A Tale of Samurai Cooking A True Love Story 2013 (Review & Recap)
I have just watched this 2 hours Japanese film this cold Sunday afternoon/early evening here in London. I must admit it is a perfect movie for a lazy end of the week.
There are lots of food, some samurai fighting, intrigues in the Edo period and of course a BIT of romance. I have to point out that it was really tiny, small, minute romance. Even the ending when they had sorted out their misunderstanding the hug was so sedate. It was not even a full hug. It was just a one shoulder hug between Haru and Yasonobu.
The story is that Haru ended up reluctantly marrying Yasonobu who is 4 years younger that her on the behest (pleading of Yasonabu’s father, the master cook from the Funaki Family who serves in the Kaga Domain)
Haru, played by Aya Ueto, is an excellent cook, who was orphaned at a very early age of 12. She was then taken in to cook for the concubine of the House of Signoria (whatever?) 🙂 She became a great favourite of the concubine and treated her more like a daughter.
During a gastronomy festival, Funaki Sensei presented the upper class with a mystery dish. He then asked each of the diners to guess what the dish was, Only the concubine was able to guess it correctly and she then confessed that Haru told her.
Funaki Sensei was impressed that he beg Haru to marry his son. Haru said that she was already married though in a process of divorce. Her husband’s family had to send her back because she was noisy and too assertive.
Funaki Sensei beg and beg and assured Haru that he will sort out the divorce. She had to marry Yasonobu to save the Funaki family.
Yasonobu, played by Kengo Kora, is a second son. Being not the heir initially, he was more or less free to do what he wanted and he wanted to become a samurai warrior and marry the only daughter, Sayo, of the dojo.
He fell in love at first sight with Saya and hoped of marrying her and be the master of the Samurai dojo.
Unfortunately his elder brother, the heir to the Funaki culinary dynasty died in the plague. He, therefore, had to forget Saya and continue his father’s legacy.
Saya ended up marrying Yasonobu’s best friend.
Though Yasonobu is now the heir, he was a terrible cook and rather a spoiled brat.
He was also cold to Haru.
Haru was patient and was caring and supportive to her husband. She taught him the basics of cooking and for all it’s worth Yasonobu was quite an able apprentice. So much so that he got promoted from the samurai school of cookery, eh???? 🙂
It was quite fraught during that time, uprisings were everywhere.
Yosonobu would have died if Haru did not take it upon herself to sabotage his mission to join a small band of men intent on assassinating the Lord of Kaga.
Yosonobu was so frustrated when he found that his bestfriend died during the failed assassination. He blamed Haru for preventing him from joining the dead. He was on the act of beheading Haru when his mother came up and slapped him; telling him that he was a thoughtless idiot. He was self-centred not thinking that he was her only remaining child.
When everything has quietened a little bit, Haru packed her clothes and went. She left a letter saying that she is releasing Yosonobu from their marriage and now free to marry the woman, who he truly loves.
Haru has opened a little beach cafe (without the coffee – being the Edo period hahaha) and was contented until her next customer happened to be Yosonobu, who said that he had been looking for her and that his father advised him not to come back without her and that his mother wanted a grand-child but only if Haru was the mother. And that he had no feelings whatsoever for Saya and likes being married to Haru. Ahhhhhh
Haru run to his right shoulder for half a body hug. Ahhhhh
And they happily trod on together back to the family house.
It was a cute drama. The costumes are so lovely. Aya Ueto was stunning with her geisha like make-up. Kengo would have been drop-dead gorgeous if did not have that Samurai part shaved head. 🙂