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Departures (2008) Poster

(2008)

Trivia

Japan's contender for the 2009 foreign language Oscar, which it won.
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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.
Masahiro Motoki also learned how to play a cello for the earlier parts of the film.
The Japanese title "Okuribito" means "the sending [away/off] people" (as in: people who send) - but this word is not normally used in Japanese.
Although the character of Mika was initially planned as being the same age as Daigo, the role went to pop singer Ryôko Hirosue, who had previously acted in Takita's Himitsu (Secret) in 1999. Takita explained that a younger actress would better represent the lead couple's growth out of naivety. In a 2009 interview, Takita stated that he had cast "everyone who was on my wish list".
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Yôjirô Takita attended funeral ceremonies to understand the feelings of bereaved families, while Tsutomu Yamazaki never participated in the encoffinment training.
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The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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