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Departures (2008) More at IMDbPro »Okuribito (original title)

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Down 39% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Kundô Koyama (screenplay)
View company contact information for Departures on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 June 2009 (USA) See more »
The gift of last memories
A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 33 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
the rituals that sustain us See more (107 total) »


  (in credits order)

Masahiro Motoki ... Daigo Kobayashi
Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Ikuei Sasaki
Ryôko Hirosue ... Mika Kobayashi
Kazuko Yoshiyuki ... Tsuyako Yamashita
Kimiko Yo ... Yuriko Uemura
Takashi Sasano ... Shokichi Hirata
Tetta Sugimoto ... Yamashita
Tôru Minegishi ... Yoshiki Kobayashi
Tatsuo Yamada ... Togashi
Yukari Tachibana
Tarô Ishida ... Sonezaki
Sanae Miyata ... Naomi Togashi
Ryôsuke Ôtani ... Tomeo's father
Mitsuyo Hoshino ... Kazuko Kobayashi
Tatsuhito Okuda
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Akemi Fuji
Miyako Hattori ... Grandmother
Mari Hayashida
Shinji Hiwatashi
Norichika Iimori
Yôko Imamoto (as Yoko Imamoto)
Kei Kawai
Yûji Kido ... Assistant Director
Hiroyuki Kishi ... Tomeyo's Uncle
Yukimi Koyanagi
Mina Kudo
Yûki Mashita
Kenzou Ryu
Pablo Sacco ... Instrument dealer
Sadami Sakamoto ... Orchestra Manager
Takejyu Sato ... Togashi's Relative
Sayuri Shirai ... Tomeo
Genjitsu Shu
Tarô Suwa
Ryôichi Suzuki
Yukiko Tachibana
Masaaki Takarai ... Miyuki's Boyfriend
Takao Toji
Rin Uchida ... Young Daigo
Atsushi Yamanaka
Miki Hayashida ... Okuyamakenomusume (uncredited)

Directed by
Yôjirô Takita 
Writing credits
Kundô Koyama (screenplay)

Produced by
Yasuhiro Mase .... executive producer
Toshiaki Nakazawa .... producer
Ichirô Nobukuni .... producer
Toshihisa Watai .... producer
Hideharu Yamashita .... line producer
Original Music by
Joe Hisaishi 
Cinematography by
Takeshi Hamada 
Film Editing by
Akimasa Kawashima 
Casting by
Takefumi Yoshikawa 
Production Design by
Fumio Ogawa 
Makeup Department
Etsuko Egawa .... special makeup effects artist
Isao Tsuge .... beauty director
Sound Department
Osamu Onodera .... sound editor
Satoshi Ozaki .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Hitoshi Takaya .... gaffer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Katsuhiko Kitamura .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Yoshiko Fumoto .... first assistant editor
Music Department
Hiroyuki Akita .... music engineer
Hiroyuki Akita .... music mixer
Nobuo Furukawa .... musician: cello
Joe Hisaishi .... conductor
Joe Hisaishi .... music arranger
Joe Hisaishi .... music producer
Joe Hisaishi .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Adam D. Wright .... distribution executive (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Okuribito" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Rated PG-13 for thematic material
130 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Canada:G (British Columbia) | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Denmark:A | Finland:K-12 | Germany:0 (f) | Hong Kong:IIA | Mexico:B | Netherlands:AL | New Zealand:M | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 | Sweden:Btl | Switzerland:10 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:10 (canton of Vaud) | Taiwan:PG-12 | UK:12A | USA:PG-13 (certificate #45351)
Filming Locations:

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.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Jeopardy!: Episode #26.35" (2009)See more »
Ave MariaSee more »


How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is "Okuribito" based on a book?
What does "Okuribito" mean?
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68 out of 80 people found the following review useful.
the rituals that sustain us, 18 February 2009
Author: CountZero313 from Japan

Almost three decades since starring in Juzo Itami's classic The Funeral, Tsutomu Yamazaki once more shines in a tale woven around the rituals, traditions and theatre involved in Japanese death rites. The irreverence that makes Itami's classic such a delight is present here. Daigo's first day on the job playing a stiff in a DVD for the funeral business comes back to haunt him in hilarious fashion later on. However, there is also reverence, the film respectfully pointing out that the people who do this necessary but thankless task do not deserve the disdain and revulsion that their profession often attracts.

Daigo loses his job as a cellist, returns to his inaka roots and stumbles into a job as an undertaker. Too ashamed to tell his wife, he slowly warms to his apprenticeship under the masterful tutelage of Sasaki. As he goes about his business, the inevitable traumas of a childhood long forgotten bubble to the surface as he goes about re-acquainting himself with the town. The conduit for the negative feelings towards his profession is Daigo's wife Mika, who takes punitive steps on discovering his new employment.

Screenwriter Kundo Koyama has to take credit for a script that moves along briskly, juxtaposing black farce with raw tenderness, all done seamlessly, and acutely observed. Lipstick on a corpse produces gales of laughter, and you are reminded that sometimes the best fun is had at funerals. Daigo moves towards a form of reconciliation and redemption through the promptings of those around him, and the comfort of his cello.

It would be all too easy for material like this to lurch into sappy sentimentality, but the film tugs at the heartstrings without overtly manipulating its audience. Motoki has to take some plaudits for this for a performance that amuses at times but hints at deep inner turmoil at others. Hirosue is less consistent, at times indulging in the head-bobbing, giggly, saccharine sweet girlishness that is the forte of the Japanese TV drama actress. She has one line in the climactic scene of such stunning obviousness I am surprised it stayed in, but for the most part she redeems herself in the tense interactions with Motoki over their differing views on his new career. Overall, she convinces as the supportive but put-upon wife.

From Kurosawa's Ikiru through The Funeral and now Okuribito, Japanese cinema has a rich vein of movies that exploit the rituals of death. How those rituals comfort us, enchant us, and see us through to a place where the pain still exists but might come to an end, is laid bare in Okuribito. It is an absorbing, moving tale, full of laughter and tears, that celebrates the intricate details of a Japanese rites of passage while laying bare their universal function. Best seen in the cinema, to get the full effect of the luscious orchestral score.

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The secretary in Dai's office frizzco
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