June 15, 2022

Tonight I rewatched the movie "Walking My Life" (Zô no senaka) that I watched on my way back from my trip to Japan in 2008. (Had some problems finding where to pay for it and stream it, found a somewhat sketchy service instead, but it worked ok.)

The story is of a 48 yr old businessman who decides not to seek intervention for his deadly lung cancer. I didn't remember it clearly, and thought it might resonate for me because of my own nostalgia, since part of it is him making contacts with estranged friends, especially since the businessman is the same age I am now... but the story is mostly about him reconciling with his present relationships in the shadow of his fragility and impending death, and it really strongly brought to mind thoughts of my dad and what he must have gone through his debilitation, partial rebound, and early death.

(Sometimes it feels weird being this old and still poking at the old scar of my dad's death. Like I'm almost a decade further along than he ever got, get over it already! But the movie definitely gave me a twinge of this guilt I'll always carry for having snuck out of the house in the morning on the actual day of his death, kind of running away from my feelings of helplessness-to-help. My mom assures me he was too busy struggling to really be aware of it, but not saying good-bye on the day it was my last chance to say good-bye will always be a small shame of mine. Though I guess "have a good day!" would have rung a little false anyway.)

Anyway. "Walking My Life" is the best movie I've seen for getting a feel for authentic Japanese domestic and business life - especially how they deal with overwhelming feelings in a society of extremely strict decorum.