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Departures (2008)

Okuribito (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, Music | 19 June 2009 (USA)
1:52 | Trailer

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A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.



Won 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Daigo Kobayashi
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Ikuei Sasaki
Ryôko Hirosue ...
Mika Kobayashi
Kazuko Yoshiyuki ...
Tsuyako Yamashita
Kimiko Yo ...
Yuriko Uemura
Takashi Sasano ...
Shokichi Hirata
Tetta Sugimoto ...
Tôru Minegishi ...
Yoshiki Kobayashi
Tatsuo Yamada ...
Yukari Tachibana
Tarô Ishida ...
Sanae Miyata ...
Naomi Togashi
Ryôsuke Ôtani ...
Tomeo's father
Mitsuyo Hoshino ...
Kazuko Kobayashi
Tatsuhito Okuda


Daigo Kobayashi is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and now finds himself without a job. Daigo decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled "Departures" thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a "Nokanshi" or "encoffineer," a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of "Nokanshi," acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living. Written by Regent Releasing

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The gift of last memories


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 June 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Departures  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$74,945 (USA) (29 May 2009)


$1,542,503 (USA) (11 June 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To provide realistic bodies while preventing the corpses from moving, after a lengthy casting process the crew chose extras who could lie as still as possible. For the bath house owner Tsuyako Yamashita, this was not possible owing to the need to see her alive first, and a search for a body double was unfruitful. Ultimately, the crew used digital effects to transplant a still image of the actor during the character's funeral scene, allowing for a realistic effect. See more »


[first lines]
Daigo Kobayashi: [voice over narration] When I was a child winter didn't feel so cold. It's nearly two months since I moved home from Tokyo. It's been an awkward time.
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Remade as Untitled Departures Remake See more »


Ave Maria
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach / Charles Gounod
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Remarkable Movie, Deserved the Oscar
22 April 2009 | by (Turkey) – See all my reviews

Many things can be told about this movie;How it remarkably handle the "Dead" issue, Meaning of life, family relations etc... But What I've mostly grasped from the movie is (I also witnessed that during my 6 months of stay in Japan) that the way the Japanese people do their job. Absolutely devoted, in perfect patience and discipline. No matter What they are doing and What the salary is... They could be a Waitress,a Garbage man or as in the movie; an encoffiner. They just concentrate and do their job. So if you got bored from your job, I simply recommend you watch this movie and compare yourself with the Guy in the Lead role.And think again.

32 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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