Shin Yorokobi mo Kanashimi mo Ikutoshitsuki (1986)

Run Time - 129 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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The Japanese title for this drama about human relationships, "(new) times of joys and sorrows," is descriptive of the story. Director Keisuke Kinoshita (director of the first, 1958 Ballad of Narayama) reprises the theme of a lighthouse keeper featured in his 1957 film of the same title (without the "new"). Rather than simply pick up where the characters and story left off, Kinoshita explores the relationships between a lighthouse keeper and his family and friends over many years. Yoshiaki (Go Kato) tends the lighthouse and lives with his wife Asako (Reiko Ohara) and three children. He and his family move constantly as he goes from one assignment to another, introducing stunning new locations and new characters with each change, but his friendships with other lighthouse keepers remain strong. One of the recurring characters is his egotistical father (Hitoshi Ueki), who visits the family each time they move and seems to mellow with age.