Ippai no Kakesoba (1992)

Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Katsumi Nishikawa directs this three-hanky weepy based on a popular children's story by Ryohei Izumi. Set in Sapporo during the oil crisis of the early '70s, the film centers on the Hokkaitei soba stand run by a stoic patriarch (Tsunehiko Watase) and his perky wife (Yoshie Ishige). One New Year's day, a haggard-looking mother (Pinko Izumi) and her two adorable moppets (Masaya Obi and Hidetsugu Takiguchi) poke their heads into the restaurant and ask for a single bowl of kakesoba. Noticing that the trio is looking a little low in the heels, she puts in an extra scoop of noodles. The youngest boy declares that the soba is delicious. The next year, the same threesome appears again asking for one bowl of kakesoba. This time the old man dumps in two helpings. He is struck by how much the youngest looks like their own son who was hit by a truck three years previous. The following year, the three return and this time the mother tells her story. The boys' father was killed in a traffic accident just after promising them to go out the Hokkaitei restaurant to get some soba. In spite of their poverty, they order soba in honor of their father.