世上已无寅次郎 Tora-san no more...
I find myself exceptionally attracted,even entranced by a Japanese movie series(the longest-running movie series in the film history actually),"Tora-san",also known as "it's tough being a man".寅次郎的故事(男人真辛苦).
There are 48 installments in total,all about this roaming salesman,Torajiro Kuruma,fondly called by his folks and friends "Tora-san" who encountered countless romantic (mis)adventures on his endless tours around Japan.
He is a kind-hearted,vain,outspoken,frank, carefree,happy-go-lucky and romantic guy,always willing to help others at the expense of himself and his family(he is single,so his family is actually his half-sister, his uncle and aunt who run a small food store at his hometown near Tokyo).And he is excessively keen on helping out young beautiful women he met on his around-the-nation tour, playing knight in shiny armor.Some of the girls, if not all, developed some amorous feelings towards him, only to be turned down by him,wittingly or unwittingly. You may find him dim-witted not able to discern the blossoming love around him, but I find him intentionally refusing a romantic advance from a beautiful woman more heartbreaking... In the latter cases,he knows that he is not going to give the girl true happiness she deserves, he is just a roaming salesman who barely knows how he would get his next meal... He has no choice but to refuse, to retreat, to move on... He cares so much about women he wants them to have the best,which he clearly is not...Some of the times I find myself crying for his selflessness and silent love for those girls...Silent water runs deep,how true indeed...
And his lifestyle also struck a chord with me.He just lived his life to the utmost,caring nothing about his future, his career, his family, his responsibility... He just travels around, seeing sights, visiting people, helping girls, having crushes, sleeping over his frustrations and moving on,a whole new romantic story and a whole new breathtaking scenery ahead of him.How I envy him...
This kind of people have become few and far in between, given the rapid commercialization of the society, 'cause everybody now is thinking about how to get rich quick, how to speed-seduce, how to fast-date, how to protect themselves at the expense of others...If you do spot a guy like Tora-san in real life, you'd think he is retarded, or just playing dumb with his own axe to grind.That's why the watching of the series makes for such a haunting nostalgia for good old day, days when everything is simple and pure, as well as a gnawing lament of the progression(or is it regression?) of the human society...
That's why I give this post the title"Tora-san is no more"(世上已无寅次郎).It's a sad regret, but also a keen yearning...
And the passing of Mr Kiyoshi Atsumi(渥美清) in 1996 doesn't help matters, which brought the series to a sad and much-missed ending.Now if you want to immerse your hearts into old days when simpler values reigned ,you can't do so even by watching movies, for Nobody represents the role better than Mr Atsumi.And he is gone... Tora-san is NO MORE...
People love Tora-san.They love him so much as to enshrine his humble dwelling in Shibamata.Shibamata, in the series, is almost as much the star as Tora-san. It was a part of downtown Tokyo recreated with loving care, creating a glowing nostalgic feeling for a Japan that never really existed. A spiritual shangrila for all yearning souls...
Whether you walk through the Tora-san museum opened in November 1997 by Shochiku studios, or stroll along the lush bank of Edo river,I bet there'll be a constant feeling that at any moment, Tora-san himself might come shuffling over right toward you, in his characteristic hat, sports jacks, and zori, flashing you his vulnerable smile: the eternal vagabond with a heart of gold.
(a Chinese poem penned by yours truly regarding Tora-san)
Stroll along the bank of Edo river,
When will I ever see you again,Tora san my brother?
In a dreamlike trance haven’t I seen you, rushing out to meet me,clip-clopping in your wooden Geta?Your hearty laugh resounding again in the neighborhood,cheering up one another.
Alas,my fine pal,
You are so sincere and kind,
The weak in trouble,the beauties in need,
They are always on your mind.
All over the country we intently look for you,my dear friend,
Only to discover that it’s a vain attempt.
Maybe we shouldn’t have bothered after all,
For In this life,in this world,Tora san is no more…
历史上的今天：Still Life 三峡好人 2007-01-07