Why “Everyday Life of a Large Family of 12,” Filmed Over 21 Years, Will Touch Your Heart | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Why “Everyday Life of a Large Family of 12,” Filmed Over 21 Years, Will Touch Your Heart

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Real Life of a Large Family Filmed by 10 Directors over 21 Years

At the end of last February, “Life is… a Jigsaw Puzzle,” the story of Eiji and Nobuko Kishi plus their seven boys and three girls in Kumamoto Prefecture, was broadcast late at night on NTV’s “NNN Documentary (“NDoku”) ’21,” and it caused a huge sensation.

March 21, 2019. The family gathers at the wedding of their third daughter, Hoe. The film “Life Drive” is scheduled to open in theaters on May 21, 2022 at Polepole Higashi-Nakano and other locations nationwide.

Click here to see “Late-night broadcasts are very popular! Why the story of a large family of 12 and its 20-year history is so moving”.

For 21 years since around 2000, Kumamoto Prefectural Television (KKT) has covered the lives of the Kishi family as they overcame numerous hardships, including the burning down of their home, the Kumamoto earthquake, and emergency hospitalization……. Now, in commemoration of KKT’s 40th anniversary, the film “Life Drive,” re-edited for theatrical release, is being shown sequentially from Kumamoto to various locations.

February 1, 2010. His house burns down. When “Zoom In‼ SUPER,” which has been continuously broadcasting the Kishi family’s record, reported about the fire, relief goods addressed to “Kishi-san and family” arrived at Uto City Hall from all over Japan.

We interviewed Ms. Ryoko Kido, the director of the film and producer of “N-Doku,” who has been in charge of the Kishi family for two years since 2006 and again from 2019, among a total of more than 10 directors who covered the Kishi family.

She said, “For the “N-Doku” broadcast and film adaptation, I spent about a month reviewing all the footage we had shot over the past 21 years, making sticky notes to record it, and compiling a timeline.

Under such circumstances, the movie will feature scenes that have never been shown on terrestrial broadcasting before, as well as scenes that have not seen the light of day in about 15 to 20 years. In the footage we have shot, there are many scenes in the car. When we asked Nobuko why she likes to drive, she said, “Because I get to be alone with (my husband). Unlike on TV, the conversations in the car between the two of them are included in the film with very little editing.

Nobuko and Eiji cherished the time they spent driving together, “just the two of us. When Eiji proposed to Nobuko, he wrote in a letter, “I may not be able to go to happiness right away, but please keep riding with me. I will drive so that you will not go off the road.

What are some of the unique features of the film?

The first thing Koichi Sato, the film’s director, said to me was, “A film should be narrated through images. It was my basic policy to remove any images that would require narration to explain.

In television programs, especially news programs that I am involved with on a daily basis, it is fundamental to convey information in a short period of time in an easy-to-understand manner so that the audience does not misunderstand. Therefore, we omit information such as how old the person was at the time of the film, and allow each viewer to connect the threads of memory and information and watch the film as he or she imagines. That’s why the impressions we receive are so varied.

The scenes that stand out are the one where the two sons are silent at a yakitori restaurant with their father, Eiji, and the scene where the second son is asked at a ramen shop, “Have you ever smoked a cigarette? and the scene where the second son is asked at a ramen shop, “Have you ever smoked? Even though there are no loud fights or disputes, the family has not always been peaceful and relaxed, and the glimpses of adolescence and rebellion are vividly shown, which, in turn, reassure us that this is a normal family that can be found anywhere.

In the scene where the second son, Tendo, asks his father, Eiji, at a ramen shop, “Have you ever smoked a cigarette? at a ramen shop.
Awkward silence ensues at a yakitori restaurant for three men…

Happenings that occur only because there is no “yara-see” (playful) behavior.

In 21 years, have there been any periods of refusal to film or events that were impossible to film?

“I asked Nobuko-san, and she said, ‘I have never refused to be filmed. When I reviewed 21 years of footage, I found that some children were not filmed at certain times. Even so, I believe that the fact that we were able to accept the camera for 21 years without any refusals is due to the relationship of trust that our seniors had built up over the years.

In fact, when it was discovered that their fifth son, Hyuga, had leukemia, Nobuko and her colleagues contacted me and said, ‘Hyuga wants us to record his condition, so will you come and film us now? Nobuko and her colleagues contacted me and said, ‘Hinata wants us to record it, so will you come and interview her now?

In order to maintain a relationship of trust, was there any handover or handover among the more than 10 directors?

I don’t have any paper materials, but when I conducted a survey of past staff members in order to publicize the film on social networking sites, I found a cameraman who said, “There were days when I played 80% of the time so that people wouldn’t notice the camera was on them. There were definitely times when I saw the cameraman playing with the children and thought to myself, ‘I can’t do interviews now,’ so I played along.

When I went to Mr. Kishi’s house to interview him, I never knew what would happen. Even though the shooting itself was supposed to take about an hour, we would say, “We’ll start the laundry around 9:00 a.m.,” and by 10:30 a.m., it still hadn’t started (laughs).

When Mr. Hinata was hospitalized, we were told that he would leave the house at 7:30 a.m., so we arrived at his house around 7:00 a.m., but we didn’t leave until after 8:00 a.m. We wondered if we would be able to make it in time. We accompanied him, saying, ‘Will we make it in time?’ We filmed a scene where we all hugged each other and cried at the hospital entrance, saying, ‘Go for it,’ and when we thought it was over, he came out and said, ‘National Medical Center and Regional Medical Center were wrong, wrong hospital’ (laughs).

After decades of covering Mr. Kishi’s family, no matter what happens, people always say, ‘Well, it’s Mr. Kishi’s house, isn’t it? (Laughs.) People often ask me, “Is there any kind of a fake? or “You’re getting paid, aren’t you? But there is no such thing with the Kishi family. We even paid for a parking lot for them to come to the stage greeting for this movie (laughs).

(Laughs)” There are also episodes of happenings that occur because there are no fake performances.

There is a scene that is not included in the movie, in which Eiji proposes to Nobuko in a flower garden. It was the day Nobuko-san was discharged from the hospital after her surgery, and I heard that she wanted to go for a short drive after leaving the hospital, so I went to cover the scene. Then Eiji disappeared during the discharge procedure, and when we were looking for him, he was doing his best to hide a bouquet of flowers in the back of his car.

The cameraman followed Nobuko and I followed Eiji separately because we knew he would hand over the bouquet at some point, but when we arrived at the cosmos field, Eiji let Nobuko go ahead of him. When we arrived at the cosmos field, Eiji let Nobuko go ahead of him. Then Eiji went to a product store near the cosmos field and asked the office staff, “I’m going to that cosmos field now, so please bring me this bouquet of flowers,” and he left. (laughs).

We had no idea what was going to happen, but the basic premise of a documentary is to follow along without asking any questions or knowing what is going to happen. If we intervene, it becomes staged, so we don’t ask, “What are you going to do next? And we know from experience that even if we do ask, things don’t always go as planned.

The charm of the Kishi family was reaffirmed by the film adaptation.

The reason we were able to capture the miraculous moments so many times is because we have been building a relationship of trust with them for 21 years, and we have spent a lot of time and effort to interview them, and we have kept the camera rolling for a long time. So, what is the charm of the Kishi family that you felt again after making the film?

Nobuko-san is a person who is very good at picking up on small moments of happiness without overlooking or missing them. I feel that this has become stronger and stronger because she has experienced in her 60-odd years of life that even when things are difficult or hard, there are good things waiting for you ahead.

Nobuko-san often says that the third and fourth births were the hardest and most painful, but after she got past that point, she was able to switch her thinking to just pick up the good things about raising a child.

You continue to make an effort to build a relationship with your partner as well, remembering over and over what you have decided to do and what you value, while enjoying it. Efforts toward those closest to us tend to be put on the back burner, but I am reminded that it is important to properly express our appreciation and love to those closest to us.”

  • Interview and text by Wakako Takou

    Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, became a freelance writer. She interviews actors for weekly and monthly magazines and writes drama columns for various media. His main publications include "All Important Things Are Taught by Morning Drama" (Ota Publishing), "KinKiKids: Owarinaki Michi" and "Hey!Say!JUMP: When 9 Tobira Open" (both from Earls Publishing).

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