Saturday, February 4, 2012
Studio Ghibli Series: Ocean Waves - 海がきこえる
On Thursday, the Aero theater in Santa Monica screened the Studio Ghibli film Ocean Waves, or I Can Hear the Sea (海がきこえる). Ocean Waves is one of studio Ghibli's less known films, set in 90's metropolitan Tokyo(東京) and Kochi (高知) city.
While Tokyo boasts a population of 13,185,502, Kochi is located on the island of Shikoku, the smallest and less populated of Japan's four main islands. It's population is only 340,515 -a stark contrast to Tokyo. Kochi is referred to as slow and old fashioned. Kochi retains a lot of it's cultural history. The film showcases some of the prefecture's cultural details: Yosakoi, Tosa dialect, and farming production. The area can also be referred to as Old Tosa which refers to the Tosa Province of Japan during the Edo period. In history, Tosa played important roles in events in the late Tokugawa shogunate.
I enjoyed seeing a slice of life from one of Japan's lesser known areas. While a lot is known about the major cities of Tokyo and Osaka, it was exciting to witness a different lifestyle of Japan. Similar to other Studio Ghibli films, the contrast between Tokyo and Kochi embodied the human relationship between nature and urbanization, cultural history and technology.
The Aero theater will be screening other rare Studio Ghibli films this month: Whispers of the Heart, Ocean Waves, and Only Yesterday.