Japanese Story


''Japanese Story'' is a 2003 Australian
romantic drama Romance films or romance movies are romantic love stories recorded in visual media for broadcast in theaters and on television, TV that focus on passion (emotion), passion, emotion, and the affectionate romantic involvement of the main characters ...
film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of used to simulate experiences that communicate ideas, stories, perceptions, feelings, beauty, or atmosphere through the use of moving images. These images are gen ...

directed by
Sue Brooks Sue Brooks (born 1 May 1953) is an Australian film director and producer. She has directed five films since 1984. She won the "Golden Alexander" (first prize) for Best Feature-Length Film at The International Thessaloniki Film Festival for her fi ...
. It was screened in the
Un Certain Regard 274px, ''Un Certain Regard'' logo () is a section of the Cannes Film Festival The Cannes Festival (; french: link=no, Festival de Cannes), until 2003 called the International Film Festival (') and known in English as the Cannes Film Festiv ...
section at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.


Sandy Edwards (played by
Toni Collette Toni Collette-Galafassi (born Toni Collett; 1 November 1972) is an Australian actress, producer, and singer-songwriter. She is known for her work in independent films as well as supporting roles in feature films, for which she has received n ...

Toni Collette
) is a
director Director may refer to: Literature * Director (magazine), ''Director'' (magazine), a British magazine * The Director (novel), ''The Director'' (novel), a 1971 novel by Henry Denker * The Director (play), ''The Director'' (play), a 2000 play by Nanc ...
in a company that designs
geological Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which th ...
software Software is a collection of instructions that tell a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operatio ...

Perth Perth () is the and largest city of the n state of (WA). It is Australia's , with a population of 2.1 million living in in 2020. Perth is part of the of Western Australia, with most of the metropolitan area on the between the and the . ...

, Western Australia. Her business partner manipulates her into agreeing to act as a guide for a Japanese businessman visiting mines in the
Pilbara The Pilbara () is a large, dry, thinly populated regions of Western Australia, region in the north of Western Australia. It is known for its Indigenous Australians, Aboriginal peoples; its ancient landscapes; the red earth; and its vast miner ...
desert, in hopes that he will purchase the software. When Hiromitsu Tachibana () arrives, he treats Sandy like a chauffeur, and he seems more intent on self-discovery in the wilderness than on buying computer software. At first, Sandy is angered by his reserved, demanding demeanor. On their first journey into the desert, Hiromitsu, feeling insecure, talks more on his phone with friends in Japan than he does to Sandy. He also insists that she drive farther than planned. The terrain proves too much for the pair's vehicle, which becomes bogged down in the sand. After a series of desperate attempts to release the vehicle, including digging a dead man anchor, their winch burns out. Sandy wants to use Hiromitsu's phone to call people who can rescue them, but Hiromitsu refuses. This forces them to spend the night stranded together. The next day, Hiromitsu, conscious that his refusal had placed them in danger, wakes up much earlier than Sandy and builds a track of sticks over which they can drive out of the sand. The manoeuvre is successful. Now that they are on the road again, the ice breaks and a friendship starts between them that, in isolated surroundings uninterrupted by their work, grows quickly and honestly. Later, at a motel, they have sex. Only after does Sandy learn that Hiromitsu has a wife and children in Japan. On another journey to scenic spots, Hiromitsu and Sandy share a quiet moment and kiss each other, eventually having sex again. Afterwards, Sandy runs into a swimming hole nearby. Hiromitsu follows her, diving into the shallow water before she can warn him, and disappears. Sandy frantically calls for him and, after a moment, his lifeless body resurfaces. In shock at his sudden death, Sandy struggles to deal with the situation, dragging his body into their vehicle and carefully washing it before driving for hours to the nearest town. Back in Perth, Sandy cannot comprehend the violent end to her journey. Reality intrudes in the form of Hiromitsu's grieving widow, Yukiko, and Sandy tries to understand how Hiromitsu's life had ended before she had understood his place in hers.


Toni Collette Toni Collette-Galafassi (born Toni Collett; 1 November 1972) is an Australian actress, producer, and singer-songwriter. She is known for her work in independent films as well as supporting roles in feature films, for which she has received n ...

Toni Collette
– Sandy Edwards * (綱島郷太郎 ''Tsunashima Gōtarō'') – Hiromitsu Tachibana *
Matthew Dyktynski Matthew Dyktynski is an Australian actor and comedian, graduating from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1992. Dyktinski has played lead roles on television series ''Shock Jock'' and ''Raw FM'', and has appeared on ''The Man fro ...
– Bill Baird *
Lynette Curran Lynette Curran (born 1945 ), is an Australian actress best known for her roles in Australian television series and films. Between 1967 and 1974 she was a regular in soap opera ''Bellbird (TV series), Bellbird''. She also acted in the film versio ...
– Mum *
Yumiko Tanaka Yumiko is a Grammatical gender#Personal names, feminine tomboy style Japanese name, Japanese girl. Possible writings Yumiko can be written using different kanji characters and can mean: *弓子, "bow, child". *由美子, "reason/cause, beauty, chi ...
(田中由美子 ''Tanaka Yumiko'') – Yukiko Tachibana * Kate Atkinson (actress), Kate Atkinson – Jackie * Bill Young (actor), Bill Young – Jimmy Smithers * Reg Evans – Bloke in Row Boat * George Shevtsov – James * Justine Clarke – Jane * Igor Sas – Fraser * Mike Frencham – Blake * John Howard (Australian actor), John Howard – Richards * Phil Bennett – Barman * Heath Bergersen – Petrol Bloke * Peter Heather - Police Officer 1 * Ray Curren - Police Officer 2

Box office

''Japanese Story'' grossed $4,520,000 at the box office in Australia.Section=Australian_Films_Domestic_Box_Office_of_All_Time

Reception and accolades

''Japanese Story'' received mixed to positive reviews, currently holding an approval rating of 68% on Rotten Tomatoes.

See also

* Cinema of Australia


External links

Official website
- Palace Films
''Japanese Story''
at the National Film and Sound Archive {{AACTAAward BestMusicScore 2000-2019 2003 films APRA Award winners Australian films Australian adventure drama films 2000s adventure drama films 2003 romantic drama films Australian romantic drama films English-language films Japanese-language films Films set in Western Australia Films directed by Sue Brooks Japan in non-Japanese culture