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

Director:

Yôjirô Takita

Writer:

Kundô Koyama (screenplay)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 39 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

The gift of last memories

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Yôjirô Takita attended funeral ceremonies to understand the feelings of bereaved families, while Tsutomu Yamazaki never participated in the encoffinment training. See more »

Goofs

The main protagonist (Masahiro Motoki) has his cheek cut during the filming scene. This is covered in subsequent scene. In the next scene both the covering and the scar of the cut is gone. See more »

Quotes

[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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Connections

Remade as Untitled Departures Remake See more »

Soundtracks

Okuribito
Written by AI Hisaishi? and Joe Hisaishi
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User Reviews

 
Remarkable Movie, Deserved the Oscar
22 April 2009 | by smexpertSee 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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

19 June 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Departures See more »

Filming Locations:

Sakata, Yamagata, Japan

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$74,945, 31 May 2009

Gross USA:

$1,498,210

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$70,636,951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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