Grappling with notions of past, present and future in Kokurikozaka Kara

While Kokurikozaka Kara (From Up On Poppy Hill) is a coming-of-age drama about a girl learning to accept her past and move on to her future, there is far more to this film than just this. At the centre of Kokurikozaka Kara we have a story about the importance of recognising and understanding your past in order to live in the present and push forwards to a future. It deals with themes that are central to Japanese society, but are often ignored, or invoked in very specific contexts. The film is set in 1963 a year before the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, only two years after the dramatic student riots that have left an indelible mark on Japanese society and laws. It is a period of activism all around the world as well, with numerous people’s movements coming out in opposition to what they see as destructive or oppressive governments and leaders. That Kokurikozaka Kara is set during this period seems significant due to the reasons and nature of the student protests, along with the context within which our characters live. Read more of this post