally, Tadakiyo is infuriated, and orders Hironoshin:
“From tomorrow morning, you are to live your life without honor as a ‘cat flea picker’!!”
“What the hell is a flea-picker…?” Hironoshin was forced out of the clan while still confounded. As the name suggests, he goes to people’s houses to remove fleas from cats. However, it’s in fact a pseudonym for “male prostitute.” He sells his body to women for a living. However, the honest and straight-shooting Hironoshin convinces himself that he has no other options, and resigns himself to live as a “cat flea picker.” Hironoshin becomes an apprentice to a flea-picker boss who warmly cheers him on, wrongly convinced that Hironoshin is exacting revenge in the guise of a flea-picker.
Japanese Theatrical Release: May 18, 2018 (Nationwide Roadshow)
Hironoshin Kobayashi: Hiroshi Abe
Omine: Shinobu Terashima
Seibee: Etsushi Toyokawa
Tomonosuke Saeki: Takumi Saito
Jinbee: Morio Kazama
Orin: Shinobu Otake
Ochie: Atsuko Maeda
Omitsu: Riko Fukumoto
Okitsugu Tanuma: Bunshi Katsura
Director: Yasuo Tsuruhashi
Original Story: Nomitori Samurai by Shigeo Komatsu (published in Kobunsha Bunko)
Screenplay: Yasuo Tsuruhashi
Production Company: “Nomitori Samurai” Film Partners
© 2018 “Nomitori Samurai” Film Partners
About Toho Company. Ltd.
Founded in 1932, Toho Co., Ltd. is one of the leading entertainment conglomerates in Japan. Toho is best known worldwide as the producer of the Godzilla films, as well as most of the films by the world-renowned director, Akira Kurosawa. Besides film production, Toho also distributes Japanese films (earning the highest box office receipts for decades in Japan) as well as foreign films through its subsidiary, owns first class movie theaters throughout Japan, produces legitimate plays and musicals, and has more than 100 entertainment-related subsidiaries.