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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 17

Post by earthcolors » Feb 10th, '15, 12:44

Massan Ep.100 Synopsis
Ema comes home from school, and meets Kumatora in front of the house. The old man asks Ema about the essay on family that she is supposed to make. He asks that they talk for a bit. He shows her a drawing of a caterpillar that he made. He explains that when a caterpillar eats leaves, it will become a lovely butterfly. He says just like it, if Ema eats her meals everyday, obeys her parents, and study well, she too will become a lovely "butterfly". "Just like Mother?" Ema asks. "Yes," he answers. He also informs her about Takeshi and how he has to be absent from school and help out at the farm. "So try to get along with him when he comes back to school, alright?" Ema says yes and goes inside her house. Then, Massan comes home and is greeted by Kumatora. They talk about what happened in Osaka. Ellie comes out too and greets her husband. Massan asks about Ema, and Ellie says she has something to consult him with about their daughter. Massan asks that they do that later because he has to go and see his factory for the meantime.

Massan tells Toshio and Kazuma that they need to change the label of the product as ordered by his investor. He also plans to ask department stores in Sapporo and Hakodate to sell their product. Toshio says he and Kazuma have been discussing about hiring sales people to do promotions and advertising for their product since Massan can't do everything alone. But Massan says he can't afford to hire new workers at the moment.

Hana is teaching Ema the kanji for "parent". Then Ema asks Hana, how was her mom like. Hana says she was around the same age as Ema when she lost her mom, and that she cried "morning, day and night" when she died. Ema asks if her mom looked like her. "Yes," Hana answers, awkwardly. "There are some parts that we look similar, and some parts that are not." Ema wonders which part she is similar with her own parents, Massan and Ellie. Hana answers that she has the same smarts as her dad, and pretty and friendly like her mom. "Is it maybe why my hair is as black as dad's?" Hana says yes, a bit uncomfortable.

Later, Hana tells Ellie and Massan about her awkward conversation with Ema. So the couple decides it is best to tell Ema the truth...

Ema is in her room, writing the essay about "family". Massan comes in and asks Ema to come and have a talk with him and Ellie. In the dining area, the family of three sits down to have that talk. Massan is mainly the one who explains to Ema: that immediately after she was born, her real parents died because of an epidemic; and that he and Ellie had raised her up after that. He and Ellie assures her that they think of her as their real daughter no matter what, and that they love her very much. Ema is crying quietly while listening to her father. But in the end, she says she understands. The three hug each other after the talk.

The next morning, Ema leaves the house to go to school while Ellie sees her off outside the house. Ema sees Toshio along the way as usual, and do their normal "good morning" routine. But this time, Ema greets him in Japanese, rather than in English. Toshio senses a change in Ema. Hana who has heard asks Ellie if Ema already knows, and Ellie says yes. Toshio asks what had happened, but as usual Hana just ignores his questions. Ellie, however, looks into the distance, and seems worried... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.101 Synopsis
After that talk that night, Ema lies on her bed, frowning. Even if she told her parents she understands, she seems troubled about the truth. She is probably worried what to write on her essay, now that she knows the truth about her birth. It is because , on her study desk, her essay lies unfinished, with an angry stroke ruining the rest of the paper...

In school, Yoshie greets her and asks about the essay. Ema says she hasn't finished it yet. Yoshie too says she's having trouble with it. "If I write the truth (about how her parents are always fighting), they might get angry." Ema is bothered with the word "truth," remembering what her parents had told her. Yoshie asks what's wrong. Ema: "Nothing"...

At the factory, Massan asks everyone to change the labels of the bottles. Toshio complains that they should also change the contents as well (into whisky). The women wonders if the company will be all right. Massan tells them not to worry. The truth is, Massan is thankful for this, since it gives him an excuse to halt production (since he has too many unsold items), and just have the workers concentrate on changing the labels.

At the herring palace, Hana and Ellie are pickling some food into a pot. Ellie tells her how she and Massan told Ema the truth. Hana says it's a good thing, but Ellie still feels worried. Then they hear Ema, who has just arrived at the house.

Ellie goes to the house to welcome Ema. The girl refuses snacks since she has homework to do, and goes straight to her room. Ellie knows that this behavior is similar to the day when she pushed Takeshi down, and pretended that things were alright. Seeing her shoes neatly arranged at the door also causes her to worry...

Inside her room, Ema looks at the essay that she couldn't bring herself to finish. She angrily tosses another textbook on it so she wouldn't have to see it.

Ellie goes to Massan's office to tell him of Ema's "strange" behavior. "She greeted me properly, arranged her shoes, washed her hands, did her homework (all without being told)." Massan just laughs it off, and says not to worry too much. He asks that they talk about it later since he's too busy at the moment.

Ellie goes back to the house. She checks up on Ema and sees her sleeping, her head resting on her desk. Sensing something is wrong, she holds Ema. She feels feverish...

Massan and Ellie asks Hana if she has ice to bring down Ema's fever. Hana will go and get some. Kumatora tells them not to worry since it's just a fever. He also informs them that it might be stress due to the upcoming parents' visitation, and the essay. Ellie says she hasn't heard anything about that...

In her room, Ema is asleep while Ellie watches over her, placing a damp cloth on her forehead. Then, Ema, while asleep, calls out "Mom... Mom..." She takes out her own hand from underneath her blanket. Ellie, for some reason, stares at her daughter's hand and did not touch it.

Later on, the doctor had already come and examined Ema. After he left, Ellie tells Massan about Ema's "sleep talk". "She was crying out 'Mom, Mom'. Is she calling for me or perhaps...?" Massan tells her not to worry, and assures her that Ema thinks of her as her only mother. Then, Hana comes to give them the ice. She apologizes, saying that maybe she should not have said "unnecessary things." Massan and Ellie tell her it's not her fault...

Ellie continues to care for her sick daughter. Ema cries out 'Mom, Mom' again. She sticks her hands from underneath her blanket but this time Ellie holds her hands, and kisses her child. She remembers some of her memories of Ema growing up... She kisses her hands, and tells her, "No matter what, I am your mom."

The next morning, Ema awakes. It looks like her fever had subsided. She sees her mother beside her, and calls out, "Mom?" Ellie wakes up, too, and happy to see Ema well. Ema: "Did you stay with me the whole time?" Ellie: "Of course." Massan peeks from behind the door and is also happy to see Ema well.

Later that afternoon, Ellie is feeding Ema some rice-red bean porridge. Ema says she isn't hungry yet. Then, they hear a visitor outside. Ellie goes to see. It is Yoshie who has come to visit Ema. She just came from school, and she also brought along Takeshi with her. Ellie shows them inside Ema's room. Takeshi looks shy and embarrassed. Ellie leaves the three classmates to prepare some snacks for them...

Yoshie prods Takeshi to say what he wanted to say to Ema. Takeshi explains that he had been bad to Ema because he felt envious of her. Takeshi lost his mother early on, and seeing Ellie making and delivering delicious lunch to Ema, and holding her that day (at the herring palace), he felt mad and envious. But he says he is sorry now. Ema says she forgives him. Yoshie tries to make him confess too, that he likes Ema. But Takeshi denies it. Ellie is outside the door listening to the children, and smiles. She comes in, bringing a tray of cookies and apple juice. The children eat, while Ellie looks on, happy that they have gotten along well now. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.102 Synopsis
That night, Massan hears about what happened on that day: that Ema's classmates had visited her, and found the apple juice delicious. Ema thanks Ellie for staying with her the whole time while she was sick. She also says sorry to her since she now knows how hard it is for Ellie to come to Japan, learn the language and the food, and take care of her and Massan. Ellie says she is fine with all that, and not to worry about her. Ema also asks them not "to die earlier than me". "Since my real parents died, I didn't get to meet them. So don't die ahead of me." Massan and Ellie promise and they hug each other.

Ellie presents to them matching nemaki (sleepwear) she had been sewing for some time. She made one for each of them and for herself. Massan and Ema are delighted. They all put it on and wear them that night. Later, the family of three are wearing the nemaki. Massan and Ema, are asleep while Ellie is still awake, gazing lovingly at her family...

The next day, Ema is in her room. She finally gets down and works on her essay. This time, the words are flowing out of her, and smiles when finished.

Then the day of the parents visitation has come. That morning, Ellie shows Hana two western-style dresses, and asks which one she should wear to Ema's school. Hana chooses the grey one, but Toshio butts in and comments that Ellie should wear a kimono instead. Hana says Ellie shouldn't try to be like the other mothers and just wear what she normally wears. The two argue about it. Toshio: "You're like a bossy woman." Hana: "Neither a woman nor a man have anything to do with this!" Toshio: "A woman should just be quiet and listen to what her husband says!" Hana: "Well, I am not your wife!" Ellie tells them to stop fighting and that she'll just choose for herself.

At the factory, Massan asks Kazuma if he should donate some apple juice for the school visitation. Kazuma finds it weird. Massan says he'll only give it to the teacher and maybe the kids but still Kazuma doesn't think it's a good idea. "I won't find it strange to bring it as a "get-well" present for patients at the hospital, but for parents' school visitation? I've never heard of something like that before." When Massan hears "get-well present", he suddenly has an idea...

He broaches his idea to Ellie. That is to recommend apple juice as a get-well present to patients at the hospital (since Ema seemed to have gotten better after drinking the juice). Hana who is nearby listening, thinks it's a great idea, since apple juice is nourishing and good for the body. Massan says he will try and market his product to the hospitals starting tomorrow.

Then, the couple goes to Ema's school for the visitation. Other parents are there, including Sugimoto. The couple smiles at him. Chie also arrives. She and Ellie greet and thank each other since their daughters are best of friends. Then, the essay reading starts while the parents are at the back, watching and listening. And at last, it was Ema's turn to read her essay in front of everybody. Massan excitedly wishes her good luck, eliciting giggles from the others. She reads: "'My Family' by Kameyama Ema," She starts with "I lost my real mother and father when I was born." There is silence, and her classmates look surprised. "But I do not miss them," Ema continues. "It's because for me, I have the world's best mother and father. My mother is a good cook, and is very good in singing. When I became ill, she stayed with me the whole night, and nursed me. But, when she gets angry, she can be scary. My father always believes in whiskey. He came to Hokkaido from Osaka to make whiskey. In order to fulfill their dream, Mom and Dad are always working hard. Though sometimes they fight, they are very good friends. I love them both." She is smiling as she reads her essay while her parents are teary-eyed, and beaming proudly at her. "I also have a dream," she continues. "My dream is to become a grown-up like my mother someday. And when that dream comes true, I want to marry a man just like my father." She finishes and goes back to her seat. Massan and Ellie are crying with joy. Ema's teacher is also moved to tears. Ema looks back at her parents and smiles at them.

Some time has passed. Production has started again at the factory. The workers are placing a new label on the bottles. It still looks the same, except that the katakana words, <甘味 リンゴ汁> or "Sweet Apple Juice" are added and displayed prominently. It seems that the drink had become popular in the hospitals of Otaru and Sapporo, and that its reputation has also spread outside Hokkaido. Massan is now shipping his product to Tokyo and Osaka as well.
Narrator: "It seems the days of making whiskey here in Yoichi are approaching."

At the house, Ellie is teaching the English alphabet to Ema and her classmates, Yoshie, Takeshi, and Mitsuru. Ema is now looking very happy.
Narrator: "The whole family has regained their smiles; it seems their new life in Hokkaido has begun smoothly." (~synopsis by ec)

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 18

Post by earthcolors » Feb 10th, '15, 13:15

Week 18 Synopsis by NHK: "Tōkute chikaki wa danjo no naka'" (The relationship between men and women are both distant and close)
Six months after Massan's factory commenced operation, the apple juice business finally gets on the track. However, the products get returned by the troubles during the transportation, which causes him unexpected debts. In the meantime, Ellie notices Toshio's romance and makes an effort to hook Toshio up with Hana. At the wedding party of the two, Massan receives sudden sad news from Osaka. (~synopsis by NHK)
Massan Ep.103 Synopsis
It is now 1934, late spring in Hokkaido. A year and a half since it started, Massan's factory production is on track, making more apple juice. They also have found new distributers and hospitals to sell it to. Also, getting on well with their new life in Hokkaido are Ellie and Ema. Ellie is getting better pickling vegetables (cabbages) on her own. Ema goes to school energetically. Meantime, Hana and Toshio are still continuing their quarrels... This time, their fight started when Toshio trips over Hana's laundry basket. Then, they argue whether doing laundry is considered work or not. Hana: "Then you try washing clothes yourself!" She throws some wet clothes at him, and he throws it back at her and so on until the already laundered clothing falls on the dirt. Ellie comes to see what the fuss is about this time. But the two just keep on arguing, and Hana even pushes Toshio (who refuses to apologize) down. Ellie intervenes before it gets out of hand. Then, two men suddenly appear. They're both wearing western suits...

These men have come to talk to Massan about something and they don't looked pleased. They go inside the herring palace and sit by the hearth. Massan, Toshio, and Kazuma come to meet with them. One of the men, Furuya (Fujita Kojiro) is a small pudgy man, who appears to be one of Massan's major distributors of his apple juice. The other man seems to be his secretary. Furuya brings out a bottle of apple juice, and asks angrily, "What is this!?" He is referring to the powdery substance settling on the bottom of the bottle. "You told me this is 100% fruit juice, then what the heck is this!?" He even likens it to "debris settling at the bottom". Massan and the others take a bottle and shake it. The liquid appears cloudy. Kazuma explains that it is pectin that has been solidified. "It is the natural sugars from vegetables and fruits." Massan says, if it's cloudy, it means it is proof that it is all natural, but it doesn't affect the quality in any way. But still Furuya has another complaint. He takes out a bottle that has a moldy label. Furuya says there were moldy labels on bottles that have been shipped to Tokyo. Thus, it cannot be sold and have to be returned. Massan surmises the long journey towards Tokyo (since the ship has to pass through other ports as well, in order to deliver to other sellers), takes a month, depending on the ship. "And during the journey, and the rain and frost, the mold might have grown on the labels." Furuya says he is still not happy with it, and demands they do something about it. Kazuma still insists that the pectin and the mold won't affect the contents. Massan tells him to be quiet. He bows down to Furuya, and apologizes, promising he will work on the problem. Still, Furuya is unforgiving. He says he will return all the bottles he had received, and wants Massan to pay for the recovery costs. He and the other man then leave.

This issue worsens. More and more crates of their apple juice come back. Because of this, reputation of their product also drops. It seems difficult to transport their products to far places like Tokyo and Osaka. The workers are having doubts about the product as well. Matsu and Chika are looking at the crates being returned to them, and wonder out loud if they should bother making more since they're being returned anyway. Fukuda tells them to hush up, since Massan who is already worried, could hear them. Ellie comes to the factory to invite Massan for their afternoon tea. Her husband looks discouraged so she tries cheering him up. She also takes two of the returned bottles, and says she's going to make apple jelly out of them.

Over at Barber Nakashima, Kumatora shows Susumu, Subaru and Chie a bottle with the moldy label. They taste the contents and find the taste the same and unchanged. Still, Chie says she wouldn't like to buy it if it has a moldy label. Kumatora who is playing shogi with Susumu, says production at the factory has to be suspended for a while. Susumu worries about the payment of his apples. Kumatora tells him Massan will surely pay him in time. They also voice concern about the workers' wages, considering that Kumatora and his children are also working for Massan. Kumatora just says he'll worry about that another day. The two finish their shogi match, with Kumatora winning. Then, Susumu remembers something. He hands his brother-in-law what looks like a photo album...

At the back of the house, Toshio passes by Hana who is hanging up the laundry. He loudly talks to himself, about wondering if he should go back home to Hokkaido since the apple juice business is having problems, and it looks like they won't be making whisky anytime soon. Hana who hears his complaints, asks who has he been talking to. Toshio: "I'm just monologuing." Hana: "If you want to go back home so much, just hurry up and go!" Toshio: "Is that okay with you? Me going back home to Hiroshima?" When asked what he means, Toshio says "Usually, a person would say, 'Don't say that. Without you, I'll be lonely'." So Hana playfully hold Toshio's hand, and pretends to say those same exact words to Toshio, even adding, "Please stay with me forever!" It was during this moment that Ellie comes and hears what Hana said, so she assumes she is confessing to Toshio. But Hana denies it, and says she was only pretending. Then Kumatora comes and calls Hana. He wants the two of them to come inside the herring house, and talk about something. He looks pretty serious, so Ellie and Toshio stay at the door to see what it is all about...

Father and daughter are seated by the hearth. Kumatora hands Hana the photo album, and asks her if she wants to get married. Apparently, the eldest son of an apple farmer in Aomori is looking for a wife. Kumatora is asking Hana if she is interested. Hana has opened the album, and inspects the photos of a tall and good-looking man wearing a formal hakama. Kumatora was told that the prospective groom is a serious, hard-working man, who doesn't drink alcohol. "He doesn't even use a ladder when picking apples, so he is likely very tall." Upon hearing that, Ellie notices Toshio (who is around the same height as Hana) trying to make himself look tall by standing on his toes. Kumatora says he's not forcing Hana if she doesn't want to, and that she can refuse. "Well, just give it some thought." He laughs and that's the end of the discussion. Ellie watches Toshio saunter away after the talk.

After dinner at the herring palace that night, Massan and Kazuma are shown the pictures of the prospective groom. Kazuma seems pleased with his uncle's choice, that "it is so like him to choose an Aizu-born man". He asks his sister if she'll accept the match. Hana just answers, "Well..." vaguely. Ellie (who is in favor of Toshio for Hana) answers for her, "She'll think about it carefully." She also told them that Kumatora said it is fine if Hana refuses the offer. Massan thinks Kumatora seems so surprisingly understanding about it but Kazuma says it is not the case. "Sis has taken the place of mom all this time. He had been relying on Sis for his change of clothes, and personal belongings. Without her around, I think he'll be troubled." Massan says Hana can probably come and visit if she transfers to Aomori. He asks where Kumatora is. Ellie: "Fishing, he said." Massan: "At this time?" Ellie shrugs and Kazuma just laughs. Hana seems to be in deep thought while washing the dishes. Massan goes and takes Ema (who is asleep) back to their house, while Ellie goes out of the front door of the herring palace. She sees a ladder beside a scaffolding. She looks up and sees Kumatora on top, drinking liquor by himself. She wonders what Kumatora is thinking about. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.104 Synopsis
Afterwards, Massan has a nightcap of Highland Celt in the living room. Ellie joins him and discusses about Hana's arranged marriage offer. Massan says it is up to Hana to decide. Ellie wonders if Kumatora will be happy if his daughter gets married. Then she asks Massan, "What about Toshio?" She tells him that probably he and Hana love each other secretly. Massan doubts it because they are always fighting, and that probably Ellie is thinking of things too much. Scenes of Toshio, Hana, and Kumatora are shown separately: Toshio staying in the lab, reading some books, Hana staring at the picture of the prospective groom, and Kumatora drinking up, on top of the scaffolding; each of them, looks into the distance, thinking of something...

Morning comes. Massan and Kazuma are getting ready to deliver some samples of apple juice. They are going to Hakodate wholesalers, and explain that there's no problem with the cloudy liquid. Ellie gives them their packed lunches. She asks where Toshio is, since he hasn't come in yet to eat his breakfast. The two men wonder where he is...

The two men go and look for Toshio. They find him in the lab reading plenty of books. It seems he had stayed up all night studying. They ask what he is doing. Toshio says he is studying on how to make apple wine. He explains further that if they add yeast to their apple juice, it can ferment into wine. In other words, they can save the rejected items by turning them into wine. Massan and Kazuma think it's a great idea. Massan asks Toshio why he suddenly became serious all of a sudden. Toshio declares he will devote his life to work only, and will no longer think of women nor marriage anymore. He goes out of the building, leaving Kazuma and Massan wondering what that was all about...

Toshio, on his way to somewhere, sees Hana hanging the laundry as usual. He looks ahead, and passes her by, without saying a word. Hana also does not say anything, but pouts, while staring at Toshio's back. She seems disappointed that she did not have her usual spat with Toshio. She goes inside the house. Massan and Kazuma come back. They lift and carry their apple juice products on their backs (via backpack-like crates). Ellie asks about Toshio. Kazuma tells her what Toshio had said about not thinking of "women and marriage anymore". Ellie doesn't believe it, and tells Kazuma that it's because Toshio loves Hana, and is probably his way of giving her up. "Don't you notice that ever since the matchmaking offer came up, the two have stopped fighting?" Massan wonders, "If Hana likes Toshio, then why not just refuse the marriage prospect?" Ellie thinks because Toshio and Hana are waiting for the other to say something. Massan says he will ask Toshio once he gets back. Ellie kisses her husband goodbye, and the men leave.

In the afternoon, Ema has come home and eats a snack of apple jelly at the herring palace. Hana is there cooking nikujaga. Ellie catches Hana staring into the distance, and reminds her about the nikujaga before it gets overcooked. Hana laughs sheepishly, seemingly embarrassed that she got caught spacing out. Ellie asks her about her decision regarding the marriage prospect. "If there is a person you like, it's fine to refuse the marriage offer." Hana does not say anything, looks down shyly and just stirs the nikujaga. Then, Toshio passes by, and announces his arrival. Ellie asks him to come in and eat dinner with them. But Toshio refuses, saying he still has some research to do in the lab. He leaves, while Hana pouts again. Ellie asks Hana to deliver a tray of food to Toshio in the lab later on. Hana: "Huh? Me?" Ellie says, "Please", and she looks like she's serious about it (this is the first time we see and hear Ellie sounding like the Boss's Wife). She also tells Ema in her new serious tone, to hurry up and finish her homework. Ema obeys dutifully and finishes up her snack quickly.

Night comes, and Massan has come back. He goes to the lab and sees Toshio still busy with his apple wine research. Toshio shows him 5 different types of yeast collected in different flasks: sake yeast, baker's yeast, brewer's yeast, wine yeast, and whisky yeast. He wants to find out which among these would be best in making apple wine. "Everything has potential so it's better if you try them all, that's what Master (Massan's dad) said back in Hiroshima." Massan wants to help out too, but Toshio requests that he do this alone. Then, Massan asks if there is a woman he's interested in. Toshio denies it and reiterates his decision to devote his life to work, and not think of women. Then, Hana comes in bearing a tray of food for Toshio. Toshio looks flustered, seeing her. Massan, learning that Ellie had asked Hana to bring the food, decides to leave the two alone. He steps out of the lab but Ellie comes to eavesdrop and Massan decides to join her, too. Inside, Toshio tells Hana to just put the tray anywhere, and tries to resume with his work. Hana places it on a table but for some reason, chooses to linger in the room. Toshio asks what she wants. She tries to make small talk, by asking what he's doing. Toshio explains about the yeast, of how to maintain a certain temperature or else the yeast will die. "Yeast is the life of liquor, so it's important for making apple juice." Hana looks at his work, seemingly interested, or still hesitating to leave. Then she asks him what he thinks of the arranged marriage offer. Toshio is stunned to hear such a sudden question. Massan and Ellie wait for his answer with bated breath while watching the two through the window... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.105 Synopsis
Finally, Toshio answers that the prospective groom looks like a serious guy and quite tall. Hana says, "You're right" a bit disappointingly. But he adds, that a serious guy who doesn't drink doesn't suit her. Lightening up, she asks eagerly who he thinks suits her. Toshio says he doesn't know, since it's up to her to decide. Hana looks disappointed again, but manages to smile and say, "I guess you're right." She leaves, and sighs sadly outside the door (Massan and Ellie have rushed out before Hana could see them). Inside, Toshio looks sad, too. He shakes his head angrily, slaps himself on the cheek, and tries to get back to his work.

Again, the Kameyamas discuss the two's situation. Massan says it is still a matter between Toshio and Hana. Ellie looks sad for the two, and Massan tries to cheer her up by complimenting her apple jelly (which he is eating at the moment). Anyway, Massan tells her it's better to stay out of it. Ellie says okay.

Three days passed, and Ellie does try to stay out of it. But as she and Hana pass by Toshio, Toshio greets them in a formal manner, while Hana in turn treats him coldly as well. Ellie thinks that if they continue to act this way, the situation will not change at all.

Over at Barber Nakashima, Kumatora is discussing with Susumu, Subaru and Chie about the marriage prospect. Susumu wonders why Hana is taking too long in deciding. Chie says, the guy seems to make an ideal husband, considering he has several "mountains of apples" and is a landowner. Kumatora does not know why Hana is hesitating. Anyway, Susumu insists that Kumatora have a talk with Hana, and make her decide once and for all. "As a parent, you should think of the happiness of your daughter, right?" Kumatora ponders about it...

Kumatora comes home. Hana who just finishes mending a hole in his sock, welcomes him. He hands her a basket of fish which he had caught. Then he asks her what she plans to do with the marriage prospect. Still hesitant, she asks for his opinion. Kumatora thinks it's best that she meet with the man and decide then. They do not know it but Ellie is in the kitchen, listening in on their conversation...

At the lab, Toshio gives Massan and Kazuma the result of his research. He thinks the wine yeast makes a fine apple wine. He lets the two taste it. Massan thinks it's good while Kazuma notices the low alcohol content. Toshio says he has only fermented it for three days, and it'll have a higher alcohol content when a second fermentation is done. Kazuma says if they could sell apple wine, the company might be brought back to life. Massan agrees and that maybe they can proceed to making whisky. They hear Toshio sigh, and notice he has become sullen all of a sudden. They ask what's wrong. Toshio just says he agrees with what they say. "After all, work is the only thing I have," he says gloomily and leaves. Then, Ellie comes and asks to speak to Massan alone...

As they go back to their house, Ellie tells them that the matchmaking might push through. She says she's been trying her best not to interfere but is worried about the two. She wants Massan to do something about it. Massan tries to tell her to leave it alone but Ellie (in her new scary serious tone) says, "Neither of them will become happy!" Massan, intimidated by his wife's new form of assertiveness, says "okay" meekly.

That night, after dinner, Massan invites Kumatora at their house for a talk regarding the marriage prospect. Ellie comes out of Ema's room (after tucking her to sleep). She asks Massan to let her explain...

Over at the herring palace, Toshio and Kazuma are still finishing up their dinner. Hana is in the kitchen, washing up. She looks back at Toshio, not saying anything. Then suddenly, Kumatora comes barging inside. He is fuming mad, and lunges at an unsuspecting Toshio. Kazuma and Hana are surprised. Massan and Ellie try to stop him. "Please listen to the rest of what I'm going to say!" Ellie implores him. Kumatora is on top of Toshio, choking him. He accuses Toshio of having "a deep relationship" with his daughter behind his back. Ellie says, "It's not what I meant to say!" Kumatora: "Then what did you mean by (the English word) 'love'?" Kumatora apparently thought that "love" means that Hana is having a deep relationship with "this country hick". Toshio is able to pry himself from Kumatora's chokehold, and pushes him away. He rubs his neck and denies what he is being accused of. Massan explains that it was not what Ellie meant by "love". Ellie says what she meant is "like". Then, Hana says, "Dad! I don't know what Ellie told you but Toshio and I are not having a deep relationship. Not even "love"! We're just strangers to each other (or not having anything to do with each other)! Isn't it right, Toshio?" Toshio stares at Hana, looks down, and says, "Yes, we're just strangers to each other." Probably expecting Toshio to speak out, Hana looks dejected with his answer. Everyone is quiet. Then, Kumatora asks what she plans to do with the matchmaking. Hana suddenly answers, "I'm fine with it." They are all taken aback by her answer, especially Toshio. Ellie tries to ask her to think about it but Hana tells her father to inform her uncle to handle the arrangements of the omiai. Then pretending to smile, she goes back to the kitchen. Toshio gets up without a word and exits out to go to the lab. It seems Ellie's plan to bring the two together backfired, and instead, succeeded in hurrying up the omiai.

Massan and Ellie go back to the house. He tells her, "See? We should have kept our noses out of it." Ellie still tries to ask Massan to do something about it. "Or else they won't be happy." Massan tells her to give it up already. Still Ellie tells her that if the two do not tell their feelings to each other, they will regret it later on. She wants him to talk to Toshio, while Ellie will talk to Hana...

Finally Massan complies. He goes to Toshio at the lab, while Ellie goes and sees Hana. Inside the herring palace, the Morino family are finishing dinner. Kumatora asks Hana if she is really sure about wanting to do the omiai. Hana is quiet, and looks hesitant again...

Massan goes to the lab and asks Toshio if he really is okay with Hana marrying someone else. Toshio looking sad, answers: "By this omiai, Hana can get married. I am more at ease being single. I can do whatever I like, anytime... I can also go wherever I want. I won't have any kids to worry about. Nor have to worry about feeding them. Being free is the best." Then, Hana comes in suddenly. She wants to talk with Toshio alone. She grabs his wrist and brings him out into the production room. Massan and Ellie follow to see what's going to happen. Toshio asks her what she wants to say. Hana: "I like you, Toshio. How do you feel about me?" (~synopsis by ec)

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 18

Post by earthcolors » Feb 10th, '15, 13:46

Massan Ep.106 Synopsis
Toshio is too surprised to react. Instead of answering Hana's question directly, he says he doesn't know his own father. He had died when he was little, and so Toshio was raised by his mom. But even his mom had passed away when he turned 20. That is why he has no memory of his father, and wonders how it feels to be scolded by a father or praised by him. He didn't get a chance to see how he and his mother had gotten along, or how a married couple should act. That is why he doesn't have the confidence to get married, and doesn't know how to deal with having a wife and kids. "I have no idea." As he explains, he sits down while tears are steaming down his cheeks. Hana listens to him quietly and speaks after he is done. "It's just an excuse," she tells him. "No one is confident (with regards to such a thing). It's just a coward's (or shy guy's) excuse." She still demands to hear Toshio's answer. There is a long silence. Hana takes the silence as a rejection. She says she understands and is about to leave. Toshio jumps up and stops her from leaving. He says he isn't a coward. Wiping away his tears, he tries to tell her his answer but keeps faltering: "What I feel for you... is... is... is..." While Hana kept waiting and asking: "What is it? What? Say it clearly!" Finally, Toshio blurts it out aloud: "I want you to be my wife!!" Hana (and Massan and Ellie) look happy that finally Toshio has admitted it. But Hana says, "No." Toshio looks confused. "What!?" It seems Hana wanted Toshio to propose marriage properly and not make it sound like an order. Toshio: "Then how should I say it?" Hana: "Think about it yourself!" They begin to argue again. Massan and Ellie come to break up the fight. Massan tells Toshio to hurry up "before it's too late."

The four go back to the herring palace. Massan tells Kumatora that Toshio and Hana have something to announce to him. The two sit formally in front of Kumatora. Massan tells Toshio to hurry up and announce it to Kumatora. Again, Toshio is having trouble saying it. Kumatora of course knows what's coming next and feels nervous. He keeps pretending that he'll have to go and clean his rifle, or put away his fishing rod and such. Every time he tries to leave, Massan pushes him back to his seat. He tells Toshio to hurry up. Finally, Toshio says it: "Please allow us to become man and wife!" Kumatora asks Hana if she is really okay with Toshio. Hana says "yes" with a smile. Then, Kumatora lunges at Toshio again. The others thought he is going to choke him again. But the old man asks Toshio if he is prepared what he'll do to him once he makes Hana unhappy. Toshio promises he will for sure make his daughter happy. Kumatora releases him, and everyone shouts out, "Congratulations" to the two.

Then, a celebration party is held at the herring house for the new couple's engagement. Susumu and Chie are also there. Susumu asks Hana if she is really okay with marrying Toshio, since an Aizu woman should marry a fellow Aizu. Hana says she doesn't consider herself an Aizu since she was born in Hokkaido anyway. Susumu asks Kumatora if he is really okay with it. Kumatora says Hana has already decided. Still Susumu brings out the photo of the guy from Aomori, and says, "But this guy is so tall..." and looks at Toshio up and down, seemingly to compare his height with the man in the picture (of course, as a joke). Toshio tells him to stop emphasizing such a thing, and everyone laughs. Then, Subaru comes in, apologizing for being late. He has brought with him an elegant round bottle of whiskey. It is the new whiskey from Kamoi Shoten. It costs 12 yen (which is a bit expensive). He says the shopkeeper he bought it from, informed him that he's selling lots of it at his shop. Massan's smile disappears a bit when he heard about it. Toshio suddenly looks sullen, too. Ellie looks at her husband worriedly. Everyone tries and have a sip. They find it delicious (maybe it doesn't have too much of a smoky flavor), and easy to drink. Massan smells it and drinks it too, but doesn't comment on the taste. Kumatora doesn't want to drink it because he only wants to wait for Massan's whisky. Massan tries to smile, but clearly his mood has been dampened...

After the party, Massan finishes up drinking the new Kamoi Whiskey by himself at the house. Ellie, tries to comfort him, saying it's okay not to hurry up. Anyway, he's going to make apple wine and apple jelly, she assures him. Massan a bit irked says, "I did not come to Hokkaido to make wine and jelly." Then they hear a knock. It is Kazuma who says, there is a phone call for Massan from Kamoi Shoten in Osaka...

Massan and Ellie go to the office. He takes the receiver and listens to the person at the other end of the line. He says he understands and hangs up. There is a look of shock and disbelief on his face. "Eiichiro," he says to Ellie, "...has passed away."

Over at Yamazaki brewery, Kinjiro is alone in the dark, standing by one of the barrels of whiskey...(~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.107 Synopsis
Immediately, Massan and Ellie travel to Osaka. They are still in shock and feel devastated after hearing of Eiichiro's death...

They arrive in Osaka. Wearing mourning clothes , they head for Yamazaki Distillery to pay respect to Kinjiro. Kinjiro is at the aging room, wearing a formal kimono (maybe the funeral is about to begin), and standing beside a barrel. An employee announces the arrival of the couple. Kinjiro greets them with a rueful smile. "Thanks for coming all the way here from such a far place. Were you surprised?" The tearful couple immediately offer their condolonces. Ellie also gives Kinjiro a hug. Kinjiro shows them a barrel, which he says was the first whiskey that his son had supervised into making. He offers them a taste. He opens the barrel and, in a loving manner, siphons out some of the whiskey and pour it into three glasses. They each taste Eiichiro's whiskey. The couple says it tastes delicious. Kinjiro tells them they're lying. "It's still too young (immature)!" Then his smile is replaced with a painful look on his face, and he breaks down. "Too young..." he whimpers, referring to his son. Massan was informed that Eiichiro died of a heart attack. With tears streaming down his face, Kinjiro tells them how he died. He points at a spot in the room. "He collapsed here in this factory... He was gone in a blink of an eye." He laments that the child should never die before the parent. Then, he thanks Massan and Ellie for taking care of Eiichiro in the past. "Ever since the two of you went to Hokkaido, Eiichiro was always talking about you. He was saying, 'I wonder how they're doing in Hokkaido? Is Ellie okay? Has Massan made good whiskey?' Also when he was in charge of making whiskey, he would say everyday: 'I wonder how will Plant Manager (Massan) handle this (if he was here)?' and 'I will not lose to him'." Flashback scenes of Eiichiro wearing his lab coat, working in the distillery, are shown: tapping the pot stills, lovingly inspecting and smelling the whiskey samples, everything that Massan had taught him... There is silence, and Massan out of deep emotion, tapped on Eiichiro's whiskey barrel. Then, he tells Kinjiro that he has tasted his new round bottle of whisky. "It was delicious." Kinjiro says to him, "It was thanks to you... Because of you, I was able to sell the round bottle. Kamoi Shoten would not be making whiskey if it weren't for you." That is what Eiichiro would also say." Then he asks Massan, "After you have made a satisfying whiskey, offer it to Eiichiro's grave. Please!" Massan promises that he will...

The funeral is over. The couple, still wearing their mourning clothes goes to Osaka, to see their friends. Their friends know they are coming, and have prepared a party at Haru's tavern. Catherine, Haru, Aki, Umeko, Momoko, and even Ikeda (of Sumiyoshi Brewery) are there. They greet the two happily and warmly as soon as they enter the shop. They sing a Japanese version of "Comin' Thro' the Rye". Catherine says to forget about troubles and hurt for the meantime, and just have a good time, and drink and sing. The couple who are sad, manage to smile and thank everyone. They offer the two, cups of sake each, and they drink it. They try to go along with the revelry...

Some time has passed, the couple has come back to Hokkaido. It is the morning of Toshio and Hana's wedding. Massan is in his bedroom, dressed in a formal crested hakama. He is seated, cross-legged, on the mat. His beloved "Whiskey Lab" sign is still on the floor, leaning on the wall of the alcove behind him. His eyes are closed, seeming to meditate or recalling something. He opens his eyes and exhales slowly. There is a look of intense determination on his face. He hears his wife calling him, and saying that they are ready. "Coming," he says, and stands up to go. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.108 Synopsis
Apparently, after the funeral, Massan and Ellie had visited the Nonomura house, and had a meeting with Nonomura Shigeru and Wataru Yoshitoshi. They brought with them some bottles of their new product, apple wine. Massan had asked to increase the capital to 100,000 yen to install a distillation machine because he wanted to make apple brandy. He claimed it will be their new product, along with apple wine and apple jelly. He and Ellie knelt on the floor and implored for their approval. Yoshitoshi asked if it's just a reason to make whisky. Massan denied it and said, "I will not make whisky unless you allow me." Yoshitoshi believed him, and agreed to give 100,000 yen. The couple thank them profusely.

It is the day of Toshio and Hana's wedding ceremony. It is a simple affair held at the herring palace. Toshio is seated stiffly in the middle, waiting for his bride. He along with everyone else, is dressed in formal black kimono robes. Relatives are present, as well as friends (the Nakashima family, Ema's teacher, Ms. Sato) and workers from the factory. It is also Massan and Ellie's first time to serve as go-betweens or matchmakers at a wedding. Massan comes out and announces the appearance of the bride. Hana come out, dressed in a beautiful black bridal kimono with elegant flowery designs. She is led out by Ellie, dressed in a black tomesode (a married woman's ceremonial kimono). Toshio's jaw drops open as soon as he sees his lovely bride. Everyone admires and applauds her appearance. Hana sits beside Toshio, while Ellie and Massan are seated in the matchmakers' seats. The ceremony proceeds. One of the customs is Ema pouring liquor using a ceremonial gold ladle into the saucer-cups of the bride and groom, and the two drink it.

After the ceremony, a banquet is held with everyone laughing, eating and drinking. Massan gets up and asks the bride and groom to make a speech each. Toshio, nervously manages to say a few words: "I'm so happy! Thank you, everyone!" Next it was Hana's turn. She first thanks everyone who has come. Then, she addresses her father. She thanks him for everything he had done for her until now. "I also apologize for troubling you until now..." Kumatora, touched by her words, shakes his head. But she isn't done yet: "...is what I wanted to say. But the truth is, I'm the one who was always troubled (by you)." Everyone laughs, with Susumu saying, "True!" Hana continues: "I am glad to be your daughter. If you're worried if I'll be happy..." she looks at Toshio and back again to her father, "Don't worry! I have decided to be happy. I am the only one who knows my own happiness. No matter what anyone says, I have no regrets. For sure, I will be happy. So don't worry!" She thanks him again. Kumatora tries to hold back his tears, during Hana's speech, but in the end, he bawled out like a baby. Still, he manages to joke back, "Hana, doncha worry! Even though you're married... from now on, you're gonna be even more annoyed (troubled)!" They laugh. Toshio also laughs, and points at his father-in-law. Kumatora gets slighted seeing Toshio, and thinks he's laughing at him. So he goes over to throttle him. "Whatchu laughing at!" The men try to stop him. Kumatora warns Toshio not to ever make his daughter unhappy. Ellie is able to calm him down, by reminding him that in such an occasion, they should all be happy. They all calm down, go back to their seats, and resume eating. Then Massan takes this opportunity to make an announcement. He stands up and says he has decided to start making whiskey. Toshio and the others are surprised. Massan says, "We all know the apple juice did not sell well. But while still promoting apple juice, and the development of apple wine and apple jelly... at the same time, I will start doing my original purpose which is whiskey." He asks for everyone's cooperation and support. Everyone claps, and shouts, "Good luck!" They all stand up to sing "Soran Bushi." Apparently, his reunion with Kinjiro has fired up and inspired Massan again into making whisky; so he decided to take a risk by "deceiving" the Osaka investors, in order to finally start the whiskey process.

Then, in deep autumn, whiskey making has finally begun in Hokkaido. To signal the start of making whiskey, Massan has taken out his sign, "Whiskey Lab" out of the alcove, and hangs it at last in his office. He and Ellie stare at it happily. The others, Toshio, Hana and Kazuma applaud this momentous occasion.

Using the investors' money, two pot-stills were made. Its maker, Sado has even come to Hokkaido himself to oversee their installation. Everyone has come to see it, and applaud when completed. Massan hugs and thanks Sado for coming.

Soon, it was time to inaugurate the new distillery. Massan and Kazuma decorate the place with shimekazuri (sacred ropes) and around the pot-stills. A Shinto priest was invited to bless the place. Everyone prays for the smooth making of whisky (without accidents or disasters)...

Massan has now started the whisky process. Wearing his lab coat and cap, he goes inside the malting chamber of his factory. He places local peat inside a kiln, and lights it up. He will use local water, barley and peat to make the whisky that he dreams of. He also works on raking the dried barley in the malting floor. This barley had been immersed in water for two days, dried on its own until it starts to germinate, and then dried even further by smoking it inside a kiln using the peat. The result will be the smoky flavored malt that is to be used soon for the whisky. While Massan is working inside, smoke rises and goes out of a chimney. Ellie is outside, watching the smoke rise. She smiles happily for Massan...
Narrator: "Whiskey-making must not fail anymore... Ellie continues to pray for its success." (~synopsis by ec)

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by earthcolors » Feb 10th, '15, 16:47

Drama Notes/Trivia:

There seems to be no pictures of the real life Eiichiro posted on the web. But here are some facts about him:
Torii Yoshitaro was the eldest son of Torii Shinjiro. It was said he received training by Taketsuru Masataka with regards to whiskey-making. He served as vice-president of Kotobukiya Co. (now Suntory Co.). He was set to inherit the company if not for his untimely death in 1940. His age at the time of death varies in reports, 31 or 33 years old. His cause of death was reported as some sort of "illness" but it might have been heart attack, as stated in the drama. Yoshitaro was married before he died. His wife was Haruko, a daughter of a famous personality, Kobayashi Ichizo, the founder of Hankyu Railway, Takarazuka Revue, and Toho, the movie company. They had a son, Torii Shinichiro (1938-2004), who became the 3rd generation president/chairman of Suntory Co.

Anyway, Shinjiro had two other sons:
Saji Keizo (1919-1999). The second son. He was adopted by his maternal relatives (which was a common practice during that time) when he was in elementary school, and took on their surname, Saji (still, he is said to have continued living with his real parents). After his father's retirement, he became the 2nd generation president of Kotobukiya Co. in 1961, and changed the company's name to its current name of Suntory (after one of its products) in 1963. His son, Saji Nobutada is the current Suntory Holdings Representative Director.
Torii Michio (1923-2011). The third son, who became Suntory vice president, and honorary chairman. His son, Torii Shingo is Suntory Holdings Vice Chairman, and the third-generation master blender (after Shinjiro, and Keizo).
Sources:
http://blog.livedoor.jp/ayaka222a/archi ... 64026.html
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%BD%90% ... C%E4%B8%89
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%B3%A5% ... B%E9%83%8E
Here are the real chronological events in the life of Masataka and Rita (during this drama's current time frame, 1930s):
1933. After 10 years, Masataka quit Kotobukiya Co. after the beer factory in Yokohama was sold. He was the factory manager at that time, and according to reports, he wasn't told about the sale. This sense of distrust (as well as being taken away from the whisky distillery) was said to be why he finally quit.
1934. He founded Dainippon Kajū Kabushikigaisha (Dainippon Juice Co. Ltd.) in July. Major shareholder served as the president, Kaga Shotaro, while Masataka was managing executive director. In the fall, he started making apple juice.
1935. The launch of Dainippon "Apple Juice". Masataka, Rita and their child, Rima finally and officially move from Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture (because when Masataka was transferred to Kanagawa after being put in charge of the beer factory, he and his family had transferred to Kamakura) to live in Hokkaido.
1936. Masataka gets a brewing license for whiskey and brandy.
1938. Apple wine was launched.
1940. Nikka Whiskey, and Nikka Brandy were released simultaneously. Son of Torii Shinjiro, Kichitaro, died in the fall of this year.
Some pictures of the early years of Dainippon Kaju:
What the Dainippon Kaju factory actually looked like at first:
Image

Their first products:
Image
Apple juice. As told in the drama, it did not sell well because of the 30 sen price, plus it turned cloudy after several months.

Image
Nikka Whiskey. "Ni" comes from "Nippon" and "kka" comes from "kajū".

Image
Nkka Brandy.

Sources:
http://withnews.jp/article/f0150109000q ... ef=kijitop
http://www.nikka.com/distilleries/yoich ... spot4.html
http://ameblo.jp/barttw/entry-11976017464.html

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by cindy25a » Feb 11th, '15, 23:32

will the specials be subbed?

http://www.nyaa.se/?page=view&tid=655153

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by dhisashi » Feb 11th, '15, 23:40

earthcolors wrote:Drama Notes/Trivia:

There seems to be no pictures of the real life Eiichiro posted on the web. But here are some facts about him:
Torii Yoshitaro was the eldest son of Torii Shinjiro. It was said he received training by Taketsuru Masataka with regards to whiskey-making. He served as vice-president of Kotobukiya Co. (now Suntory Co.). He was set to inherit the company if not for his untimely death in 1940. His age at the time of death varies in reports, 31 or 33 years old. His cause of death was reported as some sort of "illness" but it might have been heart attack, as stated in the drama. Yoshitaro was married before he died. His wife was Haruko, a daughter of a famous personality, Kobayashi Ichizo, the founder of Hankyu Railway, Takarazuka Revue, and Toho, the movie company. They had a son, Torii Shinichiro (1938-2004), who became the 3rd generation president/chairman of Suntory Co.

Anyway, Shinjiro had two other sons:
Saji Keizo (1919-1999). The second son. He was adopted by his maternal relatives (which was a common practice during that time) when he was in elementary school, and took on their surname, Saji (still, he is said to have continued living with his real parents). After his father's retirement, he became the 2nd generation president of Kotobukiya Co. in 1961, and changed the company's name to its current name of Suntory (after one of its products) in 1963. His son, Saji Nobutada is the current Suntory Holdings Representative Director.
Torii Michio (1923-2011). The third son, who became Suntory vice president, and honorary chairman. His son, Torii Shingo is Suntory Holdings Vice Chairman, and the third-generation master blender (after Shinjiro, and Keizo).
Sources:
http://blog.livedoor.jp/ayaka222a/archi ... 64026.html
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%BD%90% ... C%E4%B8%89
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%B3%A5% ... B%E9%83%8E
Here are the real chronological events in the life of Masataka and Rita (during this drama's current time frame, 1930s):
1933. After 10 years, Masataka quit Kotobukiya Co. after the beer factory in Yokohama was sold. He was the factory manager at that time, and according to reports, he wasn't told about the sale. This sense of distrust (as well as being taken away from the whisky distillery) was said to be why he finally quit.
1934. He founded Dainippon Kajū Kabushikigaisha (Dainippon Juice Co. Ltd.) in July. Major shareholder served as the president, Kaga Shotaro, while Masataka was managing executive director. In the fall, he started making apple juice.
1935. The launch of Dainippon "Apple Juice". Masataka, Rita and their child, Rima finally and officially move from Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture (because when Masataka was transferred to Kanagawa after being put in charge of the beer factory, he and his family had transferred to Kamakura) to live in Hokkaido.
1936. Masataka gets a brewing license for whiskey and brandy.
1938. Apple wine was launched.
1940. Nikka Whiskey, and Nikka Brandy were released simultaneously. Son of Torii Shinjiro, Kichitaro, died in the fall of this year.
Some pictures of the early years of Dainippon Kaju:
What the Dainippon Kaju factory actually looked like at first:
Image

Their first products:
Image
Apple juice. As told in the drama, it did not sell well because of the 30 sen price, plus it turned cloudy after several months.

Image
Nikka Whiskey. "Ni" comes from "Nippon" and "kka" comes from "kajū".

Image
Nkka Brandy.

Sources:
http://withnews.jp/article/f0150109000q ... ef=kijitop
http://www.nikka.com/distilleries/yoich ... spot4.html
http://ameblo.jp/barttw/entry-11976017464.html
Thank you. I love these notes about the real life people who were the basis of Massan.

:-)

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 19

Post by earthcolors » Feb 15th, '15, 10:00

Week 19 Synopsis by NHK: "Banji kyūsu" (There is nothing more that can be done)
Massan finally succeeds in producing his ideal whisky after six years. One day, Massan's investors Nonomura and Watari come to visit the factory and burst with anger as they learn that Massan has been working on whisky production behind their back. Thanks to Ellie's effort, Massan finally receives the permission for the production and "Doukah Whisky" goes on sale. (~synopsis by NHK)
Massan Ep.109 Synopsis
Autumn, 1940. Eight years have passed since Massan and Ellie arrived in Yoichi, Hokkaido. They have grown accustomed to the life in the north, and are now feeling quite relaxed. Ellie (who is wearing a new hairstyle) has picked some vegetables from her garden (chives, turnips, carrots) and takes them into the kitchen. Her necklace bearing the pendant of her prized thimble (which she found inside the Christmas pudding many years ago) can now be seen more prominently around her neck. Massan, now looking more mature (sporting a mustache, and hair sleeked back with pomade) is reading the newspaper in the living room. The headlines read: "Big aerial battle in Chongqing (a city in China)" and "Shot down 27 enemy planes". The current international situation is that of Japan still fighting a long-standing war with China. Their daughter, Ema (Mio Yuko) a now pretty teen-aged girl, comes out of her room and greets her parents "Good morning". She is 15 years old, wearing her school uniform, and on her 3rd year in a girl's middle school. She sits next to her father, and comments about the newspaper articles on war. "I wish they'd stop with the wars. It's fine if these were the Olympics. At any rate, we should determine who wins or loses by way of sports." Massan tells her to be careful about saying such things in a girls' school. Ema: "Of course I don't say that. But why can't people just stop with the wars..." Massan: "Well, we are side by side with the Western powers, in protecting our own interests." Ema: "To the point of depriving other countries of lives and property?" Massan says he wants to believe in the power of Japan's diplomacy, and wars, except for the stupid ones, are necessary. Ellie who had been listening, comments that all wars are stupid. "Whether you win or lose, many people get hurt." Ema: "See? Mom knows about wars." Ellie hands her daughter her packed lunch, to which Ema replies in English: "Thank you! See you later." Her parents see her off at the door. They watch her go off to school on her bicycle. Massan comments that their daughter has become very frank with her thoughts. Ellie says it's because they have taught her to convey clearly what she wants to say.

Six years have passed since Massan has started to make whisky. Since then, the whisky has been aging in oak barrels in his aging room. He inspects a sample from one of the barrels and seem pleased with the color, odor, and taste. He lets Toshio taste it, too. Toshio says, it has aged well. Massan is impressed that Toshio can now understand the taste of whiskey. Toshio says, of course since he has been helping him make whiskey for 15 years. Kazuma tastes it too, and finds it interesting. Toshio doesn't believe that the younger man is able to understand the taste right away. Kazuma insists that he can, and still calls him "Factory Manager" (Toshio wants him to call him "Brother" since they're brothers-in-law but Kazuma doesn't want to). Anyway, Massan is taking many samples because it is time for him to make the blend. He gets busy in his lab every day, mixing up different blends. He also asks Toshio's opinion on his blends...

Kumatora is at his usual haunt, Barbershop Nakashima. He's playing shogi with Susumu, while Saburo chats along with them. They are talking about Massan's current progress at the factory. Kumatora explains to them what "blend" means and how Massan does it. He says that the whisky in each of the barrels tastes differently depending where it is located (Susumu says it's the the same with apples). Saburo asks if it will taste delicious. Kumatora as usual defends Massan's whiskey, and says it will definitely be, considering it's been aged for 6 years. Susumu and Saburo think it'll be hard to match or exceed Kamoi Whiskey's "Marubin" (Round Bottle).

Finally, in his lab, Massan tastes a blend he just mixed, and utters, "I've done it." The others are happy that Massan has already completed it. At last, after returning from Scotland 20 years ago, Massan has built his own distillery, and has now made the whiskey of his dreams. Massan makes enough of this blend and places it in a bottle. He is filled with emotion as he holds the bottle in his hand...

Everyone celebrates Massan's whiskey completion. The Kameyamas and the Morinos gather for a feast at the herring palace. They also pour the finished whisky into their glasses (except for Ema). Kumatora tries it first. He didn't taste any of other whiskies, since he had been waiting for Massan's, so they are eager to know his opinion. He sips it and finds its alcohol content strong, but still says, "It's the best taste in the world!" Hana says one won't understand the taste of whiskey the first time one drinks it. Toshio sips his, and says that Massan did not compromise on the taste. He has no complaints even on the smoky flavor. Hana too, drinks it. She didn't like the taste of whisky before, and admits that she still doesn't understand it up to now, but: "It does have a robust feel." Kazuma sips it, likes it too, and describes it as a "powerful" taste. Ema can only watch, and not drink, but feels happy for her father, nevertheless. She asks Ellie to try it too. Ellie does so, smiles with tears in her eyes, and says it's delicious. They clap, and happily continue with the feast.

Later, in the Kameyama house, Ellie notices Massan in a somber mood, while drinking his whisky in the living room. She asks what's bothering him. Massan says he's worried what might happen if his whiskey won't sell. He recalls those times when he made Kamoi Whisky, and everyone's reactions were unfavorable. Ellie points out that Kumatora and the others liked the taste a while ago. Massan says they're probably trying to be polite since they're their friends. Ellie says times have changed since the early days of Kamoi Whiskey, and that by now, a lot of people know the taste of whiskey (as indicated by the good outcome of Marubin's sales). Massan says his whiskey is a lot stronger than the Marubin. Even if Ellie says he believes in his whiskey, Massan says he could lay off some of his workers, if it fails to sell. Ellie too gets worried, and sighs. Ema, who has been listening, tells them to look at it as a "challenge". She playfully admonishes them, "Listen to you two! 'Life is an adventure. You can do anything if you have the spirit of challenge and adventure.' Isn't that what you have always told me?" Her parents laugh and tell her she's right.

So Ema decides to help her father out. She and Hana tries promoting Massan's whiskey by letting friends have a sample taste. They go to Barbershop Nakashima, and let the people there taste it. Susumu is there, along with Saburo, and other customers. They sip it, and Ema and Hana ask for their opinions. They have puzzled looks on their faces, which means they don't understand the taste. Hana asks if it tastes better than Kamoi Shoten's "Marubin". Saburo hesitates and answers, "I wonder..." Chie who is prepping a customer for a shave, asks how much will it cost. Ema says they don't know yet. Chie: "Will it be expensive?" Ema answers, it'll be likely so, since it took 6 years to make. But Chie isn't satisfied with the answer. "(The process) may be worth the price, but the taste is not." Ema says, "That is why I came to see your reactions, how is it?" Then, the customer (who is being prepped for a shave), an older man in his 60s (Kitaoji Kinya) suddenly joins in on the conversation. He removes the hot towel on his face and asks Ema to give him a glass of the whiskey. He says he would like to taste it, too. He seems to be from Tokyo, so Ema wonders who this man is... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.110 Synopsis
The man who had asked Ema for a taste of her father's whiskey had come to their home to personally meet Massan. He presents his business card and it read: "Uesugi Ryunosuke, writer." Uesugi asks to taste the whiskey, and Massan gives him a shot. Uesugi drinks it and finds it delicious. He likes the smoky flavor and even thinks it's similar to Highland Celt. Massan is very happy to hear that (also Ema and Ellie who are listening from the kitchen), because that is what he was aiming for. Massan asks him if he has some business to do in Hokkaido. The older man answers, he had specifically come to Hokkaido to see Massan, because he had learned about him and how he had moved to Hokkaido to make whiskey. Massan informs him that the bottle of whiskey is the first one that he made (after 8 years). Uesugi is surprised to hear that but still feels lucky that he got to taste it. Ellie comes out to serve their guest some seafood sides to go with the whisky, herring roe and shisamo (capelin). He compliments her and says it's delicious. Ema asks to stay and sit with them so she can hear his stories. Uesugi is happy to oblige, since he said, being in the company of a pretty lass and lovely wife made the long trip from Tokyo to Hokkaido worthwhile. Ema asks if he thinks her father's whiskey will sell well in Japan. Uesugi: "I am not sure but his whiskey is unique. Right now the only company selling domestic whisky in Japan is Kamoi Shoten. If there are various whiskey being sold, it will foster friendly competition with each other. Then, Japanese whiskey will become even more and more sophisticated. I think it will bring about growth." Massan couldn't agree more. Uesugi wishes him good luck. Massan is very relieved and thankful for his encouraging words, and offers him more whiskey.

It is night time. The visit has ended, and they see Uesugi off at the door. Fully satisfied, the older man thanks them for their hospitality, and tells Massan: "No matter what, do not give up in ushering in the history of Japanese whiskey." Massan promises that he will. After their visitor has left, Massan, feeling so happy to have met him, thanks his daughter for finding him and bringing him to the house. Her parents marvel at her ability "to take action." "That's because I take after you two," Ema says. They go inside and call it a night.

Then, after a few days, Massan is reading the newspaper and calls for his wife and daughter. He shows them an article that reads: "The Birth of Japan's Highland Celt". Massan says Uesugi has written an article about his whiskey. He reads it for them: "A whiskey is born in Hokkaido, having a fragrant aroma and richer in depth, it is up to par with Scotland's Highland Celt." They are so overjoyed over this wonderful review. They read the rest of the article: "From this day on, I am definitely convinced that this whiskey will become a cornerstone of Japan's Whiskey. I did not dream that the day will come that I will get to drink and taste this Whiskey, I was wonderfully impressed. Furthermore, I am looking forward that this will spur friendly competition among manufacturers, and that shops will overflow with the finest and sophisticated whiskey..." Massan is crying with joy as he gazes at the words...

That night, as they lie on their futons, Massan tells Ellie he will call Nonomura on the phone the next day, and tell him he will report to the investors soon, and tell them the truth that he'd been making whiskey all along. Ellie says she understands... They both know it's going to be hard since they both lied to Yoshitoshi and Nonomura. But Ellie tells him it'll be all right and that the investors will be pleased with his whiskey.

The next day, he calls up Nonomura and informs him he'll be coming to Osaka because he has something to consult him and Yoshitoshi with. Nonomura says he will set a schedule for a meeting with Yoshitoshi.

But after a few days, something unexpected has happened. In his office, Massan is having a meeting with Toshio and Kazuma regarding the bottle to be used for the whiskey. Then, Hana comes and informs him that two men are looking for him. One tall, and one short... "And both talking in Osaka dialect." Massan suddenly looks worried...

In the living room of his home, it was indeed Nonomura and Yoshitoshi who have come for a surprise visit. They are cheerfully making small talk with Ellie regarding life in Hokkaido. Massan comes in, nervous to see them appear suddenly in Hokkaido. Yoshitoshi comments that he can smell something "very nice and sweet" in the factory. "Is it the apple brandy?" Instead of answering, Massan wonders why they have come since he said he's supposed to be the one to go to Osaka. Nonomura says they just decided to come because it had been a long time since the last time (7 years ago) they've seen the plant. Yoshitoshi asks how many workers has he employed. "30," Massan answers. They ask him what he wanted to consult them with. Massan then gets the bottle of whiskey, and puts it on the table. They ask what it is. "It's whiskey that I have made in this plant." The two men from Osaka are surprised. "The whiskey, you know we told you not to make unless we allowed you to, right?" With that, Massan goes down on his knees, and asks for their forgiveness. Yoshitoshi realizes they've been lied to. He is so mad and calls him a fool. Nonomura says he had a hunch, since he noticed something was off in the accounting books.

Then, at the herring palace, Hana informs Kumatora about what's happening now at the house, as told to her by her husband. "They're reprimanding Massan and Ellie." Kumatora asks why. So Hana tells him what Toshio said about Massan keeping the truth from the investors about his making whiskey.

The investors are continuing their questioning. They learned that Massan had asked for more money that day for the purpose of making whiskey, not brandy. They asked Ellie if she knew. So she too goes down on her knees to apologize as well. She reasons out that it was her husband's goal all along to move to Hokkaido and make whiskey. But Yoshitoshi points out that that they gave them the money to earn profit, and not to invest in their dream. Massan promises that for sure, his whiskey will sell. "So on this occasion, I ask that we stop with all the apple-related products, and just concentrate on making whiskey." Nonomura: "You want to stop making apple wine and jelly, and only make whiskey?" Massan says yes, and that he is confident that he won't lose to the authentic ones. He is ready to name, bottle and ship the product. He assures them his whiskey will sell. Then he asks that they have a taste of it. So he pours them a shot of whiskey each. The two men look at the glasses, and hesitate... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.111 Synopsis
Nonomura was the one who tasted it. He thinks it's fairly strong. Massan says it's closest to the authentic kind. He asks Yoshitoshi to try it but the old man refuses, saying that he does not want "to be lured" by such a thing. Nonomura who is more open-minded about it, tries to persuade Yoshitoshi to give in to Massan's request since the latter has already "set the stage". Again, Massan begs to be forgiven and promises to work hard in selling the whiskey, and earn them some profit. Then, Ema comes home from school. She enthusiastically greets Nonomura, who in turn comments how big she has gotten. She asks how his daughters, Sachiko and Natsu, are doing. Nonomura reveals that he's already a grandpa, now that Sachiko has gotten married and had became a mother. Massan prompts Ema to greet the other guest, which she does so cordially. Ellie then annouces she will cook something up for the visitors, as her way of motenashi.

Ellie and Ema are preparing the meal, and picking fresh produce from the garden. Meantime, the workers, are having their lunch at the herring palace. They are gossipping about what's happening at the Kameyama home right now, how the investors are mad at Massan for making whiskey behind their backs, as told to them by Toshio. Matsu and Chika are telling Fukuda about it... Kumatora is there, too listening to them gossiping. He looks over at the Kameyama house, seemingly worried.

Ellie and Ema are done cooking the food. They laid it out on the table, shishamo (smelt) cooked moto-age style (fried as is), along with simmered vegetables, salted squid, etc. The visitors are seated, and seem pleased with the food. They taste it and find it delicious. Ellie informs them that the squid was locally caught, and which she had salted herself, and the vegetables were freshly picked from their garden. Yoshitoshi compliments how Ellie had prepared them, and tells Massan how lucky he is to have such a wife. Massan again asks them to consider about the whiskey but Yoshitoshi just wants to enjoy Ellie's food for the meantime.

At the herring palace, most of the workers have finished their meals and gone back to the factory. The Morino family also sits down to have their meal. Kazuma wonders what's happening at the house. Kumatora wants to think that everything will be all right, but wonders too about what will happen to them if the company closes. Hana says Toshio is also worried about the state, and if it will affect their marriage too. Then, they hear organ music from the house...

At the house, the guests are having tea and snacks while being entertained by Ema who is singing a Scottish ditty called Annie Laurie in Japanese. Ellie, while playing the organ, joins in, in the singing of verses in Scottish. After they were done, the men clap and praise the two, and Ellie's motenashi. Once again, Ellie places the shot of whiskey in front of Yoshitoshi, and asks him to try it. She and Massan apologize again, with Ema joining them this time. Nonomura also pleads with him. Suddenly, Kumatora comes bursting in. He is followed by Kazuma and Hana who are trying to stop him. Yoshitoshi asks who he is. Kumatora introduces himself and starts defending Massan. He told him how Massan had helped him with his debt by buying his land. He says there are many people supporting, cheering for and believing in Massan, and asks that they do the same. Hana and Kazuma bow to them, too. Yoshitoshi, sighs, takes the shot and downs it. Grimacing at the strong taste, he finally said, "All right!" He gets up, and thanks Ellie and Ema for their splendid hospitality. He stands up to go. Massan goes to see them off. Before leaving, Nonomura warns him something. "Even if Kamoi Shoten's Marubin is selling well, the whiskey market of Japan is still a fledgling industry." He tells him that if he is going to stop selling the other products and just concentrate on selling whiskey, he must be prepared for an uphill struggle. Massan says he knows that it'll be a gamble, and that he's ready to give it his all. Narrator: "Seeing Massan's passion, and Ellie and Ema's hospitality, Yoshitoshi and Nonomura finally allow them to proceed with the whiskey business, and decided to take a chance on its success."

And so, Massan announces the good news to his workers. They are all gathered in the factory, listening to him. Ellie and Ema are also there. Massan says that they are now allowed to make whiskey and that from now on, they will concentrate on making and selling whiskey. The workers are happy to hear that (especially the fact they won't lose their jobs). Massan says he is happy to give back to the town that he considers now his second hometown after Hiroshima. Toshio hands him a bottle of whiskey. An emotional Massan, with the bottle in his hand, says: "By selling this whiskey, I want to sell more and more of this, so that this town of Yoichi will become even more vibrant than its herring days! So please, I ask for your support!" Everyone claps happily hearing this news.

Later on, Massan is in the barrel room, ready to "harvest" the whiskey which he will use to make his blend. (~synopsis by ec)

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 19

Post by earthcolors » Feb 15th, '15, 10:37

Massan Ep.112 Synopsis
The day to sell whiskey draws near. Over dinner at the herring palace, Toshio says they should already come up with a name for their product. Everyone agrees. Ema says choosing the name is important because it can change one's impression of a product. Kazuma suggests it be short and easy to remember. Toshio has one: "Hokkaido Kaju's No. 1 Whiskey, 'Kita no Daichiban' (No. 1 of the North)." Kazuma says it sounds like a Sumo bout. Kumatora suggests: "Kita no Tono-sama (Lord of the North)." Hana says they should no away with "The North" in the name. Then, Massan suggests, "Douka", Dou from HokkaiDOU and ka from KAAju. The others think it sounds strange since it can also sound like "Please" or "somehow or other", and even jokingly make puns from it. But Hana and Ellie kinda like it. "It's better than "Kitano (Of the North)". They ask how will it be written: hiragana or katakana. Ema stands up and goes to do something. When she came back, she shows a paper and on it, she has written using the English alphapet: "DOUKA WHISKY". Massan thinks it looks great written like that. Hana says, "That's it!" But the old-fashioned Toshio and Kumatora are against that it be written in English. Kazuma who seems to know a bit about design labels, says, the number of letters in "Douka" should match that of "Whisky" because if not, the label will look unbalanced. So Ema adds an "H" at the end of Douka. "But what does "H" stand for?" Hana asks. Ema answers: "Hokkaido." Everyone likes it. Ema also says "H" could stand for Highland Celt (which Massan likes). Toshio jokes it could also stand for hige in honor of Massan's mustache.

So after that, they hurried up with the making of the whiskey. At the office, Kazuma and Toshio are deciding on the label's design. The bottle they have chosen is a square one. Ellie comes in with a gift for their hard work: freshly baked apple pie. Massan and Hana join in, too. They (except Toshio) all talk in English regarding the label design. Toshio protests, and asks them to speak in Japanese. They just laugh and tease him by speaking further in English. Hana then, presents a gift to her husband: a happi coat bearing the name "DOUKAH". She says to him: "I know you cherish your happi coat from your Hiroshima days (at Kameyama Brewery). But, you're now the factory manager of Doukah Whisky right?" Toshio is so happy with the gift. He takes off his Kameyama Brewery happi coat (which he had been wearing since he came to Hokkaido), and eagerly puts on the new one. He loves it so much, and thanks and hugs his wife. Massan and Ellie smile at the two, while Kazuma attempts to start eating the apple pie by himself...

October, 1940. The much-awaited day has come for the first shipment of Massan's whiskey. Four horse-drawn carriages are filled with the product, all bottled up and ready to be shipped and sold. The carriages advertise their cargo using banner cloths that say: "Hokkaido Kaju Co. Ltd." and "Congratulations, First Issue, Doukah Whisky". The carriages start leaving the factory. Everyone is standing outside, waiting for them, including the Kameyama family. It is an emotional sight for all: the fruit of their hard labor, is finally being sent out to the world. They clap and cheer as the carriages pass by and disappear from their sight. Ema and Ellie congratulate an overjoyed Massan...

Ellie writes a letter to her mother, telling her that her husband has finally completed the whiskey of his dreams, built from his own distillery. She wrote that 20 years after coming to Japan, and going through so much happenings, she feels she is "truly happy now." She encloses a picture of her family in the envelope.

In Scotland, Ellie's family have received her letter. Her sister Helen (Ananda Jacobs) is reading it to their mother, Rosemary (Inge Murata). Rosemary is now old and frail, with her hair all white, and sitting on her rocking chair. In the letter, Ellie says there is never a day that she doesn't remember her mother. She thanks her for bringing her into this world, and was able to experience "this great adventure." Helen shows the letter and picture to Rosemary. "Isn't that wonderful? My sister seems so happy." Rosemary stares at the Kameyama family picture, and utters weakly, "Ellie..."

April, 1941. Ellie receives a letter from Scotland. She was expecting it to be a reply from her mother, but instead, it was from Helen. Helen tells her that their mother has not been feeling so well, and asks that Ellie come home at least once so she can see her. "If so, I think seeing you would lift her spirits." Ellie weeps while reading the letter. Even knowing that her mother is ill, Scotland is too far, and it isn't possible for her to go home. So all she could do is pray that her mother get better...

After a year since its release, somehow, sales of whiskey have not been favorable. Since it is close to the strong taste of the authetic Scotch, the public stayed away from it. In the factory (now bearing a sign that reads in English: "Doukah Whisky Distillery, Yoichi"), Massan is in the office looking troubled... At the herring palace, workers are having lunch. Matsu and Chika are again worried about the current state of the company, and wonders if they'll be okay. Making their fears worse, Fukuda tells them that so much unsold whiskey are left in the warehouse, there's no more room for the new ones.

At the office, Toshio is on the phone, talking with a seller. It seems the seller wants to return unsold whiskey to them. This has been happening a lot recently, based on the disheartened looks on Toshio and Massan's faces. Then, some men come barging in, wanting to see Massan. These men are sellers of barley and coal. They are demanding that Massan pay them already. Massan explains that he just paid the whiskey tax. The men don't care about that, and demand that they be paid now. Massan says he has to pay the salaries of his workers, too. He lowers his head and pleads for more time... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.113 Synopsis
Later that night, Toshio, Hana, and Kazuma, knowing things are hard up, go to see Massan and Ellie after dinner. Apparently, they have agreed to tell Massan to hold off their own salaries and prioritize instead the other workers. They know it isn't much but they just want to help as much as possible. Hana also says she will try to cut costs on the food and on laundry soap so as to save money. The Kameyama couple are touched by their thoughts and words, and thank them. Ema is watching through the window, and she too is moved by it, and at the same time, feeling sad for her parents.

But things get worse. Massan receives a dreaded phonecall from Nonomura. He is asked to come and report to the investors in Osaka...

Massan travels to Osaka and has arrived at the Nonomura house. Sure enough the investors, especially Yoshitoshi, are not happy about the outcome of sales of his whiskey. Yoshitoshi says Massan did not deliver on his promises: that whiskey will surely sell, even more than Kamoi Whiskey. He said he wants to close the factory. "You lost the bet, didn't you?" He got up, and left in anger, without hearing any more what Massan has to say. Nonomura seems more willing to be reasoned with. He tells Massan that if this continues, they wouldn't be able to get back the money that they invested. Massan asks to be given a chance to redo things. Nonomura says that's what they want him to do but with the following conditions: (1) sell the whiskey that's left aging in the storage room, apple wine, apple jelly and other stuff, (2) to come up with another product ("Just think of something that will sell in order to just try to gain even a tiny profit"); (3) then, after all is sold, close down the factory; and lastly (4), cut the workforce in half. Massan tries to protest regarding the last condition. But Nonomura says if he cannot do it, then he should quit.

With a heavy heart, Massan returns to Yoichi. He first goes inside the distillation room, and watch his workers do their job. Inside his mind, he remembers Nonomura's ultimatum, and as well as that time when Kinjiro said that Massan won't be able to make his workers happy. Sadly, it seems, Kinjiro was right all along, he now realizes. Alone and in the dark, he lets his tears fall, before facing everybody...

Everyone is at the garden in front of the house. They are planting flower seeds to replace the vegetables that's been picked. They see Massan, and welcome him back. They tell him that Ellie has decided to plant flowers to help brighten up everybody. Kazuma asks Massan how the meeting in Osaka went. Before he could answer (and maybe to his relief), Kumatora interrupts, by saying that Massan must have told the investors, (by unknowingly copying Massan's Hiroshima dialect) that he will never give up whiskey. Toshio teases Kumatora for talking in Hiroshima accent, and of course the old man denies it, since he is a proud Aizu man. They laugh and start talking jokingly in Hiroshima accent, forgetting about what they're supposed to ask Massan...

Massan quietly goes inside the house and gets a drink of water in the kitchen. Ellie follows him there, and asks what's wrong. Massan tells her about the investors' order to fire half of the employees. Ellie is devastated to hear that, and starts weeping. She tells him, whatever he decides, he has her support. While he goes to their room to change his clothes, Ema comes out and sees her distraught mother. Ema asks what's wrong. Even if she is crying, Ellie says "It's fine, nothing is wrong." She hugs her daughter to comfort her and herself...

The next morning, a visitor comes to the Kameyama home. Hana who is watering the garden, greets the visitor who is looking for Massan. Hana calls for Massan, and the couple comes out to see. It was Tanaka Daisaku, Massan's former boss. Daisaku says he had dropped by, since he is in Sapporo to attend a friend's wedding.

Daisaku sits down with Massan in the dining room. Ellie had just served them tea. Daisaku praises the factory, and tells him he has already drunk his whiskey. He asks Massan if he's able to sell it. Massan's sad vague reply indicates that it's a "no." Daisaku offers him encouraging advice based on his long experience in business. That there are indeed rough times, but during such times, he should weather it through, stand and rise up, and help pull everyone up with him. Even if it's too late for such an advice, Massan says "yes." Ellie decides to leave the two and give them some privacy. So she pretends to go out and do some shopping... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.114 Synopsis
Ellie leaves to give the two a chance to talk privately. Massan admits to Daisaku about the state of his business, and that he has to let go half of his employees. Daisaku says he had heard of rumors that Massan is having trouble. He asks Massan what he'll do. The younger man says he is at a loss since he has a responsibility to protect his employees. Then, he asks Daisaku what he thinks is the reason, why his whiskey did not sell, as compared to Kamoi Whiskey's successful Marubin. Daisaku says maybe it's because Kamoi Shoten had better advertising, or maybe the public is not yet used to the taste of strong whiskey. Massan thinks that maybe Kamoi Shoten had a better advantage when it comes to "years"; that Kinjiro has whiskey that's already been ageing for 5, 10, and 15 years, and was able to make such a good blend. Massan had hoped he'd be given more time, to be able to do the same. That is why he strived to make and store whiskey in barrels every year. He then tells him of what Uesugi told him in the previous year, about not giving up no matter what in ushering in the age of whiskey. Massan says that's what he wanted to do, to assure a better and brighter future for Japanese whiskey, in the next 50 or even 100 years, that the country will have sophisticated Japanese whiskey that's better than the authentic ones. Daisaku smiles, and says that Massan already has his answer then...

Massan is inside the distillation room, lovingly inspecting the pot-stills. It seems he is trying to gain some strength from these in order to do what he has to do next...

Daisaku is leaving, and says goodbye to Ellie at the door. Ellie says to wait so she could call Massan. Daisaku says there is no need, since he has already done what he's supposed to do, and now "I can go back home to Osaka with confidence." Ellie realizes that what Daisaku said about going to Sapporo for a wedding was a lie, and that he specifically had come all the way to Hokkaido to cheer Massan up. Ellie thanks Daisaku and wish him a safe trip.

Kazuma and Toshio are in a somber mood at the lab. They seem to sense that something bad is going to happen. Sure enough, serious-looking Massan comes in and orders them to tell everyone to gather at the herring palace after work...

Work has ended, and all the workers are at the herring palace, seated on the floor. Ellie and Ema are watching at the side, too. Massan is standing in front of everyone. He tells them that (as they all know), the whiskey did not sell well, and that the company is close to being bankrupt. He says his lack of ability as a manager is to blame. He apologizes and lowers his head to them. Straightening up, he then tells them an even worse news: that in order to continue, he has to lay off half of the employees. This news is greeted with gasps and sounds of shock and disbelief. He pulls out a list of these 15 employees' names, and starts reading them one by one. It even includes his first employees, Fukuda, Matsu, and Chika. They start crying as they all hear their names, and leave the room. Inside Massan, as he is reading the names, he is telling himself, "Be sure to rebuild the company, and welcome them back here again, and try to make more whiskey." Her heart aching for her husband, Ellie can only watch him finish reading the names. After he is done, he then adjourns the meeting, and leaves.

Massan is at the distillation room, shoveling coal inside the kiln. Toshio comes and tells him, he will support Massan no matter what. He joins him in shoveling. Massan welcomes him, managing a smile. Then, Kazuma comes panting, calling for Massan. He has some surprising news: "The Navy has come!"

Later, Massan has met with the visitors: a naval officer and two of his men. For some reason, Massan and the naval officer (Kashiwabara Shuji) are in the distillation room. It seems the officer wants to taste Massan's whiskey. So Massan draws some stock liquid from one of his barrels, pours it in a cup and gives it to the officer. Ellie, Ema, Toshio and Kazuma are also there watching, feeling somewhat apprehensive. The officer examines the whiskey, smells it, and takes a sip. "So there is such a thing after all, huh?" Toshio is slighted by his remark, asks what he meant by that. The officer says importing liquor from Western countries is difficult in these times of international conflicts, so there is a need to set aside large quantities of whiskey for the Navy. He then declares that the Navy will buy all of his whiskey. Massan and the others couldn't believe what they've heard. The officer adds: "Well, the men (in the navy) may not understand the taste of whiskey (because they might only know sake), but this level/standard too, would be enough (to satisfy their need for alcohol)." Toshio is again irked, this time with the words "this level". The officer just coolly ignores him and says, "From here on, all the whiskey in Navy-designated factories (which now includes Massan's), will be purchased by the Navy." To Massan: "Is that fine with you?" Massan just nods silently, probably shocked to say anything. As they leave, the officer and his men stop in front of Ellie and Ema by the door. The women bow to them slightly, while the officer responds by saluting. They then leave. From this, Toshio and Kazuma surmise that the company has been saved, and the laid off employees can come back to work again. They can't wait to tell the good news to everyone, and so they run happily back to the factory, along with Ema. Massan and Ellie exchange looks of relief and hug each other, weeping with joy.
Narrator: "Ironically, the company got saved by the war. Nevertheless, Massan and Ellie's hearts are full of relief now that, they are able to save their employees. And then..."

8 December 1941 (the day after Pearl Harbor). It is snowing outside the house. The Kameyama family are about to have their breakfast. Massan sits on his chair, reading the newspaper. They hear the announcer's voice on the radio. The voice says: "We have some extaordinary news. Imperial Headquarters of land and sea military, has made an announcement at 6 am, today, December 8. That early morning on this 8th day, Imperial Army and Navy, in the western Pacific, have engaged open war against the United States, and British forces..." Massan, Ellie, and Ema exchanged worried looks...
Narrator: "Finally, Japan has begun its war against the Allied forces, which includes Ellie's home country of Scotland. (~synopsis by ec)

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by hunterkirualeorio » Feb 24th, '15, 17:11

It doesn't seem like the drama talked about Ellie visiting Scotland with Ema when she was still a kid.

Here's a real life picture of Ellie visiting her mom in Scotland with Ema:
Rita Taketsuru visited Scotland in 1931. She is sitting on a sofa with a small girl on her knee: Valerie, the daughter of Rita’s younger sister.

Sitting next to Rita is Rima, the adopted daughter she had brought back to Scotland to meet her own mother, who is also in the photo. It was the second and last time Rita would return to visit Scotland.

Image

Source: http://www.nippon.com/en/views/b04203/?pnum=1

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Post by hunterkirualeorio » Feb 24th, '15, 17:24

earthcolors wrote:
It just occurred to me while watching Week 8. That the bomb will drop in Hiroshima in WWII. Oh dear, poor Kameyama family! :-(
I finally understand why they specially had a scene where Ellie helped deliver the baby boy for Massan's older sister earlier. Because Massan and Ellie will end up adopting that boy as their son after WWII.

Takeshi Taketsuru, the nephew and adopted son of Japanese whisky pioneer Masataka Taketsuru and retired president of Nikka Whisky. Takeshi Taketsuru was born in a village near Hiroshima in 1924 to Nobuyo Taketsuru, the older sister of Masataka Taketsuru. After the US atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima in 1945 that left widespread damage, he moved north to Yoichi to live with Masataka and Rita Taketsuru and joined the family’s Nikka Whisky business upon his graduation from college in 1949. He eventually became Nikka’s master blender, and was named Nikka’s president in 1985, six years after the death of Masataka Taketsuru.

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 20

Post by earthcolors » Feb 25th, '15, 12:23

Week 20 Synopsis by NHK: "Natsu wa hinata o ike, fuyu wa hikage o ike" (Go to a sunny place in the summer and a shady place in winter; Dare choose the tough roads to learn and build character)
In 1942, Massan's factory is busy at supplying the whisky to the military as the Japanese Navy designated factory. Meanwhile, Ellie comes to face bullying as she is from the enemy country, Scotland. Massan and people around get concerned about Ellie's situation and suggest her to keep staying at home. One day, Catherine, one of the former neighbors in Osaka, comes to visit and advises Ellie to return Scotland with her until the war ends. (~synopsis by NHK)
Massan Ep.115 Synopsis
Days before Dec. 8, Ellie received a letter from her sister Helen. She and Massan read it together. In the letter, Helen expresses worry for Ellie's safety considering that the Allied countries' relations with Japan is getting more tensed. "You being in Japan at a time like this is so dangerous. Mother and I are extremely worried. Isn't there no way you can come back to Scotland?" Ellie tells her husband not to worry, and that she is sure the international situation will not not worsen. However, the news on the radio on December 8 disproves Ellie wrong...

June, 1942. It's been half a year since Japan's war with the Allied forces has started. Over at Massan's factory, they are continuing to make whiskey for the Navy. Men are being drafted for the war, so Massan has to assign female workers to do the work that men usually do, like shoveling coal and transporting. The naval officer from before comes and inspects the work along with Massan. The officer says demand is high and asks him if he could increase production even more. Massan says he has to age the whiskey first. He asks if the war will still continue further, but the officer refuses to answer. Instead he tells Massan that quantity is more important than quality, considering "it's domestic whiskey in the first place." Instead of being slighted, Massan just bows and says he understands.

At the lab, there are only Massan, Toshio and Kazuma left to do the blending, since the other workers have joined the war effort. Toshio complains about the unreasonable demands of "making more", considering they now lack manpower. Kazuma reminds him to be careful with what he says during a sensitive time like this. He also says all of his male friends have been drafted, except him. Hana and Massan tell him, there is no need to feel guilty, that he is needed in the factory, and besides, they're doing service to the country by making whiskey for the military. Anyway, Massan says, no matter what the officer said, they will continue to make good quality whiskey. Toshio asks what to do with the lack of manpower (since only elderly and women are left)...

Over at Nakajima's barbershop, the usual sign "Barber Nakajima" that's printed in English on the door is now erased since it's deemed bad during these times to use foreign words. The sign in Japanese only remains. Chie posts an ad recruitment for workers to Massan's Navy designated distillery on their door. Inside, Susumu and Kumatora are playing shogi, while Saburo is working on a customer. The radio is switched on, and the announcer is reading the number of enemy ships destroyed by the Japanese navy, while having few casualties and damages on their side. The men inside the shop rejoice to hear the news, and are convinced they will win. Saburo says it's not good to leave their guard down. "The Westerners eat only meat after all." Susumu says diet is not important. "Our Navy did beat the Baltic fleet in the previous war, you know." Chie comes in and says she is done pasting the recruitment ads outside, and will hand out flyers in the shopping street later on. Saburo says Massan is doing a great service for the Navy. Susumu says whiskey is considered a luxury item (and frowned upon) in times of war, and should just be meant for the soldiers. And then, Ellie comes in suddenly. She has blood dripping down from her right knee. The others let her sit down, and tend to her. She also has scrapes on her palms. They ask her what happened. She says three boys threw stones at her, so she ran and then fell. The boys had shouted to her: "Unpatriotic!" "Go back to your country!" "Devil!"...

Ellie has come home, and Hana helps her get bandaged up. Massan comes running home, after hearing about it. Ellie tells him she's fine. Kumatora who is also there says, if he sees those boys, they'll be sorry. Hana says it's not only kids who are throwing stones. All around town, posters are being put up, that read "Kichiku bei ei" (Devil-Americans-Englishmen), telling everyone that all foreigners are enemies. Kumatora: "But war is war, and Ellie is Ellie." Hana: "But for a stranger..." Kumatora: "Ellie is Japanese! Right, Ellie?" Ellie smiles and nods. Massan tells her not to go out anymore, while Hana volunteers to do all the shopping chores for her. Ellie doesn't like the idea of being cooped up inside the house everyday. Massan says everyone is just concerned about her welfare. Kumatora says she can go out once in a while. "If those bad kids come out again, I'm gonna kick their butts!"

In Ema's girls school, the teacher announces that one of their classmates, will graduate early and get married at a young age of 15. Everyone claps for the classmate except for Ema. After class, while everyone is getting ready to go home, Ema voices out her thoughts about it. "(At their young age) she shouldn't yet think about marriage. Considering she hasn't even decided what to do after graduation, and what her dreams are for the future..." Yoshie now a teen-ager, too (Ueno Koko) tells her to be quiet and refrain from saying "unpatriotic" things. She reminds her that "it's a woman's job right now to bear many children for the country". Then, Ema sees her notebook, and scrawled on top were the words, "Devil's Daughter". She angrily asks the people around, "Who did this! Who would do such a despicable thing!" No one answers her...

That night, Ema hears about what happened to her mom, and is so mad. Her parents tell her to forget it since Ellie is okay, and that she won't be going out for a while. Ema is still upset. "But why? Mom didn't do anything wrong!" She says that Ellie is not the enemy. She also has noticed that many strange things are happening in school. Like English words are now banned in their school. They call croquettes, "aburaage niku manjū" (Fried meat buns) and curry rice as "karami-iri shiru kake gohan" (spice-filled sauce over rice). "What's wrong with calling curry rice 'curry rice'!?" she asks in frustration. Both Massan and Ellie remind her to be careful with what she says, especially outside the house. Ema is disappointed to hear them say that, especially with Ellie who has taught her to clearly convey her thoughts to others. She calls her "unfair" and has become "conveniently Japanese". Massan and Ellie frown at her choice of words, and Ema apologizes. They tell her it's necessary to do such things in order to protect each other. Ema says it's better if there are no wars (which is another taboo opinion). Ellie says she's proud of her for her opinions on hating the war. But they are just worried what might happen to her, if she goes around saying such things. She tells her she can talk in English inside the house. Massan says he will do everything to protect them both.

So Ellie has stopped going out. Except for helping out with serving food at the herring palace, she spends more and more time inside the house. Applicants applying for jobs at the distillery have come for an interview. One of them is a woman, Nakamura Miki (Horiuchi Keiko) who has brought her teen daughter Hideko (Kuroshima Yuina) with her. Hideko asks what is the product that the factory is producing. "Whiskey," her mother replies. Inside the house, Ellie is reading a book. She stands up to close the curtains. She stops when she sees Hideko. Hideko sees her too and they smile kindly to each other. Hideko calls her mom's attention. "Mom, look." Miki and Ellie exchange looks but Miki seems not pleased to see a blonde haired foreigner. Seeing Miki coldly staring back, Ellie proceeds to close the curtains, and sighs sadly. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.116 Synopsis
At the herring palace, people, mostly women line up for the job interview and recruitment of Doukah Whisky Co. The Nakamura mother and daughter are last in line. Massan, along with Kazuma and Kumatora serve as interviewers. They are interviewing a woman, Hiromi. Kumatora recognizes her as one of his workers during the herring days. He disrupts the interview process by going over to her and making small talk with the woman, asking about her father, and such. He asks Massan that they hire her. Embarrassed, Kazuma tells his father to be quiet, and when Kumatora refuses, he stands up and drags his father back to his seat.

Since the interview is taking long, Hideko goes wandering around the factory grounds and come upon Ellie's flower garden. She pauses and admires a flower. Ellie is there too. She asks the young girl if she knows the name of the flower. "Nadeshiko!" Hideko correctly answers. They smile and introduce themselves to each other. Hideko says her nickname is "Deko" and touches her own forehead for emphasis (since "deko" means forehead).

At last, Massan and the others have only one more applicant to interview, Nakamura Miki. She hands Massan her resume. According to her, she comes from Yubari and came to work in a diner in Otaru where she met her husband who worked at the port. She says she lost her husband last month in the war, and there's only her and her daughter left, and they're staying with some relatives. She begs Massan to hire her and her daughter so they can have food to eat and clothes to wear. Kumatora is moved easily, and wants to hire her. Kazuma again tells him to be quiet. Massan asks her if she can work in the kitchen. Miki says she lost her mother early on, so she's good in cooking. Kumatora points out that they need additional manpower in the kitchen since there'll be more workers to feed. When Kumatora mentions Ellie's name, Miki asks "Ellie...?" Kumatora explains to her that the president's wife is from Scotland. "Yeah but she's Japanese now," he adds. Miki realizes that the blonde woman she saw earlier was the president's wife...

Outside, Ellie and Hideko are still chatting. Ellie invites Hideko to join her for tea and cookies. The young girl hesitates. Ellie says, "Young people are not allowed to say no," so Hideko enthusiastically accepts. Then Ema comes home from school and is introduced to "Deko".

They later are having tea and cookies by the veranda. Ema and Hideko are on a bench by the door, while Ellie is nearby, listening to their talk. The two girls seem to be hitting it off pretty well. Hideko learns that Ema is attending a girls school and feels envious. Ema complains that they're only teaching patriotic education and it's no fun (Ellie warns her to watch her words). Ema continues to whine, that school right now only teaches girls to be just a good and wise mother, which she doesn't agree with. Hideko says she wants to go to school so she can become a teacher. Then Miki comes looking for her daughter. She finds her and scolds her for wandering off. Ellie explains that she invited her daughter for snacks. Miki apologizes for being a bother. When Ellie says Hideko can bring home the rest of the cookies, Miki vehemently refuses, and says they're fine. The two leave.

That night, the Kameyama family discuss about the mother and daughter they had met earlier. Massan tells them the father was killed in the war. Ema asks that they be hired but Massan says it is not so easy to just do that since he has to practice fairness. Besides, all of the applicants who came have lost a husband or are hard up in life. So Ema suggests he hires them all. Massan finds that crazy. "Why not?" Ema insists. "You're making whiskey and getting the money from the country. So for the sake of the country, distribute a little of the money to people who are in need." Ellie agrees with their daughter. Massan finds it ironic that Ellie is kind to people who would throw stones at her, once she goes outside... Ellie says she has him to protect her anyway.

The new workers have been decided. They are 12 all in all, including the Nakamura mother and daughter. Massan, Kazuma, and Toshio discuss about it in the office. Toshio looks at the list which are all women. He complains about the huge number and that he should have been one of the interviewers, and not Kumatora. Massan tells him what Ema said regarding helping people for the sake of the country in these trying times. When Toshio heard it was Ema who said that, he seems pleased, and agrees to do his best too, for the sake of the country.

Over at the house, Ellie is showing the kitchen to her new helper Miki. Miki sees and admires her imported silverware. Hideko opens the rice bin and marvels at the amount of rice in it. Miki admonishes her behavior. Ellie says rice rations are decreasing bit by bit but there's lots of potatoes, and they can eat plenty of it everyday. Then Ema comes home, and is thrilled to learn that Hideko has been hired. Ellie explains that Miki will be tasked to help in cleaning, shopping, and catering for the workers while Hideko will help in the factory. Miki greets Ema formally, calling her "Ojo-sama (Young Mistress)". Hideko is more informal with her since they're friends, and of the same age. But Miki keeps reminding her daughter to behave according to their position, and not use peer talk. Then, Ema invites Hideko to her room and eat caramel sweets. The girls eagerly go. Miki is about to protest again, but Ellie tells her that it's fine.

In Ema's room, the girls are eating caramel. Hideko is happy to eat it since it's hard to find one in times of war. They talk about how the name of "caramel" is also banned and is now called gunrosei. Ema, whose favorite is caramel says: "Yeah, somehow 'Gunrosei' doesn't sound delicious." Hideko admires her big room, and the many books on her shelf and table. Ellie says she can borrow a book from her if she wants. So Hideko looks around, and accidentally bumps Ema's notebooks off the table. She picks them up and sees the notebook that has "Devil's Daughter" written on it. Ema grabs the notebook from her and tries to hide it. Hideko asks her if she is being bullied in school. She thinks that it's a mean thing to say about her mom who is a nice person. She tells Ema they should be beaten up. "If there is anything, tell me. I'll come right away and beat them up for you."

That night, Ema is playing the organ and singing, "Soshū Yakyoku". Ellie and Massan are listening to her in the living room, drinking tea. Ellie says she finds Miki smart and friendly while she's happy that Hideko and Ema are getting along. Ema who just finishes her song, thanks Massan for hiring them. Then they hear someone outside, saying "Good evening". The voice is familiar and they go and see who it is. It is Catherine, who had come all the way from Osaka. "Catherine!" Catherine hushes them up, and tells them to call her "Taneko" (which is her original name). They are so happy to see her, and invite her in. Lurking beyond the gate, there is a man hiding behind the shadows, watching the house... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.117 Synopsis
They usher Catherine inside their home while outside, they are not aware that a man is watching their movements. Inside the house, they close the curtains. Massan, Ellie, and Ema gather around Catherine, and hear what she has come to say. She tells them that she is going to England with Charlie on July 30, on a ship that'll sail from Yokohama. She wants Ellie to go with her. "It's hard for foreigners to live in Japan right now. Charlie would just be walking on the streets of Yokohama, he'd be yelled or spat at." She warns them that the military police and the "Toukko" (Special Higher Police that controls political thought and expression) arrest people or foreigners who are against the war. And once they are interrogated, they might get beaten, kicked, and even tortured and perhaps killed. Alarmed, Ema says they all should go with Catherine. But Catherine says it's not possible. She says in order to be allowed back into England, Ellie should divorce Massan, and renounce her Japanese citizenship (apparently, Catherine has acquired English citizenship). Of course, it is out of the question for Ellie. She could never do that. Catherine says it's only temporary, and they will be reunited once the war is over. Still, Ellie thinks she can't possibly do such a thing, and starts to cry. But she tells her worried daughter that she is fine. Ema becomes upset that her mom doesn't want to leave, and voices out her anguish and fear that she might be caught and tortured. Her parents tell her to be calm down. Ema says she wants Ellie to board the ship, and be safe. Ellie hugs her and says she won't be arrested because she didn't do anything wrong. Catherine still persuades her to change her mind. If she dies, it'll be over for Massan and Ema as well because they need her, and vice versa. Massan thanks Catherine for coming all the way to warn her, and says he and Ellie will discuss about it later on. Ellie gets upset and says there's nothing to discuss because she won't be leaving. She excuses herself and goes to her room, visibly upset. Inside she weeps, clutching on here thimble pendant. Outside, Catherine asks Massan to talk properly with his wife about it.

Massan couldn't sleep that night. He lies awake on the sofa in the living room, pondering on what to do...

The next morning, Toshio and Kazuma are in the lab. Kazuma notices that the "Doukah" word printed in English on his happi coat are gone. Toshio says Hana had covered it up because of the current times. Then, a grim Massan comes in, unsmiling. Toshio tells him about procuring more barrels, and Massan just tells him to take care of it. He goes to his office and closes the door. The two notice he looks somewhat sullen.

In Ema's classroom, the teacher has announced that English will become an elective subject starting next month. She asks if any of them is interested in learning it. Only Ema raises her hand. When she notices it, she slowly puts her hand down. The teacher says since no one wants to study it, they will do away with such an elective. They proceed with the lesson but Ema has become upset. She remembers Catherine's words. Fear and frustration set in, her tears well up and start pouring uncontrollably. Yoshie notices it, and calls her name worriedly. The teacher stops with the lesson and asks her what's wrong. Instead of answering, Ema stands and rushes out of the classroom.

Hana and Miki are setting up lunch at the herring palace. Ellie arrives. Hana tells her that Miki's cooking tastes delicious. She notices that Ellie is looking pale, and feels her head to see if she is feverish. Ellie says she's fine. Then, Kumatora says the radio isn't working. Ellie says theirs isn't as well, so she will go and ask Kazuma to fix the reception.

So Ellie goes to the lab to see Kazuma. Instead of finding him there, she sees Massan and Toshio discussing something inside the office. She stands at the door to eavesdrop...

Massan has told Toshio about his family's predicament. Toshio thinks it is better for Ellie to leave Japan, that's it's better to be safe than sorry. Massan tells him that they have to get a divorce. He also feels sad for Ellie, how she has encountered hardships ever since she had eloped with him to Japan, so he's blaming himself in a way. Toshio says he shouldn't blame himself. It was Ellie's decision to go to Japan, and likens his own decision of leaving Hiroshima. He says he misses his hometown but he is happy with his decision, and has no regrets. "Of course, it's the same with Ellie!" Ellie is crying now as she listens. Massan's voice too is trembling with emotion as he says it's sad that Ellie had helped him make his dreams come true, while he hasn't yet been able to give her anything back in return... Toshio says what's important right now is Ellie's safety. But Massan is afraid that if she goes back home, she will realize that she's better off without him and might not come back to him even after the war is over. He understands what Toshio is saying. But if Ellie remains in Japan, Massan says he will protect her. But he still feels scared, scared of being powerless... Toshio nods and says he understands. Ellie continues to weep from behind the door... (~synopsis by ec)

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 20

Post by earthcolors » Feb 25th, '15, 12:50

Massan Ep.118 Synopsis
Massan is in his office. He glances at the calendar, and remembers what Catherine said about a ship leaving Japan on July 30.

In a Japanese style room of their house, Ellie rereads the letter from her sister, Helen, asking her to go back home where it is safer. Tears fall down her cheeks. Then Miki comes to clean the room. Ellie tells her not to bother because "this is our private room I will clean it myself." Miki says she understands. Ellie hides the letter in a a drawer, and wipes away her tears.

In the distillation room, Hideko is shoveling coal into the kiln. The other older women praise her for her youthful vigor. Hideko who is the youngest worker there, smiles back. Then, it's lunch time, and they are called to go to the herring palace. The women tell her that the "food here is delicious" and she should eat a lot. Hideko says she will.

The workers are coming into the herring palace to start eating. Miki who is serving meals sees her daughter and calls out to her. "Hideko! Eat 3 cups of rice and please work hard, okay!" Hideko replies jestingly, "You too Mom!" Miki laughs, and calls her daughter "cheeky". The other women comment that Hideko is a cheerful child, too. They laugh in a good-natured manner. However, Miki's smile disappears as soon as they leave.

Later, Kazuma is on top of the roof, setting up the antenna. Ellie watches from below. When he was done, he goes down and joins Ellie in the living room to see if the reception of the radio is fixed. It is so, and Kazuma tunes in on a radio station where the news is being announced that Japanese troops have successfully driven out British troops off an island (Probably related to the war campaign in the Malay peninsula and Singapore). He quickly turns it off because he doesn't want Ellie to hear it. Ellie says she's fine. Miki is there too at a distance, listening to and watching them...

In Ema's room, Ema has told Hideko about what happened. Ema asks her if she thinks her mother is an enemy. Hideko says how could she see someone who gives cookies an enemy? Ema laughs. She wishes the war would stop soon. She hates it that the lessons are just focusing only on stuff about "doing things for your country". But Hideko says she's lucky she's going to school. Ema remembers that she wants to be a teacher. So she gets some school supplies (notebook, pencils, etc.) and gives it to her. She tells her to keep on practicing and studying, and not to give up on her dreams. Hideko hesitates, but Ema says, "We're friends, aren't we?" Hideko accepts and says "Thank you" in English. Then, they hear Ellie calling for them to eat their snacks.

They are in the dining room, about to eat youkan. Hideko is delighted to eat it after a long time. Ellie invites Miki to eat with them. Again, Miki hesitates, and so Ellie insists. Miki sits down next to her daughter. Then, Hideko shows her mother the school supplies that Ema has given her. Again, Miki becomes upset, and orders her to return them. Ellie mediates again, telling her to "receive Ema's feelings". Miki relents but doesn't seem happy about it.

Later, Miki goes out to do some shopping errands. She is at the front of the house when a man calls her to stop. It is the man who had been lurking around the grounds for while...

Inside his office, Massan has closed his curtains. Hana is there to talk with him about a sensitive topic. She tells him that the Tokkou seem to be lurking around the neighborhood and spying on people. She and Kumatora have also heard from Toshio about their predicament. She says she too is in favor of Ellie leaving Japan and fears for her safety. She tells him to do what must be done to protect Ellie. She says she and her family are all grateful to Massan and Ellie for the help they have given them. If it weren't for them, she doesn't know what might have happened to them. And because of them, she had met her husband Toshio. She cares for Ellie, and wants her safe. Ellie may seem Japanese to her, but everyone else still sees her as nothing but a foreigner. She is crying as she expresses her worries and tells Massan that there is nothing more important than life. Massan says he understands her feelings. She apologizes for rambling and leaves.

That night, the Kameyama family discusses the topic again during dinner. Ema has become upset again and insists that it's better for Ellie to leave Japan because "Japan is wrong anyway!" Massan tells her to be quiet. He closes the curtains for fear of the Tokkou (sure enough the man is outside still watching the house). Ellie asks Ema if something happened in school. Ema says not to mind about her because "I'm Japanese." She asks what will happen if the ship leaves and they won't meet the deadline. Then she accuses Massan of being leisurely and not doing anything about it. "Do you really care about her!?" Massan tells her to watch her words. Ellie tries to calm Ema down. Massan tells Ema not to worry, and to believe that he will think of the best possible way to handle this. Ellie asks Ema if she doesn't want her mother to stay in Japan anymore. Ema weeps as she says it's not what she meant. "I'm just scared..." Ellie hugs her daughter to soothe her.

The next morning, Massan is in the master's bedroom. He unfolds a document, and reads it. Apparently, it is a divorce registration paper for him and Ellie... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.119 Synopsis
Massan hesitates signing his name on the divorce papers. He tells himself it is the right thing to do. "If Ellie dies, I can't..." With tears in his eyes, he starts signing the paper. Before he could complete his signature, Ellie has come inside the room, and sees what he's doing. Probably having an idea, she asks what it is. "Divorce registration papers," he admits. He tells her it is the best thing he could think of in protecting her. He adds, just as what Catherine had mentioned, it is only temporary, and what's more important is her life. Ellie weeps, and Massan could not look at her. She asks if he's sure about it. Then, they hear footsteps coming into the house. They go to the living room, and stop as they see men barging their way in without permission. It is the dreaded Tokkou. Massan puts his arms up to shield and protect Ellie. "What the heck is all this?" Massan demands to know. One of them, Sakurada (Ikeda Narushi) wearing a mustache and a white suit, seems to be the one leading the group. He brandishes a handbook to Massan and says, "Under the Military Secret Protection Act... we suspect Kameyama Ellie of spying, and have come to do a raid." He also shows them a search warrant. He asks about the antenna (which he assumes is being "used to intercept confidential info of our country"), and the visitor the other day ("A woman from St. Andrew Church in Sumiyoshi, Osaka"). Massan does answer the truth, that the antenna is for the radio, and the woman is an old friend whom they've reunited with after a long time. Sakurada asks what they've talked about with Catherine. Instead of answering, Massan looks at him angrily. Sakurada takes offense, and accuses him of turning against the country. Massan looks back at his scared wife, and says to him, "Is this what you do for the country. Barging your way inside the houses of good citizens, without even removing your shoes off?" But Massan still answers the last question, that they talked about Ellie going on the last ship, and getting a divorce. But Ellie stubbornly says she won't leave. Sakurada is not satisfied with their answers and orders his men to ransack the house and search for incriminating items. So they confiscate the antenna from the roof, step on the flower beds, go through all the drawers and papers in the house. Ellie who can't stand the violation of their privacy, cries and shouts out, "Please stop doing this terrible thing!" She is trying to free herself from Massan's grasp, while he tries to calm her down. Sakurada seems to enjoy seeing the anguish and frustration on the couple's faces and orders his men to ransack the house thoroughly.

By now, people from the factory have gathered outside the house, looking at the ruckus. They are too afraid to do anything. Kumatora is also there but he too could only watch as well. Hana and Kazuma come. Kazuma tries to go inside but Kumatora stops him from interfering.

Inside, one of the Tokkou has found a Japanese-English dictionary. Ellie explains it's her daughter's. Sakurada finds it suspicious since there was an order to ban such books. He seizes the book, and Ellie protests. Then he says he knows that they have been exchanging secret letters with the enemy. Massan says that Ellie had been corresponding with her mother and sister even before the war. Even so, Sakurada wants the men to find it, and again, Ellie protests...

Meanwhile, Ema has arrived from school. She stops among the crowd gathered in front of house, feeling shocked to see what is happening inside her home...

The men have found the letters. With that, Sakurada orders to arrest Ellie. Massan tries frantically to save his wife, and asks to take him instead. Sakurada only punches him in the stomach as an answer. Massan crumples on the floor. Sakurada tells him he is a disgrace to the Empire for marrying a foreign woman. Massan stands up and defends Ellie, saying she is trying to become Japanese more than anyone. He tells them Ellie has Japanese citizenship, and is a true Japanese now. But Sakurada says she has looks that are wholly different from a Japanese, so she isn't considered one, which ever way you look at it. Then, Ema tries to come inside, crying for her parents but the workers pull her back in. Massan and Ellie plead with her not to come in. The Tokkou attempt to take Ellie away again but Massan continues to shield her. He begs them to see reason, and that he and his wife are together, through life and even death. He looks straight in Sakurada's eyes, and tells him he has to take him as well. "Arrest me, too," he says defiantly in English. Sakurada grabs his collar, and throws him down on the floor. Ellie pleads with them to stop. She tells Massan that she'll be okay. Sakurada: "So the devil has revealed her true nature." Ellie volunteers to surrender, and to go with them amicably. But first, she says to Sakurada, "If this is what you wish, then feel free to investigate. I did not do anything wrong. That is why I am not afraid of you." Sakurada just snickers. Ellie continues: "Then what is it that you want? Please tell me. Why can't I stay here? Please tell me so I can understand! Is it because I am not Japanese? Is it my nose? Is it my hair? My eyes? I, Kameyama Ellie, am the same as you. I am Kameyama Ellie! In this country, I have a husband whom I love. And a loving daughter. Here, I have a family! This is my hometown!" Massan, being held back by one of the men, watches helplessly, with tears streaming down his cheeks. Ema too is crying, and so is everyone else outside. Miki and Hideko are also there, watching the tensed scene unfold. Sakurada just tells his men to bring Ellie to their headquarters to be interrogated. They take Ellie outside. Both Massan and Ema cry her name, trying desperately to go to her, as the men haul Ellie away... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.120 Synopsis
As the men are about to leave with Ellie, the Navy officer and two of his men arrive in time. The officer asks what the commotion is all about. Sakurada replies meekly that they're investigating Ellie for spying. "We suspect her of giving information to the enemy." He tries to show the letter to the officer but latter asks if they have confirmed the contents of the letter. Sakurada says he did. Nevertheless, the officer thinks that even though they have investigated the contents of the letter, they are being too hasty with their ways. Then he tells Sakurada that the factory is a Japanese Navy designated company. "If this person is a spy, then this will be seen as a poor supervision on our part... what can you say about that?" Sakurada says he understands, and will reevaluate the letter again. He and the men leave, without taking Ellie with them. Massan and Ema go and hug Ellie. They are thankful too, to the Officer. Ellie takes the man's hand to say thank you. The officer takes his hand away and says, "Do not misunderstand. I just couldn't tolerate those men, practicing their rough ways every day." Nevertheless, the family thanks and bows to them in gratitude. Kumatora and the others also bow to the officers. Miki stares at Ellie, with a troubled look on her face...

That night, the couple are inside their bedroom, fixing up the house. Massan shows her the divorce paper which he was attempting to sign. He tears it in half. He says he has decided to let Ellie stay in Japan, and be together always. "To protect you is not an easy thing to say... I know that but.. if you are to be arrested, I will ask that we be arrested together. If they beat you up, they have to beat me up as well." He holds her hand and says the words he had told her during the early and rough times of their marriage, "Do not ever let go of this hand." Ellie weeps and kisses her husband on the lips, and they embrace. Ema is outside listening andd weeping too, happy that her parents are together safe.

The next day, all of the employees are gathered at the herring palace. Ellie and Ema join Massan in front to address all the workers. He tells them that he had wanted Ellie to go back to her home country of Scotland. But he has decided that the three of them will stay together as a family in Japan, and so he asks for their continued cooperation. Of course, Hana and Kumatora say they will cheer for them and ask them to be strong. Toshio says "You leave it to me!" But Kazuma says he is not reliable (considering he wasn't present during the commotion). Toshio feels hurt about that. He says he was out buying barrels for the ageing room, but if he was there, he would have beaten the living daylights out of those guys. Everyone laughs and applauds, except Miki. Massan and his family thank everyone. Hideko tells her mother that it's good that everything had turned out well. But Miki doesn't say anything, and just stares at Ellie. Toshio asks everyone to go back to their posts. As the workers disperse, Toshio and Kazuma discuss the event with Massan. The two are wondering why the Tokkou decided to raid the house, and how come they know about the letters? Then, suddenly, they hear someone cry out, "I'm sorry!" It is Miki, bowing down to them. She admits that she was the one who informed the Tokkou about the letters. Hideko couldn't believe it. Miki explains that her husband was killed in one of the battles of the Malayan Campaign by Ellie's countrymen. But she knows that Ellie did not do anything wrong, and that she is a kind person. But she continues, "It's so frustrating. The enemy is living life luxuriously, while we Japanese don't have clothes to wear nor food to eat, and are suffering while Ellie who is a foreigner, is living in such a fine house, living comfortably..." Ellie then remembers the times that Miki vehemently refused the things she and Ema had given to them: the cookies, the school supplies, etc. She realizes she should have been more sensitive during these times. She should not brandish a life of luxury at a time when so many people are suffering. She apologizes to Miki, and wishes she should have been more aware of her feelings. Miki says she was the one at fault. Seeing Ellie yesterday, she had realized that even though Ellie looks different, she is still a human being, no different from them. Ellie says thank you. Then Miki apologizes to her daughter for not being able to provide her with things that she wanted, like attending girls' school, and such. Hideko shakes her head, and tells her she's happy that she has a mother. Massan smiles and seems forgiving. Ema is in tears, feeling sad for her friend, and at the same time, relieved that the matter has been settled.

In the end, Miki and Hideko have decided to go back to their hometown and start again from there. They say goodbye to the Kameyama family. Ema sees them off at the gate, and waves goodbye. She's crying as they see them go. Massan and Ellie comfort their daughter.

Ellie writes a letter to Catherine, informing of her decision not to go, after careful consideration with Massan. "I know there'll be difficult times ahead, but I made my decision when I came to Japan. I will stay by Massan's side because I love him. I'm sorry I made you worry, and thank you for asking me to go with you. I hope we'll meet again with smiles on our faces." Meantime, days seem to pass by without any more incidents. The family go about their everyday chores and routines.
Narrator: "Ellie and Massan decide to live in Japan. Soon, these two will meet dark times ahead, and try to confront it as best as they can." (~synopsis by ec)
Last edited by earthcolors on Mar 2nd, '15, 19:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 21

Post by earthcolors » Mar 2nd, '15, 19:40

Week 21 Synopsis by NHK: "Monoieba kuchibiru samushi aki no kaze" (Silence is Golden)
In 1943, Ema, who now participates in social service, confesses to Kazuma that she feels miserable about herself not live strongly like Massan and Ellie do with their dreams. Kazuma also shares his distress from the circumstance that his friends go to war one after another. Soon the two get close to each other, however, Ellie is opposed to their romance for the reason of her kept secret. (~synopsis by NHK)
Massan Ep.121 Synopsis
Autumn, 1943. It's been 2 years into the war. Ema has graduated from girls' school. She and all the girls around her age are doing labor service for the war. Their classrooms have also been converted for this purpose. She, along with the other girls, is wearing modest clothing and pants, and headband around her head while meekly sewing military uniforms for soldiers using a sewing machine.

At the Nakajima barbershop, a young man is getting a crew cut from Saburo. Kazuma (who is wearing a kokumin or national costume for men during the war) is there, too getting a shave from Chie. From the radio, the "Attu-jima Kessen Yūshi Kenshō Kokumin Uta" (National Song in Honor of the Warriors of the Bloody Battle in Attu Island) is being played. Saburo finishes the haircut, and the young man, wearing a soldier's uniform stands up to go. Saburo wishes him good luck. Susumu (who is also wearing a kokumin), and Kumatora stop their game of shogi, to stand up and pay respect to the outgoing young man, by way of cheering "Banzai" three times. The young man responds by saluting before going out the door. After he leaves, the men comment about how one by one, the town are being deprived of its young men. Susumu complains about his business is not doing so well. Saburo too whines about his business being slow, and says he should put up a beauty salon instead, since only women are left in the town. Chie tells them to stop complaining, and to wait until they win the war. Meanwhile Kazuma sits on the barber's chair, appears thoughtful, quietly listening to everyone.

Over at the whiskey lab, Massan is smelling the whiskey taken from the barrels, all lined up in front of him inside bottles. Toshio comes in, informing him that it's lunch time. They are both wearing kokumin under their coats. Toshio asks what he's doing. Massan says he is polishing his blending skills by smelling the whiskey he has since he still has to do whiskey-making in the next 10 and 20 years. Toshio wonders if they are still alive by then. Massan says Toshio would surely still be alive since "ill weeds grow apace." Toshio needed several seconds for Massan's joke to sink in, and takes offense. Massan laughs. But Toshio becomes serious and asks him what his plans are for the next 20 years. Since his tastebuds and sense of smell will decline as he ages, Massan should think of a successor for his company. Then, he says Massan either adopts a son, or Ema could get married, so he can have a son-in-law who will take over the business. Massan gets flustered about the thought of his young daughter marrying. "Marriage? It's still too early!" The thought seem so upsetting for Massan, and he quickly downs a shot of whiskey. Toshio tells him that learning to be a blender cannot take place in a day so he better find an heir to train as soon as possible. Then the Naval Officer arrives at the lab. He has something important to discuss with Massan...

Massan and the officer are alone inside the former's office. The officer asks Massan that he quickly make wine in his factory. Massan says he's not sure since he can only make whiskey in such a small company with few manpower. The officer explains that the wine itself is not important. The military is more interested in the byproduct of making wine, which is tartaric acid. "Can you deliver it to us before winter comes?"

Over at lunchtime, Massan tells the others about what the officer said. Toshio and Kazuma are there. Massan says tartaric acid will be used in ships and submarines' sonars. Toshio is confused. "Wine to be used as detectors?" Kazuma explains that a derivative of tartaric acid is potassium sodium tartrate also called Rochelle salt (that exhibits piezoelectricity), which can be used to detect sonar waves. In other words, Massan says, the navy wants them to make wine which they won't need and will only use the tartaric acid. Ellie (who is again wearing a newer hairstyle) is there listening while pouring tea for everyone. Hana comes out of the kitchen and joins them. She teases her husband, by asking if he really understands the talk. Toshio asks Massan what he'll do. Massan says he lacks manpower and time, but Kazuma volunteers to do it. The younger man says he'll get grapes from a nearby orchard. And that he had read books on how to make apple wine. Toshio protests that it is his forte, but Kazuma says he knows more about tartaric acid. The two bicker while Massan smiles. He says he'll allow Kazuma to make the wine. The young man lightens up considerably since he now has something to directly contribute to the war effort. Eagerly, he says he'll go right away and purchase the grapes. Ellie wishes him good luck.

Over at the labor service, Ema stops sewing because a cloth got jammed under the needle of her sewing machine. Two girls, Aya (Noutomi Arisa) and Kinu (Miyake Yuma) stand up and accuse Ema of slacking off. Ema apologizes meekly. Yoshie who is also working next to Ema, tries to defend her friend by saying the sewing machine is jammed. But the two tell her to be quiet. They continue to bully Ema. They knew about Ema's dislike for the war and so they ask her if she still thinks the war is stupid. Ema, in order to protect herself, says she doesn't think that way anymore. Aya asks, "Then, do you sincerely hope that the devil Americans and British be destroyed as soon as possible?" Ema with empty eyes, answers in a lifeless voice, "Yes, I hope so."

Ema arrives home on her bike. She is still in a somber mood. To top it off, she sees a Tokkou man lurking outside, still watching the people at the factory. Kazuma greets her and asks her what's wrong. He, too sees the man. They both cannot do anything about it.

They both go inside one of the rooms in the factory grounds. It seems to be a lab where Kazuma will do his wine-making. Ema sits and complains how much she hates the war while Kazuma washes the grapes he had just bought. Ema says she wants to be free to do things she wants to do, just like the way Massan and Ellie set out to fulfill their dreams before the war. Kazuma is surprised to hear her say such things, considering he had always thought of her as a child. Ema feels frustrated that her parents are too protective of her, and treats her like a child. But Kazuma tells her that she had grown up considerably and has become more adult. Ema feels happy to hear that. He adds that it isn't only Ema who feels troubled during these times. She asks if he too is feeling troubled. Kazuma does not answer so Ema changes the topic, and asks about the grapes instead. He lightens up, and tells her how he had been assigned to make wine. "Really? So you got promoted, huh?" she says, teasingly. He calls her cheeky and laughs. Then he tells her to confide in him if something is troubling her, but he'll charge her one yen as a consultation fee. "Is it too cheap?" he asks, smiling. Ema laughs, and Kazuma compliments her smile. "Smiling suits you." Ema then says, she'll charge him 10 yen for every smile she gives him. "Is it too cheap?" They laugh. Ema watches him happily as he continues to work on the grapes.

Ellie goes inside Ema's room to deliver freshly ironed clothes. The room is a bit untidy, so she stays to pick stuff up that's lying around. She opens a drawer and notices how messy it is...

After her interaction with Kazuma, Ema comes home with a big smile on her face. Massan who is reading the newspaper notices how lively her smile is, and asks if something had happened. Ema just smiles even more and doesn't answer. She goes to her room where she sees her mother going through her drawer. Ema's smile disappears, and asks what Ellie is doing. Ellie answers, she's arranging it since it was too messy. Ema, upset, takes a book that her mother is holding and tells her she cannot just open her drawer without permission. "I can clean it myself!" Ellie says she did not look into her things, and that she was just cleaning up. Ema: "I'm not a child anymore!" Ellie: "I know that." Ema then practically pushes her mother out of the room. Ellie is surprised at her daughter's behavior.

Ellie complains about it to Massan. He reasons out that Ema is already growing up, and hasn't seen anyone much except her parents. Ellie has a feeling that something had happened at the labor service. But Massan does not agree since she seems happy when she came home. Still Ellie says she wants to go and see her at the labor service. Massan says Ellie is just probably feeling frustrated because she's cooped up inside the house for too long, "like a bird in a cage". Ellie takes offense. She insists that this isn't about her. She's only worried about their daughter. Meanwhile, Ema had been peeking through her door and listening to them talk...
Narrator: "A disquieting air seems to have come drifting over the good relationship between mother and daughter." (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.122 Synopsis
The next morning, it's time for breakfast but Ema hasn't come out of her room yet. So Ellie goes and knocks on her daughter's room, and asks her if she wants to eat breakfast. But there was no reply. Ellie and Massan proceed to eat but Ema finally comes out. She says sorry to Ellie in English for what happened yesterday. "I said too much." Ellie is touched and forgives her. But then Ema adds that Ellie should not open her drawer without permission and that she will clean her own room herself. Ellie says she understands. Having patched things up, the family eats breakfast together peacefully.

Massan and Ellie see their daughter off at the front of the house. Ellie also hands Ema's lunch pack before she leaves. After Ema rides off on her bike, the couple sees the Tokkou guy blatantly watching them without even bothering to hide. They both go inside the house and close the curtains. Then, Massan asks Ellie for a talk. The two sit down in the living room. Massan tells her what he and Toshio discussed about regarding the future of the company, and on the issue of an heir. He says, "You and I both agreed that we won't tie Ema down with this house, right?" Ellie says yes, and that Ema is free to do what she wants. Massan says it's too early to think of a husband for Ema in order to have an heir, and Ellie thinks so too. "If it weren't for the war, if Ema wants to go abroad, it's okay by me, too," Ellie says. Massan agrees and then explains to her about the issue regarding the "blender". The heir has to be trained to become a master blender, and it would take years and lots of experience. That is why they have to decide on an heir now, so he can already start training him. Ellie asks if he has someone in mind. Massan says he is eyeing his nephew, Satoru, the youngest son of his elder sister, Chikako, the baby that Ellie had held in her arms when he was born. Apparently, Chikako has written to him, informing that Satoru is going to study at a graduate school in Hokkaido University and take up oenology. Ellie says Satoru is welcome to stay in their home but she has another person in mind as Massan's heir. "Who?" "Kazuma." She thinks Kazuma works hard, and respects him. Massan is surprised that he hasn't thought of him. "It's the 'darkest under the lighthouse' proverb! (hard to see what's under your nose)." Ellie also says Kazuma is like Massan: they're both serious, can't tell a lie, studies and works hard. Massan seems convinced.

Over at the lab, Kazuma is busy working on his wine project...

Later, at the labor service, Ema and Yoshie are eating lunch together. Yoshie seems to have a simple obento of potatoes and pumpkin while Ema has white rice with umeboshi, fried eggs, potatoes and (maybe) corn salad. The two girls, Aya and Kinu come to bully Ema again. They comment on how luxurious her lunch is. Ema says her mother made it. "Does your mother know that 'luxury is an enemy'?" Aya asks. Kinu mockingly says that Ema may not even understand such a saying. The other girls, seeing this uncomfortable atmosphere, move away from them to avoid getting mixed up. Aya then asks Ema that she attend a bamboor spear training and fire brigade drill for women next Sunday. Yoshie meekly says she will attend but Ema just remains quiet. Kinu asks Ema if she thinks her house will be spared by the bombing just because it's protected by the Navy. Ema refutes that, saying her father's company is designated by the Navy, so it would likely be targeted out of all the houses in the area. "So then why won't you attend the training!?" Aya asks. "You haven't attended, not even once!" Kinu asks if maybe Ema's foreign mother forbade her to go. Ema: "No, she didn't say such a thing!" Aya: "Then why won't you go!?" Ema, in a soft voice answers, "For me, the bamboo spear training is..." Aya and Kinu order her to speak louder. Yoshie grabs Ema's arm and practically begs her to just join the training with her. Still, Ema does not say yes, and just stares down at the ground. Finally Aya says, "Fine! You don't have to go!" Kinu calls her "Unpatriotic!" before leaving her alone.

Later, Ema is with Kazuma in the wine lab. She's complaining to him again about not having the freedom to do and say what she wants, and being treated like a child. She also thinks of herself as boring, with no merits, unlike her parents. "After all, it's because we're not connected by blood..." she says sadly. Kazuma looks at her worriedly. She adds that maybe she is different from other Japanese because of her upbringing. Kazuma tells her she is fine being herself. Ema angrily asks what her identity is anyway, she doesn't know it nor understands. Kazuma says he too is confused, about whether it is good that he remains in Japan and not join the war effort, like what everyone else is saying. He feels embarrassed that almost all of his childhood friends have gone off to war. Even in the factory, the women's husbands and sons have also gone while he's waiting patiently for his draft papers to come. He says feels disgusted. But he also admits that he is afraid of what might happen if he indeed receives his draft orders. That is why, he says, he just wants to forget this conflicting feelings and just throw himself into the work of making wine. Ema tells him that it's bad to go to war and such people shouldn't be called cowards. He says that thought won't work because he's a guy. Ema argues back that it doesn't matter, all people whether they're men or women, natives or foreigners, "all lives are important." And that it's only natural that people get scared of being killed. Kazuma realizes that he hasn't told anyone of his feelings, even to his sister and father. Ema is happy that he got to talk to her about it. He asks her not to tell Massan about what he said, and Ema promises. They both pinkie-swear on it. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.123 Synopsis
Kazuma has been doing the wine-tartaric acid experiment for 10 days now. He proposes to Massan that lime be added to the wine barrel in order for the wine to precipitate and separate in the cold winter, and he can directly collect the tartaric acid from it. With this, it's possible that he can deliver the tartaric acid in time before winter. However, the wine that will be produced cannot be drank since it's too sour. Massan inspects his work and says, the military only needs the tartaric acid anyway. He suggests that sugar be added so that the wine will still be drinkable. He asks the young man to take care of it. Then Ema comes in, after having arrived from school. Massan is surprised to see her inside the lab. She explains that she will be Kazuma's assistant. Seeing her father's confused look, she says it's a joke, and is only there to serve "as a diversion". Still, Massan doesn't get it. Anyway, Ema pushes her father out of the lab, saying he is only interfering with Kazuma's work. She tells him that he and the others eat dinner ahead, because the two of them will still be working at the lab.

At the herring palace, Massan, Ellie, Toshio, Hana, and Kumatora are eating dinner. The usual seats of Kazuma and Ema are empty since the two are still in the lab. Toshio has told the Kameyamas that Ema had been spending time at the lab everyday now. Ellie realizes, "That's why she's been late in coming home lately". Massan asks what she's doing there, and Toshio answers, "Just killing time, I guess." But Kumatora disagrees. He says Ema has already grown up now. "The parent is the only one who still thinks his child will remain a child forever. Even I always treated Hana as a child." Hana says it wasn't so since she's been doing the grown-up chores since she was small: cleaning, washing, ear cleaning, etc. Now, it is Toshio's turn to complain. He says she doesn't clean his ears, and wants her to start tonight. Teasingly, Hana says she doesn't want. Massan tries to go back to the topic by asking Kumatora what he meant. Kumatora says, vaguely: "Well, it's that kind of thing right?" Massan doesn't get it: "What sort of thing?" Ellie gets it and says: "No, It's impossible." Kumatora asks, what other reason could Ema have for going to Kazuma in the lab everyday? "Do you think she enjoys watching grapes ferment?" Massan and Ellie have incredulous looks on their faces. Toshio chimes in: "If... if what Kuma-san is saying is true, then the two are already doing something like... ear-cleaning?" Massan disagrees, saying Ema is too young for things like that. "She just got out of girls' school." Kumatora argues that even girls who are still in middle school have gotten married. Massan and Ellie think such a thought is too ridiculous if applied to their daughter...

Over at the lab, Kazuma is working silently while Ema is keeping him company, cleaning up, and watching him adoringly like a wife...

Back at the herring palace, Toshio tells Massan that if Ema and Kazuma marry, it's like hitting two birds with one stone: he'll be getting a son-in-law and an heir. Massan asks Kumatora what he thinks about it. Of course, the older man doesn't have any complaints. He's happy that his son will inherit Massan's company. Toshio says there's just one problem. If the two marry, then Toshio and Massan will somehow become related. And that their worker-boss relationship will change, and instead of Obochama, he'll be calling Massan, "Masaharu", and be using peer talk. Hana says it doesn't matter, they could still be the way they are now. As they continue to talk, Massan is thinking. Toshio asks him what he thinks. Massan says a union between the two may be convenient but still they don't know yet the real score. So Toshio asks him if he'll ask the two. Ellie and Massan do not know how to answer that...

Later at home, Ellie has set the table for Ema's dinner. Then, she goes to Massan in the living room to talk about the issue: whether to ask the two about what's going on between them...

Outside, Kazuma is walking Ema home. She is carrying the wooden box with her father's bell inside. Ema says she will visit him again tomorrow. Kazuma teases her about how it's better for her to study at home. Ema playfully shoves him and calls him "Dummy!". And the two play a small game of tag. But Ema slips and falls down, dropping the bell box on the ground. Kazuma helps her up. Suddenly, Ema blurts out, "I love you." Kazuma freezes, too surprised to react. She asks what she feels about her. But Ellie and Massan, who heard the box fall, have come out to see what was happening outside. They see Kazuma holding Ema's waist (when he was helping her up). Ema explains hastily and Kazuma retrieves the bell box and gives it to Massan. He takes his leave by saying "Good night."

Ema is eating dinner while Massan and Ellie are watching her. She seems in a good, smiley mood, and talking about how Kazuma's experiment seems to be going well. Then she asks Massan that she be allowed not to attend labor service anymore. She says she wants to work in Massan's factory instead, since it will be more convenient, and besides, "we have a labor shortage." She adds that she wants to work in the lab with Toshio and Kazuma. Ellie, who knows why, disapproves right away. Ema complains that they taught her to do anything she wants to do. Massan asks her why she made such a decision so suddenly. Finally, Ema admits that she loves Kazuma, but she doesn't yet know his answer. "I do not know what will happen now so please watch over me warmly." She quickly downs her tea, and retires to her room. Ellie and Massan, surprised, ask each other what to do.

Inside her room, a smiling Ema writes in her diary: "15 October (Friday). Kazuma's grape fermentation experiment has been going on for 12 days. I had finally confessed, 'I love you' to him. He was a bit confused but I think he wasn't annoyed."

The next morning, Massan goes to work and is about to go inside the lab. Seeing Kazuma already inside, he stops and hesitates. But Kazuma sees him already and excitedly calls him inside. The younger man shows him the tartaric acid that had formed from his lime-grape experiment, and is very pleased that it worked. Massan thanks him for his hard work, pats him on the shoulder and unknowingly blurts out, "As expected of my potential heir!" Kazuma: "Heir?" Massan: "Well..."

Over at the labor service, Ema can't stop smiling while working. Yoshie notices and comments on it. Ema admits that she is in love, and tells her to hurry up and fall in love too. "Because for sure, you'll enjoy it."

Massan finally had the talk with Kazuma. He tells him that Ema already told him and Ellie about her feelings for Kazuma. "Did you know?" Kazuma answers yes. Massan asks what he thinks. Kazuma looks a bit uncomfortable and seems to be beating around the bush: "In this age, women are the ones who will like guys and more indiscreet... considering the girl in question is the daughter of the president..." Massan: "Then do you feel the same for her?" Kazuma answers weakly, "Yes." Massan is dismayed, finding his answer too weak. "Such a vague, half-hearted feeling..." Kazuma stands up, this time with more feeling, he says, "You're wrong!"

Meanwhile, Ema is sewing away with a happy smile on her face. (~synopsis by ec)
Last edited by earthcolors on Mar 7th, '15, 00:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 21

Post by earthcolors » Mar 2nd, '15, 20:07

Massan Ep.124 Synopsis
Lunch is over at the herring palace. Everyone is going back to work. Ellie and Hana are busy putting things away while the men remain at the hearth, discussing about what happened with Ema and Kazuma. Toshio still says it's a good thing since Massan will no longer have a headache when it comes to handing down his company. Kumatora agrees, and asks why the couple is hesitating, considering that even Ellie thought that Kazuma will make a great heir. Ellie is quiet and just focuses on the chores, with a stiff, tensed look on her face. Massan says he doesn't know Kazuma's feelings yet about inheriting the company. Kumatora says for sure, his son has no reason not to welcome the idea. Toshio agrees, even spouting some proverbs to drive the point: "Watari ni fune" (finding a boat when you need one), and "Oni ni kanabō" (making a strong person even stronger). Then he goes on again about how strange it will be if Massan becomes his relative, and will be calling him "Masaharu" or maybe even "Dad" (since Massan will be the father-in-law of his brother-in-law). Kumatora reminds him that Toshio doesn't even call him, his own father-in-law "Dad", only "Kuma-san." Toshio says it's different with him. Massan then asks Hana what she thinks. After hesitating, Hana says she thinks Ema is still young and "too innocent" for such a thing. In the kitchen, Ellie is listening without a word. Come to think of it, Ellie has been unusually quiet about the issue for awhile lately...

Finally that night, Ellie tells Massan in their living room, that she agrees with what Hana said. She thinks that it is still too early for Ema to fall in love. She also had noticed, ever since the war began, that Ema had been half-hearted about her studies. She still wants Ema to experience the outside world more, rather than think of love or marriage. She accuses Massan of liking the idea of Ema and Kazuma together so he can solve the issue of his heir. Massan denies it but says that no one can stop two people from falling in love. He likens it to the two of them, when their own love was opposed by her mother and uncle. But Ellie says theirs was different. She believes that Ema does not really love Kazuma, and that she doesn't really know what "love" means. She claims that Ema is only longing to love someone, and is only obsessed with the idea of "love". Massan does not agree but suddenly Ellie shouts, "I will not allow it! As a mother, I will not allow it. She and I will have a talk." Massan is a bit intimidated, seeing Ellie is dead set against it for some reason...

So Massan retreats to the herring palace, to have drinks with Toshio and Kumatora. He tells them that the mother and daughter will have a talk, and that Ellie is against their relationship. He points at Kazuma who is in another room studying. Hana comes, serving them drinks, and says she agrees with Ellie...

At the house, Ellie is indeed having a talk with Ema. Ema learns that Ellie is opposing it, that it is too early for "love", and that she should experience the outside world first. Ema of course doesn't take it well. "I am not a child anymore!" She tells her mother that she is going against her teachings of "think freely, say and do what you want." Ellie tells her that as a mother, she knows more about her but Ema says she doesn't know anything. She says Ellie doesn't see whether she's suffering or not, or what she does. Ellie says she only wishes her to be happy. Then Ema shouts, "Do not change the topic!"

Back at the herring palace, Toshio is still prattling on about what names they're calling each other, that even Kazuma calls him "Factory Manager" and wonders if he'll still call Massan as "Obochama." But then, he still seems to be going back to the topic of calling Massan "Masaharu" because it seems he's liking the sound of it... But then he realizes no one is listening to him since everyone is busy pondering over their own thoughts... Then, the silence is suddenly broken by the sound of the door opening. Ema comes in, crying. They ask her what's wrong. "It's mom..." she says, sobbing. "I hate her!" Kazuma comes out of his room and tries to ask Ema what happened but Hana intervenes. She invites Ema to go with her to her room. Ema complies, still weeping...

Over at the house, Ellie sits in the living room, remembering Ema when she was younger, and the times she was raising her. She is crying too. Massan comes in and informs her that Ema will be staying in Hana's room for awhile. He asks her what happened. When she doesn't answer, Massan reiterates that she knows very well that she can't stop love from happening. Ellie shots back: "I know that." In an upset loud voice, she says that she wants Ema to be happy and to live freely but "It's still too early for love!" Massan tries to argue that they cannot decide on that. Again Ellie angrily argues back that she is the mother and she knows Ema best. Massan is surprised to see Ellie acting so passionately about this. He tells her to go to bed, and to calmly think about this matter overnight. Ellie wipes away her tears and says, "I am calm."

Over at Nakajima Barbershop the next day, Kumatora and Susumu are being shaved by Chie and Saburo. Kumatora had, as usual, gossiped to them about the latest happenings at the Kameyama house. He says Ellie is cooped up inside the house, while Ema is working at the factory. Susumu is surprised to hear that Ellie is opposed to Ema's love considering he thought of her as a progressive woman, who respects freedom. Chie says she understands Ellie because it is different when it comes to your own child, especially a daughter. Saburo surmise that maybe there's something wrong with Ellie, being that she's been cooped up inside the house for so long, and maybe sick of getting watched and spied on by the Tokkou. "Anyone (going through that) will go nuts." Susumu says it can't be helped since she'll get hit with stones if she goes out into the town. Saburo: "Yes, she is a devil after all." Hearing that, Kumatora glares dangerously at Saburo. Saburo quickly explains that it's not him but the people who have been saying that. Kumatora demands that he shouldn't say that in front of him nor Ellie. Chie changes the topic back to the young lovers whose hearts are "on fire". Saburo says, whatever happens, the issue won't last long anyway because "it's gonna happen soon." Kumatora asks what he means. Saburo only vaguely says, "It won't be strange if that happens soon". Kumatora then understands what he means...

In front of the house, the Tokkou man is casually walking, even daring to look closely at the windows. Behind the closed curtains, Ellie is alone in the master's bedroom, thinking by herself. She glances at the thistle flowers, placed in a vase on top of her dresser. She seems to be remembering something while staring at these thistle flowers for some time now... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.125 Synopsis
After contemplating, Ellie goes out of the house to look for Ema. The Tokkou man follows her.

Ema is at a warehouse putting away some things. Her cart bumps a stack of cases, which comes crashing down. Kazuma helps her, and Ema apologizes. He tells her that maybe it's better for her to go back home because Ellie is worried about her. But Ema says she wants to be with him. She asks if he feels the same way or not. Then Ellie shows up. Ema asks what she wants. Ellie says she wants Ema to help her inside the house. She tells her not to be too hasty with love. Ema shots back that parents cannot decide on what their child feels about matters of love. Kazuma tries to calm Ema down but Ellie signals for him to be quiet. Ellie still insists that loving a man does not make herself become an adult, and that Kazuma too knows that. Ema: "Why must you say such a thing!?" Ellie: "Can't you listen to your mother anymore?" Then Massan comes to ask what's happening. Ellie just turns around and goes back to the house.

Massan follows an upset Ellie inside the house. Hana is hanging up the laundry and sees them. Kumatora asks how things are with the Kameyamas. Hana answers that things seem to be worsening. Then they see the Tokkou man lurking around and watching them so they hurry back inside the herring palace.

Inside the Kameyama home, Ellie sits at the dining table. Massan tells her to remember how it feels to fall in love the first time. "How old were you when you liked someone?" He says it's not strange to fall in love at age 17, and that Kazuma is someone they trust anyway. He reminds her that even she had praised Kazuma, and commented how he and Massan are alike. Ellie says it's too early for talks of marriage. Massan agrees with her, and suggest that they should watch over them warmly.

Back at the warehouse, Kazuma tells Ema that it's better that they not meet for a while because he wants to focus on the tartaric acid experiment. Ema doesn't believe his reason, and thinks it's because of Ellie. "Don't you care about me?" Kazuma says Massan and Ellie are his benefactors. She then wants to know what Kazuma feels for her. "Even now, do you think of me as a sister?" She says she thinks of him as a man and that she loves him. She asks again what he feels for her, but he doesn't answer. "Why won't you answer? Because I might get hurt? Can't you tell me anything?" Still, Kazuma does not reply. She calls him a coward and runs out of the warehouse. She did not see that Kazuma's eyes are brimming with tears after she left.

It is dinner time, and Massan has gone to the herring palace alone. The others ask where Ellie is. Massan says she wants to wait for Ema at home. They ask if Ellie has been convinced and Massan says no. Toshio understands that Ellie would want to be strict but he's confused as to why when she herself had chosen love and eloped to Japan. Hana thinks that it's different when it comes to your child. Kumatora comments that it might be because of the war. It had made Ellie act strange with all the stone throwing, Tokkou spying etc. Massan and Hana don't think so. Hana says Ellie is not a weak woman who will be affected like that.

Ellie has prepared dinner for her and Ema, and had set the table for the two of them. While waiting, she is in the masters bedroom and remembering what Massan had said about "first love". She glances again at the thistle flowers (which is the national flower of Scotland) on her dresser. This time, a memory of hers is shown: When she was a young lass in Scotland, a man in military uniform hands Ellie a thistle flower... After remembering it, a tearful Ellie stands up and goes to Ema's room. She opens her daughter's drawer and takes out her diary. She opens it and scans through the pages...

Meanwhile, after being rebuffed by Kazuma, Ema comes home upset. Massan sees her and follows her. Ema has come inside her room and catches Ellie reading her diary. She demands to know what she's doing. Ellie asks her if she had written anything that's troubling. Ema angrily shouts that she mind her own business. "I am not your puppet!" She says she can decide for herself and asks to be trusted. Massan who also has come in, agrees with Ema, and says what Ellie has done is a bit too much. Ellie tells her husband that she needs to speak with Ema alone. After hesitating for a bit, Massan leaves the two alone, and goes to the living room.

Inside the room, Ellie asks her daugher, "Do you know why I am against your love for Kazuma?" Ema: "It's because you think I'm a child." Ellie says it is not only that but that Kazuma might go to war. Ema says she knows that. Ellie: "No, you don't... I don't want you to experience what happened to me." Ema: "What do you mean?" Ellie says she has never told Massan this story... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.126
While his wife and daughter are in the other room, Massan is in the living room, listening to the radio, and sipping whiskey...

Back in the room, Ellie confesses to her daughter that she had loved a man before she met Massan, and that they were betrothed. His name was George... In a flashback scene, Ellie is walking with this man in 1914 next to a lake. George, wearing a soldier's uniform, tells her to take care of herself and promises to be back. He says the war will be over soon, and that he'll be back before Christmas. He hands her a thistle flower. Ellie receives it with tears in her eyes. She says she will try to wait for him, and forces herself to smile. They say "I love you" to each other... After Ellie finishes telling her story, Ema asks what happened to him. Ellie: "He died. I learned about it on Christmas Day." Another flashback scene shows Ellie crying alone near the lake, while clutching a thistle flower. Ema thanks Ellie for telling her about it. Ellie in turn apologizes for opening her diary (for sure she wasn't able to read it well since it's in Japanese). Ema says she understands that Ellie loves her and worries about her but still, it doesn't change the fact that she loves Kazuma. She reasons out that even if Kazuma will go to war, it doesn't necessarily mean he will die. And for example, if Ellie finds out that Massan will die of some disease, it won't make her stop loving him nonetheless. She also points out that rather than living in fear, it's better to live life freely and to the utmost. She reminds Ellie what she said about life being an adventure. "Risk comes with adventures. If you are afraid of risks, then do not proceed forward." Ellie finally admits that she was wrong. Ema says she wasn't wrong, and that everything she said came from her anyway. Ellie apologizes. They hug and make up.

The next day, at the lab, Ema tells Kazuma about it while they're working on the grapes. He learns that Ellie has allowed it. Ema tells him about the motto of their family which is "Life is an adventure."

At the house, Ellie has confessed to Massan about her first love too. Massan is a bit upset that she didn't confide to him about it. Ellie says when George died, she became afraid to love. So when she met Massan, she thought he was a gift from God. With George and her father dead, she didn't know what would have become of her so she was thankful that he came to her life. Then she asks him to remember the time he proposed to her by the lake in Scotland. Ellie had said at that time: "Promise me you won't die ahead of me." She thanks him for marrying her and making her a mother. The two hug lovingly. Then Toshio comes bursting in, saying something has happened...

The three of them go to the herring palace. They find Kumatora and a certain man inside. Hana too arrives with Kazuma and Ema. After the man confirms Kazuma's idenitity, he congratulates him and hands him a card. It is the dreaded draft card. (~synopsis by ec)
Last edited by earthcolors on Mar 7th, '15, 01:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by earthcolors » Mar 2nd, '15, 20:35

If you're wondering the age gap between Ema and Kazuma:
Ema is 17 and Kazuma is 31. :blink
As was confirmed during discussion in "Asaichi" (the morning show following the asadora).
And also regarding Rita's past:
She indeed had a fiance who died in World War I before she met Masataka.
And here are vid links of Massan's Fanmeet:


And a documentary on Masataka and Rita, though the video is poor, you'll get to see the people who knew the couple well, a tape recording of Masataka's voice, and rare footages including of the couple and their interactions with daughter Rima (starts at 10:13):

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by yanie » Mar 8th, '15, 03:41

Charlotte Kate Fox will make a guest appearance in SMAPxSMAP airing March 30, in the Bistro SMAP corner.

Image

This will be her first appearance in, both, a Japanese variety show AND commercial broadcast.

As soon as the filming started she spoke in Japanese "Variety wa hajimete! Sugoku kinchou shiteru! (This is my first variety show appearance! I'm so nervous!)" Nakai Masahiro asked her "Nihongo daijoubu?" she answered with a smile "Daijoubu!"
After VTR of Massan scenes was shown, she seem so moved. Nakai asked her "Taihen datta deshou? (it must be hard for you)" she replied in Japanese "Meccha taihen!"
Nakai "I can't imagine if I'm in your position, you're so brave" Charlotte said "I'm just a bit crazy, rather than brave" Kimura Takuya made a comment "I can't imagine it myself. You have the beauty that only people who get through hard things, have"

Charlotte challenged SMAP of something she's good at, which is, to pick up things with her toes. They had a race. The one who can move most marbles with their toes in 30 seconds is the winner.

Next, SMAP challenged Charlotte "Achi Muite Hoi" game that doesn't exist in America. Charlotte did it so slow so Kimura and Inagaki had to follow her pace, turning it into an awkward "achi muite hoi" game.

After the filming was over, Charlotte made a comment "I had so much fun. I didn't think I could speak in Japanese this much. It was really fun. The foods were so delicious too!"

source: http://zasshi.news.yahoo.co.jp/article? ... the_tv-ent


An interpreter accompanied her but she had conversation with them, mostly in Japanese.

The menu she ordered was "Japanese breakfast."

As the filming was over, Charlotte thanked SMAP members and made a comment "They're so handsome and wonderful men! I had so much fun. I didn't expect I could speak Japanese this much. The foods were very delicious too."

Charlotte Kate Fox will play the role of Roxie Hart, the lead of CHICAGO the musical that will show in Broadway in October, and the play will also show in Japan in December. (in English with Japanese subtitles, according to the official site: http://www.chicago2015.jp/)

source: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20150 ... nannex-ent


I didn't know you can show subtitles in a theatrical stage play XD

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 22

Post by earthcolors » Mar 12th, '15, 15:55

Week 22 Synopsis: "Oya omou kokoro ni masaru oyagokoro" (Parental love exceeds that of children for their parents.)
Kazuma has received his draft card. Massan begins to train him as a blender during his remaining days left in Yoichi. With a feeling of pride, Kumatora also tries to prepare a send-off party for his son. Meanwhile, Ellie tries to console a grieving Ema that though everyone is sad, they are enduring the pain for Kazuma's sake. Then, just before the send-off party, Ellie has a favor to ask from Kumatora... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.127 Synopsis
The man hands Kazuma his draft card, congratulates him, and leaves. Kumatora too congratulates his son, and he and Toshio give him a banzai cheer. Kazuma appears pleased and is smiling. But Ema looks devastated. Unable to feel happy for him, she rushes out and goes back to the house. Worried, Ellie follows her. Ema claims that she's fine. "I knew perfectly well that such a day will come. I'm okay."

Back at the herring palace, the banzai cheering has ended. Kumatora says he wants to hold a send-off party for his son on the eve of his departure. Hana also suggests that they offer a "buun chokyu" or a prayer for safety and good luck at the shrine. Hana and Toshio read the draft card. It says Kazuma will leave on the 22nd at 3 o'clock via a train in Sapporo. It seems there's only three days left. Kumatora tries to be cheerful about it and tells Kazuma to start preparing immediately in order not to waste time. Kazuma puts on a smile, and so does everyone else. Kazuma says he'll go to his room to start packing...

As soon as Kazuma enters his room, his smile disappears. He looks tearful and crestfallen. Then he hears organ music playing, and singing voices from the Kameyama home...

It is Ema playing the organ, singing "Auld Lang Syne" in English along with Ellie. Then, Massan comes in and tells them to stop. He closes the door and curtains. "If you have to sing, sing it in Japanese." But Ema insists that she wants to sing the English version. Ellie sides with her daughter, and says she feels the same way, since the Japanese song is a song of farewell while the English version is about happy reunions. "I want Ema to reunite with Kazuma with a smile." Massan tells them about the send-off party for Kazuma on the eve of his departure. Ema says she won't attend it because she can't bring herself to say that "it's great to die for your country" or to sing a war song for him. Massan: "It doesn't mean Kazuma is going to die. What we can do now is do what we usually do before and send him off with a smile." Ema says she has nothing to smile about, and goes to her room. Massan sighs and tells Ellie that he too is trying to think of what to do. "This is now the reality of Japan." Then they hear a voice outside, going, "Ei! Ei! Ei!" They open the curtains and look out. They see Kumatora, practicing with a wooden sword...

Toshio and Hana also watch Kumatora from the herring palace. Hana smiles ruefully and tells her husband that she's going to prepare a senninbari for her brother. Toshio suggests to find a woman born in the Year of the Tiger since they are allowed to sew many stitches (ideally, one woman is allowed per stitch to come up with 1000 stitches). Hana suggests Ellie (who apparently is born in the Year of the Tiger). But Toshio says that even if they consider Ellie as family, she still came from an enemy country and it will be awkward to request for such a thing.

Meanwhile Kazuma is writing something in his room, while his father is still practicing kendo outside his window. He is writing a list of things to do before he leaves. It includes, "Get a haircut, take a photograph, make my greetings, write my last testament"...

Three days left before departure. Early morning at the barber shop, Yoshie says goodbye before she leaves for labor service. Her mother Chie sees her off. Inside, Kumatora has just finished announcing his son's impending departure. Saburo and Susumu (who is there to deliver apples) both congratulate him. Kumatora says he's happy about it, and that they'll have a send off on the eve. But he also wants to have a party tonight as a means of a "celebration anticipation" so he's inviting them to come to his house later on.

Kumatora returns back to his house in time for breakfast. He tells Hana to prepare a banquet tonight for an advanced party to encourage Kazuma. Then, Massan comes and tells Kazuma to go to the lab so he can train him in blending work. Kazuma and Kumatora are puzzled since Kazuma is leaving in three days. Massan explains it doesn't change the fact that Kazuma is still his employee and his work will be waiting for him when he comes back. After Massan leaves, Kumatora wonders what he's thinking, since it seems likely that Kazuma will learn blending in just three days. Then, he stands up because he remembers that he has to prepare something...

Later, Kazuma enters the lab. Massan is there, preparing samples of stock whiskey with varying shades of amber placed inside bottles and glasses lined up in a row. Massan tells him he will teach him only the basics and that once he gets back, he'll learn everything gradually. First, Massan teaches him "nosing", the basics of blending. He tells him to hold the glass of whisky to the light, swirl it slowly, examine the color and then, smell it. Kazuma does so, meekly.

Over at the herring palace, Kumatora is looking for something at a storeroom. He finds what he's looking for, an old type of projector...

It is lunchtime, and the workers are entering the herring palace to have their lunch. While Ellie is preparing things in the kitchen, Hana takes this opportunity to show the senninbari to the female workers. The women heard about Kazuma's impending departure, and so they understand what it is for. Hana tells them not to show it to Ellie. The women understand right away what she means. One woman, Kumi, says she was born in the Year of the Tiger so she volunteers to take care of it. They quickly hide the senninbari when Ellie approaches them. She tells Hana to tell her anything she can do for Kazuma. To change the topic, Hana asks Ellie how Ema is doing. Ellie shakes her head...

Ema is sitting alone, looking forlorn inside her room. Ellie knocks on her door but she doesn't answer. So Ellie comes in anyway. Ema asks her what this war is for. Ellie says it is hard to answer that. "But there is one thing I can say... for Kazuma." She tells her that what she can do now is to think hard what she can do for Kazuma...

Meanwhile, Kumatora is trying to see if the projector is still working. It doesn't seem to be and so the old man is trying to see what he can do to fix it... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.128 Synopsis
Massan continues his explanation of the smell of whiskey to Kazuma. The young man tries smelling it, and guesses which odor it reminds him of. Kazuma: "This smells like apple. A sweet, showy aroma... I sense an acidity such as that of vinegar." Massan is pleased with his answer and calls it a day. He reminds the young man that blending whiskey "each with different personalities" is a profound work. And although it is a time-consuming ordeal, it is also a truly fun work. Then, Kumatora comes inside the lab, carrying the projector. He asks Massan to look at it since he couldn't make it run properly...

So the three go back to the herring palace. Ellie and Hana are also there. Massan manages to fix the projector. They turn it on, and are happy to see that it's working fine now. Hana asks her father what film will he be playing but Kumatora secretively dodges the question. Then, three workers, Matsu, Chika and Kumi come in. They want to present Kazuma an amulet gift they made themselves: a wrapped bundle of pine nuts, soya beans, and walnuts. It is an amulet that wishes him to return in good health. Kumi says she also gave such an amulet to her husband before he went to war. Kazuma and Hana thank the women for their thoughts. Then Kumi's two children, a boy and a girl, call their mother. They say a man is looking for her. Kumi goes outside. The man has come to deliver a letter to her. Everyone is silent, anticipating some bad news from the war front. Kumi opens the letter, reads it and cries. Her children worriedly ask her what's wrong. Everyone's fears have been confirmed. Kumi's husband has died in the war...
Narrator: "Everyone is reminded once again that death always comes side by side with going to war."

An advance celebration takes place that night at the herring palace. The Nakajima couple and Susumu are there. Albeit looking sullen, Ema has come out of her room to at least try and be present at the party. They welcome her back and let her sit with them. They toast, and wish Kazuma good luck, and tell him they've been praying for him at the shrine. They notice that Ema is not looking so happy. Ellie just says she's not feeling well. They tell her to eat, because good food during these times are hard to come by. Then, Massan requests that Kumatora sing his usual "Soran Bushi". Toshio complains though that he's tired of it, and yet joins Kumatora in singing it. Kumatora gets up on the loft and pretends to see that the schools of herring are back to their shores. He leads everyone in the singing of their anthem, "Soran Bushi" while everyone except Ema claps happily.

After a while, it is time for Kumatora to show everyone the film using the fixed projector. Kumatora doesn't say what the film is, so everyone waits excitedly to see what it is. The lights are turned off, and all eyes turn towards a wall where the film is projected. The film starts, and it shows a grainy black and white footage of a young 10 year old Hana and a 2 year old Kazuma, at the beach. Everyone comments how small and cute Kazuma was. The grown-up Kazuma is laughing, seeing his young self, and feeling sheepish. The young Hana in the film was prodding little Kazuma to come closer to the shore but the toddler started crying. Everyone laughs at how cute he was. "You haven't changed, huh!" they tease him. Then, they see a woman appearing, and taking the toddler up in her arms to soothe him. It was their mother, and Kumatora's wife, Shino. They comment how lovely she was. Susumu says that when his sister died, and everyone was crying, Kazuma was also crying even if he did not know nor understand what was going on at that time. Kumatora remembered that too, and said he did not know what to do with him. The film ends, and they applaud. Susumu tells Kazuma not to cry when he goes off to war. Kazuma says, of course not since he's not a kid anymore. Then, Kumatora tells his son that the war is a fight between countries, and that he mustn't lose no matter what. Hana asks him if he had been to war. Kumatora: "Even if I've never gone to war, I know about it. When us the Aizu got defeated in the Boshin War, no matter how miserable, cold or hungry we were, I think..." Hana interrupts him, saying there's no use bringing up the Boshin War right now. Kumatora gets upset and tells her to be quiet. He tells Kazuma that when the Satsuma and Choshu armies won, it was called the world of government forces. "But if the Aizu had won, the world might have been overturned." Hana thinks there is no point saying such things because, thanks to that, they are now living in Hokkaido right now. Still Kumatora wants to drive his point. "At any rate, we have to win! No matter what, win! It doesn't matter what you do in order to win!" Kazuma, sensing the seriousness in his father's voice, says, "I understand." Then, finally, Ema could not take it anymore, stands up and voices out her opposition. "If it's okay with you to do anything for Japan to win, does it also mean it doesn't matter what happens to Kazuma? Don't you all care what happens to him?" They tell her to calm down but Kumatora, in an angry voice shouts at her: "If we lose the war, think of what will happen to Japan!" Hana and Susumu try to tell him to calm down. Ema breaks into tears and runs off, with her mother following her. Since the mood has been dampened, the Nakajima couple, and Susumu decide to call it a night. They give their thanks and say good night to each other.

Later, Kazuma is in his room. He is trying to draw up his testament. He has an anguished look on his face, and he just could not bring himself to write the words... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.129 Synopsis
Kumatora, dressed in a crested haori, has hired a photograph and is ushering him inside the factory grounds. Meanwhile for Kazuma's next blending lesson, Massan is teaching him how to determine the taste of whiskey by examining the flavor and smell in his mouth. Kazuma takes a sip, and swirls it in his mouth before swallowing. He says it has a flamboyant and heavy taste. He guessed that the sample came from the new barrel. Massan says he is correct, and Kazuma is pleased that he got it right. Then Kumatora comes in, telling them to come out quick.

They go out into the courtyard to find the photographer setting up his camera on a tripod. A bench is placed outside, where they will sit to have their family group picture taken. Hana comes out with Ema and Ellie. The Morino family gather in front of the camera. Massan with his family hesitates to join because he thinks it should only be a family portrait of them. But Kumatora says the three of them are family to them, so they should join as well. Toshio, feeling left out, asks where he should stand. Kumatora teasingly asks if he should be in the photo in the first place. Toshio: "Of course, since I'm Kazuma's brother-in-law!" Kumatora tells him to just join in, "it doesn't matter anyway" where you stand. Toshio takes offense and attempts to leave but his wife placates her husband, and so they all prepare for the shoot. Everyone smiles except Ema. "Everyone, why are you smiling?" she asks. Kumatora says they can't force her to smile so he just lets her be. So the picture is taken with everyone smiling except Ema. While the rest are busy talking with the photographer, Ema whispers to Kazuma that they meet up during lunch later. Kazuma nods. Ellie, meantime, had heard what her daughter had said...

During lunch break, Kazuma meets with Ema as promised. He finds her in the warehouse, waiting for him. Ema immediately tells him of her plan: "Let's run away! You and I together, let's run away!" Kazuma: "Where to?" Ema: "Anywere, where there is no war." He says there is no such place. "Even if there is a place, I cannot afford to run away... This is... my fate, being born in this era. People cannot escape from fate." Ema says she only wants to hear one thing from him. She reiterates that her love for him will not change. She asks him what his feelings are for her. Still, Kazuma refuses to answer and just tells her to go back home. Ema begs him for his answer. Kazuma: "Ema, I'm going to war." He leaves a crying Ema inside the warehouse...

Kazuma goes back to the lab where Massan is waiting for him. They resume the lesson. Then, organ music is heard from the Kameyama house again, playing "Auld Lang Syne." Kazuma freezes, listening to the music until Massan calls his attention. He apologizes and shifts his focus back to the training. Inside the Kameyama house, it is a sobbing Ema who is playing the organ, with tears streaming down her cheeks...

Over at the Nakajima barbershop, Chie hands Hana back the almost finished senninbari. Apparently Chie is used to having senninbari made (or maybe knows how to mobilize women who can help finish it), and Hana thanks her for her help. Saburo asks what significance does a woman born in the Year of the Tiger has in the making of a senninbari. Susumu answers that such a woman means good luck since Tiger symbolizes strength, while Kumatora cites the proverb: "A tiger can travel a thousand ri and still return safely". Susumu also says that the senninbari is said to help shield the wearer from bullets so for sure "Kazuma will come home safely". But Kumatora says winning the war is more important than living or dying.

Hana gets back home. She stops and sees Ema through the window. The young girl is looking sad while playing the organ. Hana goes inside the herring palace where Ellie and Toshio are having tea. Hana comments to Toshio that she had managed to have it finish in time, referring to the senninbari. Ellie asks what she meant. Instead of answering, Hana asks if it's Ema who is playing the organ. Ellie answers yes, with a sad sigh. Hana thinks she's playing the Japanese version which is a sad of song of farewell. Ellie says no, that Ema is actually playing the original version because "she wants Kazuma to come back alive, and to meet him again." She says she too has the same wish as Ema. Hana is so touched and decides to include Ellie in the senninbari. She tries to tell Toshio about it but Toshio says it's not a good idea. Still Hana goes on to show Ellie the senninbari, and explain what it's for. She also explains that they hesitated to let her in on it, because she comes from an enemy country and she might mind it... Toshio argues that it might be inconvenient to put Ellie in such a position. But Hana believes that Ellie wants Japan to win. Ellie tearfully tells the two that of course, she does not mind it. She says she is glad to contribute to the senninbari, and that she wishes that it will shield and protect Kazuma from bullets. Both Hana and Toshio thank her for her wishes.

Over at the barbershop, Kumatora wants to be the one who'll give his son a crewcut so he asks to borrow the Nakajima's clippers. The couple hesitates lending it but they budge in the end. Saburo reads out some of the newspaper's headlines: even the college students are finally getting drafted to the war, General Yamamoto Isoroku had been killed and given the title Marshal and hailed as a great hero, the suicide of soldiers in Attu Island, their ally Italy surrendering... With these bleak news, Saburo wonders if Japan is really going to win. Suddenly, Kumatora explodes in anger. "You fool! Japan's gonna win! There's no other option! If not, then what is the use of Kazuma going to war for!? If you say such things next time, imma pack you inside a whiskey barrel, and throw ya into the Yoichi river!" Everyone is startled to see him so mad. He sits back down, unsettled and upset.

Massan comes home to find Ellie adding stitches to the senninbari. She explains to him that it's for Kazuma. He asks how Ema is, and she points at her room. Massan tries to check in on her. Inside, Ema is still sulking. Anyway, Massan says in a loud voice for Ema to hear. That she has to see Kazuma off on the morning after tomorrow, "whether with tears or with a smile." Then he says to Ellie, if it's just the two of them, then they'll send him off with a smile.

It is night, and outside, Kumatora has arrived home. He looks through a window, and sees his son at his desk, writing something. The old man is supposed to get inside, but hesitates, and in the end decides to just sit outside, and contemplate, and to look at the stars for a while. (~synopsis by ec)

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by earthcolors » Mar 12th, '15, 16:30

Massan Ep.130 Synopsis
Toshio is inside the herring palace having a nightcap. He notices that his father-in-law hasn't come home yet (not knowing he has already arrived, sitting outside). Hana says ever since the draft card arrived, Kumatora has been drinking out every night. Toshio surmise that it may be painful for him to face Kazuma. Hana agrees, and cites the time when her mother died, Kumatora was seen laughing and being talkative in front of people, but when he was alone... Her voice trails off, not finishing the story. Toshio asks if Kazuma has already eaten. Hana answers, he had already eaten inside his room.

Inside his room, Kazuma has stopped writing, and is looking into space. He is remembering Ema's question about whether he likes her back or not. Then Toshio knocks on his door and interrupt his thoughts. His brother-in-law comes in bearing a bottle of alcohol and two cups. Toshio sits on the floor and invites the younger man for a chat and to drink. Kazuma awkwardly declines, saying he still has some things to do. Toshio says he understands and prepares to leave. But Kazuma stops him. He calls him "Factory Manager" and thanks him for everything he had done for him and for all the things he had taught him. He also asks that he take care of his sister and father while he's gone. He gives him a polite bow. Toshio is not prepared for this sudden speech, laughs awkwardly, and tries to brush it off. He says he wasn't much of a big brother to him, not much a big help. Kazuma says it isn't so. Toshio then turns serious, and says he will promise to protect the factory until he gets back. And that everyone will be waiting for him. "If you die, live and come back!" He realizes what he said and laughs. "How stupid... If you're dead, you can't be alive and come back. What am I saying..." Kazuma isn't laughing and just nods. Toshio excuses himself quickly. Outside the room, he felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness and starts to cry. Hana who is in the kitchen greets her husband when he appeared. Toshio makes an excuse of checking something outside. As he exits the house, he is surprised to see Kumatora seated in the courtyard. Kumatora greets him but Toshio, who probably wants to go to a place where he can cry alone, leaves without a word.

Ellie comes out of the house and joins Kumatora in the courtyard. They both look up at the stars. Kumatora shows her the hair clippers he'll be using to cut Kazuma's hair. Then he says he's glad he had let Kazuma study in college at the time when he asked for it since his son loved to study. Ellie says he can still continue studying after his return from war. Kumatora repeats his stance that coming back alive is not the important issue but to win the war. So that leaving for war, and sacrificing one's life away will have meaning and purpose. He starts crying, thinking how sorry he is for his son, and how frustrating it is if he dies in a war they're going to end up losing anyway. Ellie asks him if he had conveyed his feelings to his son. But Kumatora changes the topic, and goes back to admiring the stars.

Inside his room, Kazuma continues to write...

Ellie has handed Ema the senninbari. She asks her to contribute to it. Ema scoffs at it, saying such a thing will not shield Kazuma from bullets, from a cannon shot nor from a bomb blast. She attempts to go to Kazuma because she wants to hear his what his feelings are. Ellie stops her. She says she understands what she's feeling and Kazuma as well. "If he does like you too, he can't say it right now." Ema says there is no more time, and tries to leave but Ellie pulls her back and Ema falls by the bed. Ellie: "You're not the only one hurting! Kuma-san, Hana too, everyone is bearing the pain! Try to be mature about this, Ema!" Ema starts bawling, and Ellie holds her in her arms...

At the herring palace, Kumatora stays up late watching the footage again of his cryng son and wife at the beach...

The next morning, Kazuma goes into the office. He quietly places a flask of barley grain on top of a desk.

At the Kameyama home, Massan and Ellie are having breakfast. Ema who is now in a better mood, has come out. She is giving back the senninbari, saying she has already added her share of a stitch. She says she will give it back to Hana.

In the courtyard, Kumatora is again practicing wielding his wooden sword back and forth, again and again. "Ei! Ei! Ei!..." (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.131 Synopsis
It is the eve of Kazuma's departure. Later on, his send-off party will be held. At the herring palace, Ellie shows Kumatora a paper with the lyrics of the Engish version of "Auld Lang Syne", written in katakana. She asks that he sing the song during Kazuma's send-off event since it's a song of happy reunion. She says it will be his way of telling his son of his feelings. Of course, Kumatora won't have it, since singing an English song is not right at such a time of war. He asks what Massan thinks of it. Ellie tells him he wasn't in favor of it as well. But she says, the others will sing the Japanese version while he will alone will sing the English version so the Tokkou will not notice. Still, Kumatora refuses and crumples the paper, and throws it away.

Over at the lab, Kazuma is finishing up his three day crash course training on blending. Massan tells him not to forget what he taught him, even when he is in the battlefield. Kazuma thanks him and then presents him with a farewell gift: the flask of barley. He says it is the barley that he had been breeding since 5 years ago to make an ideal whiskey. It seems Kazuma who had graduated from college and taken up agriculture, had been secretly breeding high quality starch, with the help of a colleague at an agricultural experiment station. Then, Kazuma makes his goodbye-and-thank-you speech. He thanks Massan for all the help, especially when he saved his family from ruin. He entrusts his dream of making good quality whiskey to him. Massan does not like that he is resigned to die, and tells him not to act defeated. He also does not want to accept the barley. "You had sown and raised this, so you should be the one to reap it!" Kazuma says it's not possible. Massan gets upset and punches him in the face. Kazuma falls down. "It's NOT IMPOSSIBLE!" Massan shouts at him. Kazuma starts crying. He admits he is scared of dying, and unprepared. "I don't wanna die!" Massan too is crying and hugs Kazuma. He assures him that he's not going to die. "You'll come back alive!" He also tells him he is his best apprentice... Outside the office, Ellie has been listening and watching the two. She too is weeping.

As the sun sets, Kumatora is seated at the hearth, wearing a crested haori. Then, Kazuma comes out of his room. He is wearing a cap, and a red sash around his torso that says "Congratulations, Departure for War, Morino Kazuma".

Everyone, including friends, relatives, and workers are at the storage room waiting for Kazuma. At last, he appears accompanied by Hana and Kumatora. They all applaud him. Ema is there, managing to show a smile for him. The organ had also been placed inside with Ellie manning it. Massan introduces Kazuma onto a stage. The departing young man gets on stage and faces and thanks everyone for coming. He also thanks them for the senninbari. He promises to do his best, and ask that everyone look after his family. The others wish him good luck, and applaud. Then, Ellie starts leading everyone in singing the Japanese version of "Auld Lang Syne" by playing the organ. They all sing it with loud voices. After the song, Susumu leads them into cheering "Banzai" for Kazuma. Afterwards, Kazuma thanks them again. Then, Massan asks Kumatora to say a few words to his son. Kumatora who always manages to say witty things in serious and sad situations, is at a loss for words this time. He stares silently at his son, and his son stares back. Then suddenly, Kumatora whips out the paper he had crumpled earlier, opens it, and starts singing "Auld Lang Syne" again, this time in English. Kazuma, and the others are surprised. Massan tries to warn him but Kumatora keeps on singing. Then, Toshio quickly closes the door of the warehouse, while Hana gets up on stage and unfurls a banner with the lyrics of the song in katakana so everyone can sing along with Kumatora in English. Ellie starts playing the organ again, and everyone joins in the singing. Kumatora's tears are flowing as he sings. Ema's cheeks too are gleaming with tears, but she is still smiling and singing along. After the song, they erupt in Banzai cheering again. Touched, Kazuma is weeping and thankful for everyone's thoughts and wishes. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.132 Synopsis
The send-off party is over. Kazuma is back in his room. He picks up his pen and starts writing again.

Kumatora is at the hearth, still wearing his crested haori, having a sip of alcohol. Then Kazuma comes out. He hands his father an envelope with the word "Testament" written on it. He tells him to read it after he leaves tomorrow. Then, he says good night and goes back to his room.

Meanwhile, Ema is in her room, sewing an amulet bag...

Kumatora decides to open the envelope and read his son's letter. It starts with thanking him for all the 31 years of his life. Kazuma says when Kumatora was planning the send-off party, it reminded him for some reason, the days when the fishermen would gather in the spring and have their end of the fishing season party inside the house. He told him of his feelings during the time of the herring fishing days, and apologizes for the attitude he had shown back then. He says he is glad that he was born as his son. When he comes back, he wants Kumatora to tell him stories of his mother, how they met, tales of his younger days, how he started the herring business. Also, he wants his father to take him to his homeland of his Aizu ancestors, the place where he was born. Lastly he asks he take care of Hana. After reading, Kumatora stares at his son's room, eyes brimming with tears. All the while, that he was reading, Hana is in a room, weeping as she shines her brother's shoes which he will use tomorrow. Meanwhile, Kazuma is packing his stuff inside his luggage.

Morning has come. It is time for Kazuma to leave for Sapporo. The Morino family is gathered near the hearth. Kumatora will now give his son his military haircut. He takes out the clippers he borrowed from the Nakajimas and proceeds to cut his hair close to the scalp. Hana is also there, watching wordlessly.

Meanwhile, the Kameyamas are having breakfast. Ellie asks Ema if she is okay. Ema smiles, and says yes.

The haircut is almost finished. Kumatora says he and Hana won't accompany him anymore to the station. He says he should go and say farewell to Uncle Susumu and the others. But Hana says there is no more time for that. Then Kumatora tells him that when he comes back, he will show him the land of Aizu where he was born, thereby implying that he had already read his letter. "Come back alive. If you go to places where bullets are flying all around, it's okay to flee. It's fine if you hide too. Even if they call you a coward or a weakling, just come back alive! You got that?" Kazuma says yes. Hana watches with tears in her eyes, surprised to hear such emotional loving words from her proud father. Toshio who can't bear the scene, is hiding in a corner, listening and watching. He is trying to choke back his tears...

The haircut is done. Kazuma wears the shoes Hana had shone for him, and puts on his cap. He is also wearing the red sash from last night's party. He goes out into the courtyard where everyone is waiting for him. He announces that he is set to go now. Ellie gives him a hug. Massan, holding the barley flask, says he'll take care of it for him while he's away. Ema hands him the amulet bag she had sewn last night. She says she had placed a paper bearing the katakana lyrics of "Auld Lang Syne" inside. She hangs the amulet bag around his neck like a necklace. She says she'll wait for him. He replies, "When I come back, there are things I want to say." Ema nods, understanding what he means, and they shake hands. Toshio, teases him, and says, whatever he wants to say, "say it now. Who is it? Wonder who you want to say it to, huh?" They somehow manage to laugh at such a sad occasion. Then Hana hands him his luggage. They all wish him good luck and farewell. Kazuma says goodbye, and turns around to leave. But Kumatora tells him to wait. He goes to him and gives his son a tight hug. Finally, he lets go of him. Kazuma exits the grounds. Ema now weeping, runs to the gate, shouting, "Come back safe!" repeatedly. They all watch him go, praying for his safety and hoping for the best. (~synopsis by ec)

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by earthcolors » Mar 12th, '15, 16:39

Pictures of crank up ceremony of Massan, after Charlotte and Tetsuji finished their last scene together.
http://www.sankei.com/west/news/150219/ ... 64-n1.html

And here's an interview of Charlotte:
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/ ... 91319.html

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by kokoroai » Mar 12th, '15, 20:50

earthcolors wrote:Pictures of crank up ceremony of Massan, after Charlotte and Tetsuji finished their last scene together.
http://www.sankei.com/west/news/150219/ ... 64-n1.html

And here's an interview of Charlotte:
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/ ... 91319.html
OMG that is hearthbreaking :cry: I really will miss this couple so much. How many chapters left to finish the drama?

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 23

Post by earthcolors » Mar 17th, '15, 17:24

Week 23 Synopsis: "Mate baka iro no hiyori ari" (Everything comes to him who wait)
In 1945, during the bombings that hit Yoichi, Massan vows to protect the plant. During these times, they receive notice of Kazuma's death. Kumatora, Hana, and Ema are devastated. At a dinner honoring his son, Kumatora tells everyone to continue living with all their might. Then, finally Ellie sees the end of the war and is free but... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.133 Synopsis
It is July, 1945, 2 years after Kazuma has gone off to war. Ellie is milling some brown rice in the kitchen. She looks tired and pale-looking and there is an empty look in her eyes as she does her chore. We hear her voice, seeming to read a letter addressed to her mother. "Dear Mother, I am writing this letter knowing it will never reach you... The war continues and it's been 3 long years since I was able to set foot outside the setting of the factory. It was by my own resolve that I chose to stay here and yet there are times that I am losing sight of why I made that choice..." The music from the radio is blaring loudly and she goes to turn it off. She drops weakly on the floor, seemingly ready to break down at any moment. Meantime, we see that glasses on the doors and windows are taped up, to protect it if it shatters just in case air raids come.

Hana and Ema arrive from the market. Ellie greets them at the door. Hana shows off what she managed to procure: some soy sauce, oil and pumpkin, but no rice. Ema hands Ellie a small bouquet of flowers that she picked by the roadside to cheer her up. She notices Ellie's pale complexion and feels her forehead. She feels a bit hot. Hana thinks it might be a summer cold so she advises her to rest in her room.

At the Nakajima barbershop, Saburo and Chie watch as a procession pass by. It is another young man going to war, being sent off by his family and friends. Chie goes back to sweeping while Saburo reads the headlines of a newspaper. Then, Chie anxiously asks Susumo (who is there playing shogi with Saburo), if the rumors are true that Yoichi is among the towns in Hokkaido that will be bombed. Her husband replies that there is no way that'll happen since "Yoichi is a town of just apples." Susumu, being the leader of the apple farmers cooperative, takes offense with the words "just apples." But then he says, if Americans are going to attack, they might target the sources of coal in Hokkaido. He reminds Chie not to think of such things and just worry about Kazuma who is fighting for his country. But then Chie asks, "What about Massan's factory which is designated by the Navy?" Saburo suddenly panics, thinking that their town is doomed because of Massan's distillery. Suddenly, (and speaking of the devil) Massan comes in the barbershop. He has something to ask Susumu...

A little while later, Massan goes back to the factory, looking pensive. Hana sees and greets him. Massan asks her to tell Kumatora to go and see him at the office. Hana says okay and she also informs him that Ellie doesn't seem to be feeling well, and is resting in her room. Massan says he will go and check on her later.

Massan is at the office with Toshio. Kumatora comes in, and asks why he was being called. Massan informs them that the Navy Official has given him first hand information regarding a future air raid in Yoichi. He had told Massan to be prepared just in case. Toshio proposes they dig a bomb shelter under the ground. Kumatora says it is not a good idea since the soil in Yoichi is soft because it is near the river, and it "accumulates water." Massan shows them a map of the factory, and points at it as he explains. He says the area that is in most danger is the storage room and the distillation building where the pot-stills are since they contain alcohol so they have to be protected. He also thinks the drying building is the best place for an air raid shelter. But Kumatora says it is reassuring because the buildings are made of bricks and are "stone fortress." Massan also announces that they have to move the barrels of whiskey to a warehouse in the foothills of Susumu's apple orchard (which is what Massan had asked of Susumu earlier). With each barrel weighing 300 kg, it is by no means an easy feat. Massan explains that the whiskey had been aging for 10 years now, and considers them like his children. "Those reservoirs of whiskey, they're for the sake of the future." He knows that it's not possible to transport all of the whisky barrels, and asks that they prioritize the older aged barrels. He hands Toshio a list of each of these barrels for reference. He asks that the rumor of an air raid be kept secret. But Hana suddenly comes in. Apparently she had been eavesdropping in on their conversation. She could not hide her worry. Massan tells her it's better that she and the others (Ellie and Ema) stay over at Susumu's house. Hana says she won't go, and will stay by her husband's side. She thinks Ellie will do the same.

Later, Massan has informed Ellie and Ema of the possibility of an air raid. As Hana suspects, Ellie does not want to leave Massan. Ema feels the same way too. But they do agree with Massan that they will escape along with everyone if anything happens at the factory.

So the next day, evacuation of the barrels, and turning of the drying building as an air raid shelter have begun. Women and some available men are starting the process. Ellie is at the porch sewing a "boku-zukin" (air-raid protective hood). Massan is there, overseeing the work. Then Susumu arrives, along with some old apple farmers. They have come to help with the moving. Susumu also has a gift for Ellie. Since he knows Ellie is feeling under the weather lately, he gifts her with a piece of boar meat. Ellie feels it's too much to accept. But Susumu cites the proverb "the good you do for others is the good you do yourself" and so she accepts it. On a happy note, they start the evacuation process of the whisky barrels.

Ellie watches how the people are working hard and helping each other out in these trying times. She goes to the kitchen to hand Hana the boar meat and help Ema prepare food for the men. In the continuation of the letter she is writing for her mother, we hear Ellie's voice saying: "In Japan, they have a saying, a wonderful expression: 'the good you do for others is the good you do yourself'. Life is strange, even now, being in this heartless situation, I am proud that I have gotten to know this country."

The scene cuts to the men moving the barrels from the storehouse. Hana, Ellie and Ema are shown offering the men, some cookies and tea that they have prepared. Ellie's voice continues: "For Massan's vision of the future and for the sake of our hometown, everyone is pulling together... And in difficult times, the people here encourage each other, sharing even of the smallest of things, helping with modesty, each action filled with love..."

The scene cuts to Ellie writing the letter in the dining room of their house. "Mother I would be lying if I wasn't afraid, but I do not regret coming to this country."

Then suddenly an air raid siren goes off. Massan hears it, and instructs Fukuda to guide the men to the distillation building (probably to keep watch over it). They all put on their boku-zukin, and dash out the door. Toshio asks what Massan will do. He says he will stay in the barrel room (most of the barrels have been moved out already), and if a fire breaks out, he will put it out. Toshio tries to talk some sense into him. "Obochama, you mustn't die!"

Back to Ellie, she seems frozen for several seconds as she hears the siren. Then she removes her reading glasses and utters "Ema". She drops her pen and runs to her daughter's room. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.134 Synopsis
Ellie goes to fetch Ema in her room. Ema is frozen, and says she is too scared to move. Ellie calms her down, and helps her put on the hood protection. She leads her out of the house. Meanwhile, Kumatora has come out wearing the hood too, and holding his rifle. He aims it at the sky where we can hear a plane flying overhead. "Finally, you've come, you Americans!" he shouts. Hana comes out, also wearing a hood. She tries to tell her father to quit acting foolishly, and to come with them to the air raid shelter. Ellie and Ema come out of the house, looking for Massan. Kumatora says he is still at the storage house. Then, a bomb is dropped and it explodes somewhere, and they feel the ground shake. They squat down on the ground in fear. Finally, Massan comes and leads them to the drying building.

At dusk, everything has gotten quiet. They all go back to their homes, without Massan. Kumatora scoffs at the air raid since only two bombs were dropped. "Turns out it ain't a big deal after all." Ema asks where Massan is. Ellie says he went back to the storage building. Hana says she will put more food in the drying building next time they stay there during an air raid, and in order not to be bored, she will also bring some playing cards and games like beanbag juggling game. She goes off to the herring palace to prepare dinner. Ema follows. Ellie exhales, and looks up at the sky. In her letter, she continues: "Mother, the war is ever present now. As the battlefield is no longer worlds away but instead it's right here, trampling our soil, and blackening our skies..."

Massan is at the barrel room, checking in on the whiskey which were unharmed. Toshio comes and informs him that the fisheries experimental station had been bombed since it has some connection with the military. He fears that the next attack might be... his voice trails off, not finishing the sentence. Massan vows to protect the whiskey, "for everyone's sakes, and for Kazuma who will also come back." Toshio says he understands.

The next day, in the afternoon, at the herring palace, Toshio suggests that they paint the roofs of the buildings in camouflage colors. Massan thinks it's a good idea, and suggests they be painted green like the color of grass in the surrounding areas. Kumatora who is cleaning his rifle thinks they do not have to go that far since the Americans only dropped two bombs, and besides, "I have my gun" and laughs. Hana says he shouldn't be so dismissive of the enemy. Ellie says she too would like to have a gun. Kumatora says to her, "That's the spirit!" Then Toshio informs Massan that he has heard that the Americans have bombed the railway that was used to transport coal to towns. Massan asks how much coal they have left. Toshio answers, "Two months." Then, a visitor comes. "Is this the house of Morino Kazuma's family?" Everyone freezes. Hana recovers, and goes to face the visitor, identifying herself as Kazuma's sister. The man hands her a letter. With trembling fingers, Hana opens the letter and reads it. It is a death notice, informing her that Kazuma had passed away on the 20th of February. The man says, he will inform them of the day of the funeral, and leaves. Hana turns around, in shock. She can only look at her father and utter, "Dad..." She goes to him, hands him the letter, and falls on the ground crying. Kumatora who probably knew that such a day will come, is still shocked, and could not say anything. Ellie goes over to hug Hana. Then, Ema arrives home. She happily announces that she was able to procure lots of matches and clothings. She stops when she notices the gloomy atmosphere. Having a hunch of what it is about, she takes the letter from Kumatora's hand and reads it. "It can't be... he still has some things he wanted to say..." She runs off to house, weeping. Ellie follows after her. Toshio goes to hug his crying wife.

Ema goes to her room. She collapses beside her bed and weeps. Ellie hugs her daughter, muttering "I know... I know..."

That night, all is quiet at the whiskey complex. Massan decides to bring a bottle of whiskey to Kumatora. He sits besides the old man at the hearth, and pour each of them a shot. Massan says it is the blend made by Kazuma. However, Kumatora says he can't bring himself to drink it. Massan is quiet, but seems to understand.

Massan goes back to his house. He sees Ellie at the dining area, and asks how Ema is faring. Ellie says she is tired and cried herself to sleep. Then she asks him what could they possibly do for Ema, Hana, and Kumatora in this time of great sadness. Massan has no words, and instead he starts weeping too, in Ellie's arms...

Twenty days have passed. Hana and Kumatora arrive home from somewhere, and are wearing mourning clothes. Kumatora is carrying a small wooden box wrapped in white cloth. Hana looks at the box and says to it, "Welcome home. Finally, you've come back". She and her father smile at the box as they enter the house. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.135 Synopsis
Massan is at his lab, continuing with the blending. Then he sees the flask of wheat seeds that was given to him by Kazuma. He remembers what he had said at that time, that he entrusted to Massan his dream of making good quality, Japan-made whiskey. Then, Ellie's head peeks through the door. She informs him that "Kazuma has returned home."

He and Ellie go to the herring palace where Kazuma's box is placed at an altar. Kumatora, Hana, Toshio and Ema are gathered around it. Massan welcomes Kumatora and Hana back home. Kumatora asks Massan to open the box. Massan wonders why but opens it as told. Inside the box is what looks like a bone urn. Massan takes off the lid of the urn, and inside, instead of bone and ashes, he finds a piece of paper. It reads "The Spirit of the late 1st Class Army Private, Morino Kazuma". Apparently, Kazuma's body was not found (possibly he died in the sea) and is presumed dead. Hana: "It's a piece of paper." Ellie and Ema are crying. Massan prays with the piece of paper, holding it against his forehead as he too weeps. Kumatora tells them not to cry because Kazuma has come home. Ellie says they should hold a dinner to welcome Kazuma back home. Toshio agrees, and says they should serve the whiskey that Kazuma had supervised in making, and do a "kanpai" (offering a celebratory toast). But he shakes his head, because "kanpai" is not the right word for such an occasion so he changes it to "kenpai" (offer someone a drink). "Isn't that right, Dad?" Toshio asks Kumatora. "Why did you call me 'Dad' all of a sudden?" asks Kumatora, since Toshio always calls him "Kuma-san". They laugh, and suddenly the atmosphere feels a bit lighter. Kumatora agrees with holding a feast tonight, and they all go and prepare for it immediately.

That night, one of the foods prepared is jagaimo mochi, or potato cakes. Ema helps Hana cook it.

The rest gather around the hearth. There's a hotpot cooking on the hearth. Ellie remembers to place Kazuma's cushion in its usual place. They all stare at it, imagining that he is dining with them. Then, Hana and Ema serve the potato cakes and place it near Kazuma's cushion. Hana says Kazuma had loved eating the cakes since he was small. Ellie tells the imaginary Kazuma to go ahead and "eat a lot". Then each is given a shot of whiskey. Before they do the "kenpai", Kumatora gives a speech. "On behalf of Kazuma, I would like to thank everyone. Tonight, we take a break. Starting tomorrow, let's all put on smiles for Kazuma, and try to live on with all our might. Alright, Hana?" Hana smiles and says, yes. "Is that okay, Ema?" Kumatora asks Ema. Ema too answers yes. Then, Massan produces the flask of wheat seeds to them, and tells them how Kazuma had bequeathed this "legacy" to him. Their eyes are brimming with tears after they hear it, and ask Massan to take care of it for Kazuma. They raise their glasses to Kazuma's cushion, and say, "Welcome home," to it. They say "Kenpai" and drink the whiskey. They proceed to eat eagerly.

As they are having their dinner, they did not know that the radio is broadcasting some very important news: "Today at 8:20 am, a B29 aircraft entered Hiroshima airspace, and apparently did an air raid and dropped incendiary bombs. Damage is currently being estimated..."
Narrator: "They still did not know that the attack on Hiroshima with a new bomb was a catastrophe that will shake the world."

Later, they had finally learned of the news. A worried Massan is trying to call home. It seems he has no luck of finding out what happened to his family back home. He decides to go and send a telegram. Ema asks if everyone in Hiroshima is going to be alright. Ellie hugs her daughter to console her.

The next day, Ellie who was sewing in the living room had inadvertently fallen asleep on the couch. She wakes up when she heard sounds coming from the kitchen. Carefully, she goes to see what's going on. She finds a disheveled dirty young boy rummaging through the cabinets, probably looking for something to eat or steal. The boy hears her, and looks frightened. Ellie tries to tell him that it's alright and to not be afraid. But he grabs a knife and brandishes it at her. "Why is an American here! America killed my father, what are you doing here!" The boy screams out of frustration, throws away the knife and runs out the door. Ellie drops on the floor, and could not hold back her tears of sadness and fear.

Massan had received no reply yet from his telegram. Then, after Hiroshima, another atomic bomb was dropped, this time in Nagasaki. Then, on August 15, Japan declares the end of the war.

Massan and everyone from the whiskey factory gather at the herring palace. They are all kneeling in front of a phonograph playing a recording of the "Gyokuon-hoso" or the Imperial Rescript on Surrender (a recording of Emperor Hirohito's voice declaring unconditional surrender of the Japanese military). They are solemnly weeping as they hear their Emperor's voice. Ellie looks at her crying husband, not fully understanding what's going on since the Emperor is speaking in a formal, classical Japanese, which is incomprehensible even to most Japanese. But she keeps quiet and tries to listen patiently as everyone around her are sobbing...

After it was over, Ellie asks Massan to explain to her what the recording had said. Massan tells her that the war is over, and they have lost. He says she is now free to go outside and to speak and sing in English. Ellie looks at the gate, and true enough, the Tokkou isn't there anymore. Ellie could not believe it. The news may be too much on her frail condition, and she suddenly collapses in her husband's arms.

Ellie is resting in the master's bedroom, with Massan and Ema watching over her. Ema asks what will happen to their country now that they have lost. She says Japan should have quit earlier. "If so, Kazuma-san wouldn't have died and had lived on. Mom too... wouldn't have had suffered through such a painful ordeal..." Massan does not say anything, and just looks at his sleeping wife. According to the narrator: "Ellie had slept all throughout the day." (~synopsis by ec)

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 23

Post by earthcolors » Mar 17th, '15, 18:10

Massan Ep.136 Synopsis
Ema continues to ask, "If it weren't for the war, Hiroshima would be..." Massan tells her "That's enough. The war is over," and puts his arm around her shoulder. "It's over" he repeats. Ema mutters, "I will never forgive the war that killed Kazuma-san."

Ellie has a dream while sleeping. She sees the little boy again, brandishing the knife at her, asking her what is an American like her doing in his country. The boy escapes, and she stumbles into the living room. In there, she sees a Japanese soldier. She asks him in English: "Who are you?" The soldier shouts at her: "Do not use the enemy's language!" Ellie says in Japanese, "Isn't the war over?" But the soldier continues to berate her, angrily, "You killed me! Go back to your country!" Ellie covers her face with her hands and cowers in fear. His voice reverberates in her ears... "Get out of Japan! Get out! Get out! GET OUT!"

Ellie wakes up, crying Massan's name. Massan is by her side, telling her to calm down. She is still in a state of confusion, and asks him that they flee together, away from here. Massan reminds her that the war is over. Ellie realizes it, and she cries on her husband's lap. Massan soothes her and tells her it's all right. We hear her voice again, reading the letter to her mother. "Mother... this long war has finally come to an end. And yet it brings me no solace. This war has taken so much from us."

Ellie is shown, having recovered after her collapse. She is in her room, gazing at a dress, which she wore before the war. It seems she is hesitant to wear it again, and places it back in her closet. She goes outside and see the workers all going home earlier than usual. She asks a passing Fukuda what's going on. He replies that Massan had let them all go home and be with their families on this day.

"Everyone seems lost, searching for answers," Ellie's letter continues. "There is no escape for anyone from the depths of sadness." Scenes of everyone are shown, each mourning and coping with the sadness in his or her own way: Massan pondering alone in his office; Kumatora staring into space in front of Kazuma's funeral picture; Ema staring at the family group picture taken on the day Kazuma left; and Hana cleaning Kazuma's room, and gazing sadly at his desk. Ellie goes back to her room, reading the letter for her mother. She continues: "There's no forgetting the loss of those we love. There is only anger, and sorrow. What can I possibly do in a country filled with such sorrow...?"

Massan sees Ellie in their room, and tells her that she should finally go outside, since the war is over, and the weather is nice. Ellie smiles but says no, probably feeling she's not ready yet. Massan understands and does not push it. He then tells her something that he's been planning for a while now...

The next day, all of the workers gather inside the herring palace because Massan has an announcement to make. He tells everyone of his plan. He says that he will put a stop to all work at the factory. They are alarmed at this sudden news. But Massan explains that he wants everyone to use the factory lands, and turn them into fields, and gardens, and to raise crops so they will have food to eat. "If you don't eat, you won't be able to work, right?" Toshio agrees and is about to cite a proverb: "Hara ga hette wa tataka ha dekinu" or "You can't fight a war on an empty stomach" but stops when he remembers that the war is over. They laugh. Massan continues, saying that they should not worry for they will still be given wages. And that they have enough reservoirs of whiskey to make blends. He says for sure, they will resume the whiskey production someday, but what's important now is to continue living as much as they can in Yoichi. The workers are grateful and say thank you to Massan. They all go and get gardening and farming tools to go and work into making fields. Ellie is there too, gazing lovingly at her husband. In her letter, she continues, "Mother... today was a happy day. Massan made the estate of the factory available for everyone's use. Seeing smiles on people's faces made me so proud of him. Massan's kindness and quick decision will help many people."

Days passed, and instead of the usual whiskey work, Massan, Toshio, and Ema come home from the fields, wearing soiled clothes, boots, and carrying farming tools. Ellie and Hana greet them, and hand them towels to clean themselves up. Ema says that buds of potato seeds have started to sprout, and they are happy to hear that... We hear Ellie's voice continue reading the letter: "Everyone in Japan now is destitute, desperate for food, struggling to live. And yet that will lead to our salvation."

Then Kumatora comes with a cart of three black piglets. He has named the pigs Hanako, Kinuyo, and Tamayo. Apparently all pigs are female. Kumatora says they will raise the pigs, and let them breed, and they will sell their male offsprings in the future. He orders Toshio to carry the pigs to the back of the house. Toshio tries but one of the pigs escapes, so he and Massan go around chasing it, while the rest are laughing happily...

Ellie is shown in her room, writing the said letter. She stops and smiles while pondering how things are starting to get better. Then she hears Ema calling her. Her daughter says a telegram has arrived from Hiroshima. They go to Massan who has just arrived from the fields. He has already read the telegram. Massan says everyone over there are safe. Ema reads it to Ellie: "Family, everyone, safe ~Chikako." All of them are happy to hear the good news. Then Ema notices that Massan's pants are muddy from the fields. Ellie goes to get towels. Then Massan and Ema tell Ellie that it's okay for her to start wearing the dresses which she normally wore before the war. But Ellie says she had grown to like wearing the modest monpe or "work pants". But Ema says she wants to see her wearing the lovely dresses again. Massan agrees with Ema, too. Ellie smiles and nods.

The date is October, 1945. Ellie at last is wearing a blouse, a cardigan and a skirt. She goes to the garden to pick some vegetables, and places them in a colander. As she starts to go back inside, she stops and gazes beyond the gate. Although she is able to wear her usual clothes before the war, she feels she isn't ready yet to go outside.
Continuation of Ellie's letter: "Mother... two months have passed since the war ended. But I still find myself unable to move on." (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.137 Synopsis
Ellie is regaining her peaceful life little by little. In the kitchen, she is making hotpot using the vegetables from her garden. Ema arrives home. She came from a clerical school in Otaru where she is learning to type in English. Ellie asks how her day was, and Ema answers that it went well. Ellie is glad to hear it, and declares that she will serve dinner right away. Ema goes to her room to put away her things, one of which is a textbook entitled, "Typing Lessons". Ellie calls her and says, she needs her lunch box so Ema goes to give it to her. On her desk, we see Kazuma's last photo with them, framed and placed on her desk.

Massan is in his room, calculating something using an abacus. He looks defeated, after he made a calculation. He tells Ellie that it seems he has trouble paying the workers' salaries, and if this continues, he won't be able to resume the factory. Ellie suggests borrowing money from the bank. But he says the banks are not yet functioning. Then he tells her about a strange man who came to his office earlier in the day...

In a flashback scene, Massan and Toshio (who is back to wearing his "Doukah" happi coat) are in the office. Hana is also there, serving tea, and listening, too. They have two visitors, both male. One of them, a short man (Dancho of "Yasuda Dai Circus" comedy trio) is seated across Massan's desk, while the other one, a much bigger, and intimidating-looking man (Kuro-chan, another member of "Yasuda Dai Circus") is standing behind the short guy, like some kind of bodyguard-assistant. The short guy gives his business card to Massan. It reads: "Shibata Ken, Representative Director of Shibata Company, Kita Ward, Osaka". Massan asks what brought them all the way from Osaka. Shibata says he is dealing with a type of commodity. He motions his assistant to show them this product. The assistant takes out a bottle of liquor from his bag and places it on the desk. It says "Shibata Whiskey, Shibata Co." on the label. Shibata describes it as "third class sake." Massan guesses that it's a less than 5% undiluted sake. Toshio asks how much whiskey is put in it. Shibata says it does not matter and only uses something that resembles whiskey (which Toshio finds insulting). Shibata claims his liquor is selling like hot cakes right now, and wants to buy some of Massan's whiskey in storage since it is hard to find alcohol during these times. Massan is about to refuse, but the assistant suddenly coughs and goes to gulp down his boss' tea. Shibata gets mad and scolds his big burly assistant, calling him "Ahondara!" (Shibata talks in Osaka street slang, sounding more and more suspiciously like a Yakuza). The assistant apologizes, in an unexpectedly high-pitched voice. Shibata resumes his discussion with Massan, offering any amount of money for some of his stored whiskey. Toshio says they refuse to sell it but Massan does not say anything and ponders quietly...

Back to Ellie and Massan, she asks him what he will do. Massan says he's not sure, considering that the company is in dire straits. And that, after the war, it seems the era of whiskey that's "Made in Japan" has gone further away, and the country is once again reverting back to the "Era of Imitation Whiskey". He says he will go to Osaka tomorrow and consult with his investors. Then, he suddenly has thought of bringing Ellie along with him. Ellie looks hesitant but smiles. Massan thinks she means yes, and is excited.

That night, as the couple lie in their futons, Massan wonders how everyone is in Osaka, and if they are safe. He is excited to know what their reactions will be when they see Ellie. Ellie says she is too. But inside, she seems not ready yet to face the world...

The next day, Ellie is dressed up to go to Osaka. But as she is seated in front of her dresser, she realizes that she cannot push through with it. Massan comes and asks her what's wrong. Finally, she admits to him, that she isn't ready yet to go outside. She apologizes and says she is scared of people looking at her as a foreigner. Massan holds her and kisses her head to comfort her. He tells her not force herself.
Narrator: "Two months after the war ended, Ellie hasn't yet gone outside the factory, not even once."

Then they hear Hana outside, calling for them. She says there are "demons" at the doorstep. "Americans," she says.

Inside Massan's office, there are two American officers from the occupational forces, waiting, and looking around the room. It is Kumatora who comes first inside the room. He tells them in Japanese, "What do you want?" The older soldier, Fitzgerald (David McPhall) asks if he's "President Kameyama". Kumatora: "Kameyama? I'm Kumatora. If you try to take over this place, I won't have it!" The younger soldier, Miller (Christopher Pellegrini) says, "I think you misunderstand..." But Kumatora gets even more upset and orders them to speak in Japanese since "this is Japan!" Finally, Massan and the others have arrived. When the soldiers see Ellie, they ask her right away, "Are you Elizabeth Kameyama?" Ellie answers yes. Fitzgerald says to her, "We have come to check if you're alright."

Later, the soldiers are shown into the Kameyama home. Ellie serves them tea, and says "Douzo" not realizing she is talking to English-speaking Westerners. She laughs awkwardly and says "Please" in English. They converse in English. Fitzgerald says they have heard that foreigners in Japan had suffered during the war, and so he asks how Ellie had fared. She replies that she was well taken care of. Miller comments that the Japanese were "barbaric" during the war, and loathed the foreigners. Massan agrees but points out that it is what war does to people. "Didn't you also do barbaric things?" he says, a bit of upset. Fitzgerald suggests that they not talk about the war. He then asks Massan to sell his whiskey to the occupational forces. "The whiskey that we have is shipped from back home and isn't available for enlisted men. That being said, we'd like to buy whiskey that's made in Japan." Miller confesses that their headquarters knew that Massan was making whiskey during the war. "They issued orders that this factory alone is not to be bombed." Fitzgerald signals that he be quiet and not to say anymore about it. Massan and Ellie look troubled after hearing that.

Later, at the herring palace, Massan and Ellie tells Kumatora, Toshio, and Hana about what the Americans said. They ask if Massan will sell whiskey to them. He answers that he owed the Japanese Navy for their help, and cannot bring himself to sell it to the occupational forces. And he also feels it is offensive to Kazuma's memory. He is so upset that he decides to postpone his trip to Osaka. "I cannot meet with the investors in this state." He goes outside to cool his head.

Later, at the Nakajima barbershop, Kumatora has finished telling them about what happened at the factory. Saburo is impressed by Massan's refusal to sell to the occupational forces. Susumu, who is as usual playing shogi with Kumatora, thinks Massan did the right thing. But Saburo argues if it's wise to refuse the deal since after all, the occupational forces are the ones with money right now, and that children are chasing after the Americans in their jeeps, asking "Gimme! Gimme!". Chie accuses him of being inconsistent because just the other day, he was cursing the Americans, and calling them, "Demon brutes". Susumu says it cannot be helped since they're a defeated country after all. Then he asks Kumatora who has been quiet for a while, "What about the factory? They aren't selling whiskey, right? What are they gonna do?" The topic is interrupted when a song is played on the radio. It's an upbeat cheerful song with a woman singing lyrics that go, "~Lips like red apples, Looking up silently at the blue sky~". Chie hears it and eagerly turns up the volume. Kumatora asks what that song is. Chie answers, "It's the 'Apple Song', from a movie that's popular right now" (Note: The movie is "Soyokaze", and the song is the first post-war hit song that cheered the people up). Susumu also cheers up when he heard the title of the song since it has the word "apple" in it. While the rest are talking about the song, Kumatora is pondering about something... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.138 Synopsis
Hana has finished packing Kazuma's clothes in a box. With a heavy heart, she goes outside, taking the box with her.

Ellie is in the garden, putting away the laundry. Ema has just arrived home from clerical school. They see Hana coming out, with a box in her hands. Ema asks what's in the box. Hana replies, she has finished tidying up Kazuma's things and will get rid of some of it. When asked why, she answers that she will give them to farmers, in exchange for food. Ema desperately tries to get one of the items, a hat, and asks if she can keep it. But Hana refuses. She says she is happy that Ema cherishes Kazuma's memory but... "You have to forget him or else, you won't be able to move on." She advises the young girl not to stop living, and to continue facing forward. Ema cries but says "Okay." They hug, with Hana thanking her for understanding. Ellie watches them, and mouths the words, "Thank you" to Hana, as well.

Ellie is in the kitchen, pickling vegetables. The hit song "Apple Song" is being played on the radio. She stops and listens to it, commenting what a good song it is. Then she remembers Hana's words to "not stop, and to continue facing forward"... Then she hears a voice coming from outside. "Hello! Ellie, are you home?" Ellie recoginizes it as Catherine's voice. True enough, Catherine appears in front of her like a dream, wearing a coiffed up hairdo and a Western dress, dancing and singing along with the "Apple Song" on the radio. Ellie couldn't believe it, and goes to hug her friend. Catherine explains that she has come back from England a week ago, along with Christian missionaries on board a ship for 55 days. She also explains that she and her husband Charlie are going around the country, organizing soup kitchens for the people, and incidentally, they are in Otaru for one of their missions. She says she is happy to see that Ellie had survived.

Meanwhile, Massan is in his office, still thinking of what to do. Kumatora comes in, and tells him not to bear the problem alone. He says he knows Massan is having problems with the company (as told to him by Hana), and that he too knows the feeling since he was once had a failed business. He has also heard about having trouble selling whiskey, and that a guy who seemed like a Yakuza (Shibata) has even appeared. He says it isn't bad to sell to the occupational forces. Or else the company will collapse, and his precious whiskey will be no more. "Take it from the guy who lost his own business," he says with a rueful laugh. Massan says he is willing to protect his business at the risk of his life. But Kumatora says, instead of risking his life, he should instead focus on surviving. He asks him if he's worried about Kazuma's memory, "it's okay, don't worry about us. Instead, use the enemy. Let em give you some fighting spirit!" Then he gives him some advice about Ellie. "Take her outside." Massan says she is scared. Kumatora: "Then go out with her. Little by little, help her realize that the war is over." Kumatora then apologizes if he had talked out of turn. But Massan is grateful, and thanks him for all his advice.

Back at the Kameyama home, Catherine is looking around at the pictures in the living room. Ellie comes and serves her tea. They talk about the song that Catherine was singing a while ago, "The Apple Song". Catherine informs her about the singer of the song, Namiki Michiko. Catherine heard that the singer had lost her parents and older brother in the war, and finds it amazing that she was still able to sing the song in a bright and cheerful voice. Then, she thinks that she is like Ellie, too. Ellie says it is not so. Catherine says, "No matter what, you were always smiling, right? I know you did. You tried so hard, right? You tried so hard to keep it all inside." Hearing those words, Ellie breaks down. Her tears starts spilling out uncontrollably. Catherine tells her it's okay to cry, and to let it all out. Massan arrives but stops outside when she sees Catherine inside with Ellie crying. Ellie continues to cry, and even rests her head on Catherine's lap like a little girl being comforted by her mother. Massan watches, sad and yet happy to see that Ellie is finally letting it all out.

Later, Catherine and Ellie are doing vocalizations. They are in the living room, along with Massan while Catherine is seated at the organ. Catherine has just told Massan about the soup kitchen in Otaru. Then she suggests that they both come and help out at the soup kitchen, and serve the people who have lost their homes and families. Massan says it's a splendid idea, and invites Ellie to go with him. Ellie looks at Massan, seemingly hesitant to answer. Catherine who seems to understand the situation, starts playing "The Apple Song" on the organ. As the intro of the song is being played, Ellie finally smiles and nods at Massan. She starts singing the song in a cheerful upbeat voice. Afterwards, Catherine asks Massan to take care of Ellie, and Massan says he will. They sing again the song, this time with Massan.

After a few days, Ellie is finishing her letter to her mother. "Mother, life is strange. Living in Japan at this painful time, I have seen real strength of its people. I am so grateful that life has led me here... And I have felt the a deep love for the Japanese people." She ends her letter with "With love, Ellie" (she writes her name in both English and Katakana). Outside, Massan is calling for her and saying, "Let's go". He is dressed in a suit, ready to go outside. Ellie comes out, wearing a burgundy dress with a green shawl. Massan comments how lovely she looks. At the veranda, Ema sees them off, and wishes them a safe journey. Massan takes Ellie's arm and asks her if she's ready to go. Ellie says yes, this time with more confidence. Arm in arm, the Kameyama couple walk out of the gate together.
Narrator: "This day was the first time Ellie went outside the factory after the war ended. And in order to rebuild the management, Massan has begun trading with the occupational forces." (~synopsis by ec)

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by earthcolors » Mar 17th, '15, 18:13

kokoroai wrote:I really will miss this couple so much. How many chapters left to finish the drama?
By now, there's only 10 episodes to go. Wha~... can't believe it's almost over.

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by pink-revolution » Mar 25th, '15, 19:43

What to do when this is over? I am gonna miss them all so much. :cry: :cry: :cry:

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by Myxale » Mar 27th, '15, 19:31

^ I feel you. Spending so much time together and then parting for, maybe forever...dunno sucks. :cry:

And a big fat Kudos to earth, for keeping us up to date.

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by dhisashi » Mar 27th, '15, 22:44

earthcolors wrote:
kokoroai wrote:I really will miss this couple so much. How many chapters left to finish the drama?
By now, there's only 10 episodes to go. Wha~... can't believe it's almost over.
Heiwa just posted Week 24 so only 6 more episodes left.

I am gonna suffer Massan withdrawal much the same as when Amachan ended. :-(

:-)

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by snoozey2 » Mar 30th, '15, 19:10

To all Massan fans,

you DO know that it's not "completely" over, right?
there's still a couple of one-hour "spinoff" shows coming up next month!


Image

1) the first one is called "Sumire No Iede", featuring Massan's little sister (& the Osaka arc).

Image

2) the second one is called "Tasogare Yoshiko", focusing on Massan's feisty former colleague from Sumiyoshi Brewery (& the Hokkaido arc).

Yes, both Massan and Ellie will appear in both stories, and yes, I hope, hope, hope someone will sub this! :wub:

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by dhisashi » Mar 31st, '15, 00:04

snoozey2 wrote:To all Massan fans,

you DO know that it's not "completely" over, right?
there's still a couple of one-hour "spinoff" shows coming up next month!
<BigSnip>
Yes, both Massan and Ellie will appear in both stories, and yes, I hope, hope, hope someone will sub this! :wub:
Thanks for the info. I actually did not know of this. Heiwa and/or Earthcolors are you listening. :D

:-)

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by kathia_sophia » Mar 31st, '15, 00:11

I'm finally going to be able to watch Massan. I finished Hanako to Anne right when it finished airing, but school began and I put Massan on hold.
But ONE problem and I need help, Nyaa has Massan episodes but from week 4 onwards. Where can I find the first 3 weeks?

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by dhisashi » Mar 31st, '15, 15:52

kathia_sophia wrote:I'm finally going to be able to watch Massan. I finished Hanako to Anne right when it finished airing, but school began and I put Massan on hold.
But ONE problem and I need help, Nyaa has Massan episodes but from week 4 onwards. Where can I find the first 3 weeks?
Check your PM. I sent you a link for the first three weeks.

:-)

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by yanie » Apr 1st, '15, 07:08

Interview with Taketsuru Masataka and Rita's (real-life Kameyama couple) grand son.
http://www.iza.ne.jp/kiji/life/news/141 ... 24-n2.html

Not sure which grandson? Is this the real-life counterpart of Satoru's son in the drama, I guess?

Q. Your grandmother passed away in 1961.
Taketsuru: Yes, my grandmother was 64 year old. I was 8 year old, that time. Of course, I was sad, but to be honest I didn't really understand what death is, that time. However, I saw my grandfather bawling his eyes out saying "Grandma died..." I was shocked. It was the first time I saw an adult shaken like that.

Just how the drama portrayed them :cry:

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 24

Post by earthcolors » Apr 1st, '15, 08:19

Week 24 Synopsis: "Ichinen iwa wo motō su" (Women will have their wills; Faith can move mountains)
It is 1948, Ellie spends her days peacefully while Massan develops a new whiskey. One day, Chikako's son Satoru suddenly comes to Yoichi. Satoru owes his life to 3rd class liquor, which Massan calls fake. After Satoru questions his uncle who is he making liquor for, Massan resolves to make 3rd class liquor. At such time, Masashi and Chikako arrive from Hiroshima...(~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.139 Synopsis
It is October, 1948. "Tokyo Boogie Woogie" is being played on the radio. Ellie is lying on the couch, eating cookies, while reading a book that Massan had given her as a gift. She's into reading right now, and would read whenever she has break from housework.

At the office of the occupational forces, 25 year old Ema (Kinami Haruka) is working as an interpreter and English typist. Apparently, ever since Massan had started trading with them two years ago, they have hired locals as staff members.

Meanwhile, Massan has been making whiskey quietly and steadily. Ever since he started making whiskey in Yoichi in 1934, his aged whiskey have finally reached the 15 year milestone. Under the controlled economy before the war, a bottle of Doukah Whisky costs 1,300 yen and does not sell much but his tradings with the occupational forces made his business quite stable. Massan is seen at the barrel room, taking some aged whiskey samples with an assistant. Toshio comes in, excitedly. He asks Massan to read a headline of the newspaper: "Haikyu Kodan (Public Corporations) are to be abolished". Apparently, after the war, government and the economy will be liberalized. It means that instead of the government controlling the prices as it did before the war, manufacturers like Massan are able to decide freely on the prices of their products. So this news is welcomed whole-heartedly by Massan and Toshio.

Massan is at the lab, checking the 15 year old aged whiskey to make a new superior blend. "Finally the day has come when we are able to see a 15 year old product." Toshio happily checks the 15 year old sample, and asks Massan what name they will give it. Massan replies, "How about 'Super Doukah'?" which means 'super whiskey'. Toshio likes the name but does not like the price that Massan is planning to set it with. "780 yen!? But we sold our products for 1300 yen, for a 15 year old whiskey selling for 780 yen..." Massan reasons out that he wants the general public to afford his whiskey since whiskey is the only thing he can offer to help his country in these times of rebuilding.

But Massan has something else to offer. One day, a man wearing a suit and glasses arrive at the Doukah Company, leading a group of people. He is Kobayashi (Tanaka Munetoshi) from the Town Hall, and had come to guide some homeless people to Massan's factory. Apparently, Massan has offered work, board and lodging to these people who are composed of veterans who lost everything, and families who were driven out of Sakhalin Island. They are shown inside the herring palace where they will stay, and are given beddings. They are grateful to Massan and everybody for their kindness. But Toshio whines a bit about having to train these new workers from scratch. However, later on, Toshio finds out that these new workers can prove themselves as fast learners and hard workers since they would like to give back to the whiskey factory for the help given to them. They are shown eagerly asking Toshio for more instructions at the distillation room.

Meanwhile Ellie and Hana are busy preparing hot curry rice meals for the families at the herring palace. The children are most especially grateful since they seemed to have not had something as luxurious for a long time. Massan comes in to join them for dinner. He brings a bottle of his whiskey and gives it to some of the veteran soldiers drinking liquor. But the men say they could not accept something so luxurious. One of the men said they are most accustomed to sake, showing him the bottles of 3rd class liquor they've been enjoying. They said that they drank it everyday during the war. Nevertheless, Massan sets down his Doukah Whiskey near them, and invites them to drink it. He then moves to Ellie's group, and looks back to see if they will drink it. The men do not touch it, and instead continue to drink their preferred liquor. Massan stands up to leave.

The next day, Massan is working in his lab when Fukuda comes in to tell him his two investors from Osaka have come for a visit. Massan goes to see them immediately. True enough, Nonomura and Watari are in Yoichi. Massan and Ellie let them inside their living room. Nonomura says they have thought of visiting since he was invited to attend a grand opening of a department store in Sapporo. Watari jokes that they have made a surprise inspection to find out if Massan is plotting another strange venture. Ellie serves them tea, and Watari comments how lovely she still is. After Ellie leaves, the two investors go straight to the point. They show Massan a bottle of 3rd Class liquor from Osaka called "Naniwa Whiskey". Nonomura says they want Massan to make something like it. Watari asks him if he heard rumors that the rationing of whiskey will be over by next spring. Massan says yes. Watari adds that once the industry becomes liberalized, "for sure, competition of discounted third class liquor will begin. And then, your trading withe the occupational forces will be discontinued." Of course, Massan protests. He says 3rd Class Whiskeys are different from what he makes. And he thinks these liquors do not contain "genshu" (unblended whiskey) so he considers them fake. Nonomura asks him if there are Japanese who can afford to buy expensive whiskey right now. But Massan reveals to them his plan to sell Super Doukah to the masses. Watari dismisses his suggestion and asks, "What 'Super Doukah'? Who are you making whiskey for anyway?" Nonomura says whether he makes it expensive or cheap, being "kind" does not apply at this time of reconstruction, and what he should ask is whether he's going to survive or not. And besides, Watari tells him, they're not asking him to make 3rd class whiskey, they're ORDERING him to.

So Massan takes the bottle of 3rd Class Whiskey to the lab. He and Toshio taste it. Toshio thinks it's not up to par but it's good enough to get "get drunk" with. Massan sees it as a dilemma, since he fears he will be branded as a fraudster if he makes such a thing. Toshio points out that he must do it for the company's sake. Massan says he knows that, but if he does make such liquor, "Japan will revert back to the age of imitation products." Suddenly, Ellie comes in, announcing that something has happened. In comes a young man wearing an ushanka or Russian fur hat and snowsuit with fur collar. He says to Massan, "Uncle Masaharu, it's been a long time." Massan does not recognize him right away, so the young man introduces himself as Okazaki Satoru (Izumisawa Yuki) the son of Chikako. Massan is so surprised to see his nephew and hugs him happily.
Narrator: "Ever since he left for the war, his whereabouts were unknown. Now, his nephew Satoru has come back. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.140 Synopsis
They let Satoru come in the house, and serve him a shot of their whiskey. Massan: "Thanks for your hard work." The Narrator explains that they've all been worried about Satoru ever since they lost contact with him after he left for the war. After tasting the whiskey, the young man says it tastes good. Toshio explains to him that it is a first class whisky that his uncle had proudly made. Satoru says he did not expect that such a good liquor can be found in Japan. He then narrates what happened to him: He was in Russia, and captured by the Russian army, and sent to a Siberian prison camp. He says it was freezing cold, Sometimes he had thought of dying and succumbing to the cold. And when he had heard that the Emperor had announced Japan's surrender, he thought he wanted to die. But his superiors told him not to feel sorry for themselves, and that the Emperor made a wise decision for everyone's sake. Satoru says he thought of surviving everyday, and to be able to come home some day. Ellie asks if he contacted his mother. Satoru says he called home the day he arrived in the harbor (somewhere in Hokkaido) and that she was crying on the phone. They are all happy to hear that.

Afterwards, Toshio shows Satoru to his room in the herring palace. However, Satoru stops when he sees the people staying in the first floor, some eating and drinking and chatting. Toshio explains who they are. Satoru says he wants to stay with them. So Toshio introduces Satoru to the people, and ask them to get along with him. He then leads Satoru to one of the available futons on the ground, lined up against a wall. He asks Satoru if he is sure that he prefers sleeping there. The young man says yes. So Toshio leaves, and Satoru greets the men next to him. One of the men nearest him is a war veteran (Nakamura Taiki) who seems obsessed with cleaning a pocket watch...

Massan, Ellie, Toshio and Ema talk about Satoru wanting to sleep among the workers. They think he probably do not want to be alone. Ema points out that he had a hard life, and that there are still other war prisoners like him still incarcerated.

That night, Satoru seems to be having a nightmare, and crying in his sleep. He wakes up with a start. It seems he was dreaming of Russian soldiers, and they were all shouting at him in Russian. Satoru seems disturbed by it, and is sweating profusely...

The next day, Toshio has toured Satoru around the factory. They enter the lab, and explains what they do there. Massan is also there. He tells Satoru they are now making the 15 year old, 1st class whiskey "Super Doukah". But he whines about the investors wanting him to make a 3rd class whiskey which he calls "fake". He shows the young man a bottle of the "fake" whiskey given to him by his investors. Satoru seems to take offense, and argues back, that it is liquor, whether it be real or fake. Massan notices that Satoru is upset about the topic and is puzzled...

At Ema's workplace, the lunch bell had rung. As her co-workers are headed for the cafeteria, Ema is called by her boss, Capt. Fitzgerald. He compliments her for her hard work ("You are just like your father") and asks her, "Would you be interested in a more rewarding job?"

Afterwards, when she came home, Ema tells her parents what Fitzgerald had told her. They are in the living room, with Satoru who is listening as well. Apparently Fitzgerald had offered Ema a job as an interpreter in the US. She has to go through an application process but is already asking them to allow her if ever she's accepted. Massan seems hesitant so Ema says she might visit Scotland too while she is in the US since "it's just across from it." And she also says she wants to take up such a challenge. Ellie is more agreeable, and that Ema can do what she wants, and they won't stop her. Ema is happy to hear that and goes to her room to change clothes. Massan is still not liking the idea but his wife reminds him that kids will grow up and leave the nest, and they can do nothing but watch. Satoru then asks them if Ema will leave and become an interpreter in the US. Ellie says yes, and that it has always been Ema's dream. She asks him what his dream is. Satoru is not able to answer right away so Ellie says he just came back from the war. "It's best you take your time in thinking what you want."

That night, while everyone is sleeping at the herring palace, Satoru is remembering Ellie's question about what his dream is. Then the man next to him is looking for his pocket watch and cannot find it. He is mumbling that it was given to him by his father. Satoru ignores him, and turns over on his side, away from him. The man then accuses him of taking it. He says he finds Satoru's character fishy ever since he arrived from Siberia. Satoru denies that he took it. The two get into a skirmish, shoving and grabbing each other's collars. Satoru even got punched. The other men try to intervene, waking up Kumatora. Kumatora calls for Massan and Massan comes rushing in to stop the fight. The man again accuses Satoru of stealing his father's watch. Massan asks a visibly shaken Satoru if he stole it. But Satoru only looks at Massan and asks, "Even YOU're doubting me, Uncle?" Then, one of the men finds the man's pocket watch. It was underneath his futon all along. The man apologizes to the others, but to Satoru, he only waves his hand nonchalantly, in a tepid apology, "Sorry about that." Satoru flares up and lunges at the man. "Apologize properly!" he demands. Massan and the others had to intervene again.

Massan takes Satoru out of the herring palace. He brings him to the barrel room for a talk and to cool his head. Massan asks him what happened to him in Siberia. Satoru: "I have seen hell..." (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.141 Synopsis
Satoru explains the hell he went through while in Siberia. Aside from the cold climate, they were forced to overwork like cattle and horses. Food requires money, and they were given small amounts of moldy bread, and nasty barley soup which he forced himself to eat since he was so hungry. He even resorted to eating his own feces in order to survive. Then, if they want to be released, they have to recognize that Japan was a bad country and had been wrong in the war. Massan says it can't be helped since they lost the war but Satoru shouts at him, "You don't understand!" He says his mindset is to die for the country, that's why it pains him to say negative things about Japan. Then he says, when he was on board the ship that took him from Nakhodka to Hokkaido, he drank Japanese liquor. He found it so delicious that tears welled up in his eyes. "It was the liquor... that you called 'fake'! What is 'genuine' anyway? For me, the 3rd class liquor is the real thing! I betrayed my fellowmen, in order to come home... And the first thing that forgave me was THAT LIQUOR! Talking about high-quality brewing, feeling high and mighty about a drink that no one in Japan is drinking right now!" He argues that liquor, as long as one can drink it, they're all the same thing. Massan still says he believes that Japan will be able to rebuild, and that he will continue to make the real whiskey, even if a small number of people will drink it. Satoru asks him how he can be sure of that. Massan does not say anything and Satoru leaves. They did not know that Ellie is there, too and had been listening to their conversation.

Ellie returns to the house. Massan comes in. She looks at him silently and yet with a look on her face that asks, "what happened?" He sits down in the dining area, and tells her how he is resolved to continue making good whiskey but he has forgotten one important thing. Ellie sits down with him and asks what that important thing is. "The water of life," Massan answers. He says there is no life, if there's no water. Water connects life, particularly people's lives and minds. He had always thought that 3rd class whiskey was not the real thing. But when he heard Satoru's story, he realizes that whether it be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd class, they are all "water of life". Now, he declares he will work hard to make cheap and yet good liquor that can be enjoyed by everyone. Ellie is tearful and happy about his decision, and believes her husband will be able to make one for sure.

So the next day, Massan and Toshio are at the lab ready to make a new cheap liquor. Before them are bottles of third class liquor from all over the country, collected by Toshio. Then, Massan notices Satoru peeking in from the door, and invites him to come in and watch. He also thanks the young man because he has come to realize about the importance of such liquor. Satoru accepts Massan's invitation and sits and watches while the two older men get to work. They will examine each of the products: its color, taste, scent etc. and write it all down in Toshio's chart. Massan smells each of the sample, and comments on the ingredients used (for ex. one used essence which is bitter, another used industrial alcohol, and calls it 'bomb', etc.) Satoru asks Massan if he can know all that just by smelling. Toshio says Massan has a good nose, just like a dog's. Satoru asks if he can try it too. Massan is very happy to hear that, and eagerly hands him a sample. Satoru smells it and says he detects an oily scent. Massan and Toshio are impressed. Toshio teases Massan, and says he was a dog in his previous life. So the two start barking at each other playfully, making Satoru laugh. They happily decide to let Satoru take part in the "smelling" work. Narrator: "Satoru is impressed with his Uncle who had been born in a sake brewery, and whose olfactory skills have been furthered honed by many years of training. Looking at his uncle, Satoru is gradually starting to get interested in whiskey-making." (~synopsis by ec)

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Week 24

Post by earthcolors » Apr 1st, '15, 08:20

Massan Ep.142 Synopsis
In the living room, Satoru tells Ellie what he and Massan had talked about. He says Massan is a positive and open-minded person who did not get mad even if he said rude things to him. He also has noticed that the Kameyama family is always positive about everything. Ellie tells him the family's motto: "Challenge and Adventure."

Then, Massan comes in, in an excited mood. He tells Ellie and Satoru to come out into the courtyard. When they came out, they see Massan's father, Masashi, and sister Chikako. Masashi has gotten considerably older, with white hair. Chikako too has gray hair. She breaks down as soon as she sees her son, Satoru. She welcomes him home, and thanks him for his hard work.

Everyone gathers in the living room. They are all chatting and catching up with each other's news while Ellie is serving them tea. Apparently, Chikako had come to see how her son is doing, and to bring him back to Hokkaido. Incidentally, despite his age, Masashi insisted on coming too, because he wanted to surprise Massan and everyone in Hokkaido. Besides, Chikako claims, Masashi wanted to see his son's whiskey factory. When she said that, Massan suddenly looks apprehensive. Masashi also says they're happy that Satoru had come back, and that he should take his time in thinking on what to do next. They also talk about the bombing of Hiroshima, and it was a good thing that they were not affected. Masashi spoke about how lonely it is, now that he is widowed but his son says he has done well despite without Sanae around. They also talked about the effect of war in the factory and how Ellie must have suffered too. Then, they mention about how Ellie had always written letters to Sumire, informing her about everything that's been happening in Yoichi, including how Toshio had married "a lovely woman". After the talk, Masashi insists on seeing the distillery. Again, Massan seems apprehensive, since he is worried what his father might think...

Massan and Toshio show Masashi around the factory. They come to the distillation room, and explain about the pot stills. Masashi looks impressed and seems delighted. Massan's nervousness disappears when he sees his father smile...

Everyone goes back to the house. They are discussing as dinner is about to be served. This time they're discussing about the Hiroshima brewery, how the male workers had come home after the war and are back to work, and also, Chikako's eldest son Masa had chosen the teaching profession, than take over the brewery. But Chikako says it's alright since they expect Satoru to take over anyway. Satoru is silent when it was mentioned. Massan tells them he is making a good cheap whiskey after he was inspired by Satoru's story. Masashi tells his son to work hard and continue to make good whiskey. They also talk about Ema who is going through an application process to go to the US. Massan says he's fine with it and he won't be lonely when his daughter leaves (but Ellie denies it is so). Then, suddenly, Satoru speaks up. He tells his mother that he wants to stay a bit more in Hokkaido in order to learn from his uncle, since he is very impressed with Massan's olfactory sense when it comes to alcohol. Chikako asks her father what he thinks. After pondering for a second, Masashi gives his consent. They will stay in Hokkaido a while longer so Satoru can learn whiskey-making. They are all happy about the decision. Ellie warns Satoru, in a joking manner about Toshio's hot temper. She even mimics Toshio's Hiroshima accent, when he shouts at the workers to do their work. They laugh.

After a few days, Massan has finished the analytical work for the samples of 3rd class whiskies. Finally they are about to start making their own. However, Massan and Toshio have a heated exchange on how to go about it, right in front of Satoru. Massan says he will use very little coloring and fragrance as much as possible, and Toshio doesn't agree. Toshio believes that including such additives is important because without it, it won't be 3rd Class Whiskey. But Massan argues that those will detract the true taste of the liquor. He claims he wants to make "the water of life", a liquor that has a unique, and wonderful smoky flavor and smooth texture. Toshio says they won't be able to come up with delicious and cheap whiskey (it has to be one or the other), and that they can only use 5% whiskey or else if it won't be a 3rd Class Whiskey. Massan says it's fine even he uses 1% whiskey, as long as it meets his standards. In frustration, Toshio says he won't feel like helping Massan with the project anymore. Off he goes to the office, and sits down on a chair. Massan says fine, and proceeds to work along with Satoru. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.143 Synopsis
It has been a week, and Massan has been trying to make the 3rd Class whiskey. He isn't satisfied with it so far, having problems with the taste, since prioritizing it compromises the smoky flavor. Satoru is there, still watching and learning from his uncle. Toshio meanwhile, is still criticizing Massan's method. "You can't make whiskey that's both good and cheap at the same time. You're wasting your time!"

Dinner is finished at the house. The women (Ellie, Ema, and Chikako) are busy washing up, and preparing after-meal tea and snacks while "Tokyo Boogie Woogie" is being played on the radio. Satoru has come for a late dinner. He tells them that Massan is still working at the lab. Masashi stands up and says he will go outside to get some fresh air.

Massan is as usual having trouble with his project. Masashi comes in and comments how Massan looks like his mother. "I can easily detect your moods right away." The older Kameyama has come to give him some advice. He asks his son if he would reconsider putting additives in his 3rd Class Whiskey. Massan says it is against his principles but then he asks his father how he was able to come up with good liquor using Hiroshima's soft water. "Didn't you go through lots of trials?" But his father claims he has forgotten how. But then he admits that it was knowing what the "crux" is. And as for him, the crux was the rice. At first, Masashi wasn't satisfied with the koji that he was using, and tried out many types. And then he says Sanae gave him the idea to use a different rice for the "koji" used for brewing. And that's when he was able to feel satisfied with the liquor he was making. After his father left, Massan starts thinking of what Masashi had told him.

The next morning, Massan is in the barrel room, taking samples from the barrels. Toshio and Satoru arrive, asking what he is doing. Massan answers that he is looking for the crux of the whiskey which is the unblended whiskey. He says he's been preoccupied with the right amount of blending that he has forgotten to consider the essential part. And so he is starting all over by looking for the key malt for their 3rd Class Whiskey, which is the unblended whiskey that serves as the foundation of a blend. Massan says he plans to use the younger distilled whiskey, around 5 years aged. Since it's going to be an arduous task, Satoru wants to help too. So Toshio shows him how to open a barrel, and let him try it too. The three start going around checking samples.

So for three days, they keep at it. Finally, Massan has found the one he is looking for. The color, taste and smell were just perfect. Toshio tastes it too and he agrees. Satoru tries it but finds it strong and so he coughs. Massan explains that it is still young and "hasn't mellowed yet" but after it gets diluted, the smoky flavor would still come out. Then they realize that the key malt whiskey they chose was made from Kazuma's wheat seeds. They explain to Satoru who Kazuma was, how he had come up with good quality seeds for delicious whiskey and yet died in the war and wasn't able to realize his dream. Toshio is crying while he explains. Massan too is weeping and caressing the barrel with Kazuma's name written on it. For Massan, it felt like Kazuma was giving him a supportive push on the back. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.144 Synopsis
Finally, Massan was able to finalize his 3rd Class Whiskey. He made it without using additives for the aroma and color. They hold a sampling party at the factory, inviting liquor wholesalers from Otaru, Sapporo and Hakodate. Massan looks around nervously while Toshio and Satoru accommodate the guests.

Meanwhile, Ema is busy going through her application process. This time, she is answering questions in English in front an interview panel of American officers...

The sampling party has begun, and Massan makes a short speech, thanking everyone's time for coming. The men drink it and find it delicious, and easy to drink. They are even pleasantly surprised when they found out that Massan didn't use additives. They all want to sell his product in their stores. Massan thanks them for their support. Then a visitor comes. It is Sawada, the director of a department store in Osaka, and the liquor connoisseur who criticized the first Kamoi Whiskey that Massan had made, and who called Kinjiro "Imitation Kamoi". Apparently, Massan invited Sawada all the way to Hokkaido for the sampling party. Massan seems to want to know what Sawada thinks of his product this time.

There is a tensed atmosphere, as Sawada is served a glass of the 3rd Class Whiskey. Sawada inspects the color, and aroma. He chuckles, and comments that the smokey flavor is Massan's key style. Sawada tastes it, and instead of commenting, he asks Massan about the ingredients he used. Massan explains that the key ingredient is the barley (Kazuma's), and with it, it is enough to bring out the sweetness of the drink, so he did not have to resort to using other sweeteners. Then, Sawada says Massan has changed. Sawada thought Massan was a conceited person when he made his first whiskey, and who was only preoccupied with his ambition of making Japan's first whiskey. But now, he says Massan has finally made the whiskey with his customers' faces in mind. He calls this whiskey, "the liquor to talk about." Finally, Sawada hands him his verdict: "It's delicious! I deem it the only delicious 3rd Grade whiskey in Japan right now." He even wants to sell this whiskey in his department store, which is a really huge deal. Sawada continues to praise Massan, calling him the man who had ushered in the Age of Whiskey in Japan. Massan thanks him but reiterates that he still wants to usher in the Age of Genuine Whiskey in Japan, and won't be giving up. Sawada smiles and nods at him. "I'll be looking forward to that." Satoru is so moved by this scene and leads everyone in applauding Massan.

Then, the day has come for Masashi, Chikako, and Satoru to go back to Hiroshima. They are packing up, but Satoru tells his mother that he wants to stay and learn about whiskey-making. Satoru is inspired by Massan's words of "not giving up" but Massan tells him that those words were originally the advice he got from his parents. Satoru says he wants to find meaning to his second chance in life so he chooses to do whiskey-making. Masashi thinks it's fine to let Satoru decide for himself. But still Chikako is upset since no one will inherit the brewery now. Satoru claims he never agreed to be the successor. Upset, Chikako tells him his consent does not matter anyway. Masashi laughs, and says Chikako is acting just like her mother. Masashi tells Satoru to do what he wants with all his heart. As they were about to leave, Massan asks his father to stay some more. Besides, he hasn't tried the new whiskey yet, and Massan wants to hear his opinion. Masashi reiterates that he never understood the taste of whiskey anyway. Nevertheless, he says he was happy that everyone loved his whiskey. He made Massan promise to continue making more great whiskies. Ellie is also listening from a distance, with tears in her eyes. Outside, Kumatora and Hana come out to say farewell to the visitors. Masashi asks Kumatora to look after his "idiot son". Ema also arrives in time to see them off. Masashi even jokes that Ema should bring him along with her to the US, if she gets the job. They all thank Masashi and Chikako for coming and bid them a fond farewell. (~synopsis by ec)

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Final Week 25

Post by earthcolors » Apr 1st, '15, 08:21

Week 25 Synopsis: "Jinsei wa bōken ryokō" (Life is an adventure)
It is 1961. Massan continues to make good, high-quality whiskey. But the situation at the Hiroshima brewery worsens so Toshio says he wants to return to Hiroshima. Meanwhile, Ema had passed the application tests, and has gone to the US, as well to the UK. Satoru who has been adopted by Massan, has gotten married, and had children so Ellie is able to enjoy life as a grandmother. But her health has deteriorated greatly... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.145 Synopsis
It is autumn of 1949. Massan's 3rd Class whiskey which he named "Yoichi no Uta" (Song of Yoichi) is cheap, delicious and a huge success. Everyone at the factory, including Susumu, and the barbershop couple have gathered at the herring palace. Apparently, Massan is scheduled to go on air on a radio program, to be interviewed regarding his company and products. Ellie is nervous for Massan since she knows that Massan will get tongue-tied once he gets on air.

The program starts. True enough, Massan is indeed nervous, and even combs his hair, even though there's no audience to watch him. The announcer has begun introducing Massan and everyone listening at home claps and gets ready to hear Massan's voice. Massan starts stammering while trying to explain about his whiskey, and those who are listening are giggling. Finally, Massan is able to calm down a bit. He tells about how he thought that Yoichi is a utopia of whiskey with its perfect setting of clean air and water, and rich soil. As the program goes into a break, the people at the herring palace talk about how time has flown ever since Massan declared he will make Yoichi a "town of whiskey," and that he has come a long way. As they are discussing, Toshio looks unusually somber and quiet. Hana has been noticing it too.

A while later, Toshio comes out of the herring palace, and Hana follows him. She asks what is wrong, but Toshio says nothing. Hana tells him not lie...

That night, Toshio and Hana tell Massan and Ellie of their plan. He wants to go back to Hiroshima, and will be taking Hana with him. It seems the master brewer will be retiring this year, and there will be no replacement. Toshio says he owes a lot to the Hiroshima brewery and so he wants to go back and help them. He says he originally wanted to become the master brewer. Besides, the distillery is doing well, and it's a good time to leave without worrying about it. He goes down on his knees and asks for Massan's permission. Massan is still hesitant, since he values Toshio's help very much. Ellie asks if this is really okay with Hana. Hana says she is like Ellie who will follow her husband wherever he decides to go. Then they ask about what Kumatora will say. They say that they will talk to Kumatora. Hana is optimistic that her father will understand since he himself was a well-seasoned traveler anyway...

However, after listening to the two, Kumatora would not have it. He angrily says no. He wants him and Hana to stay and be buried in Yoichi. Toshio tries to explain that he wants to help Masashi who is like his foster parent. Kumatora takes offense, and feels he isn't being valued considering he is his father-in-law. Hana says they have decided on it, and they will go no matter what. Kumatora says if she goes, he will cut off parental ties with her. He goes to a corner and sulks. Then Hana says "Fine". Kumatora thinks she has changed her mind and won't be leaving. But what Hana meant is that it's fine if he decides to cut off ties. Kumatora panics and takes back his threat, saying he was just kidding. He then says, she can go where ever she wants, it doesn't matter to him anymore. Yet, he is so upset that he goes out to get a drink. Toshio thanks Hana for standing by him.

The day has come for the two to leave. Still Toshio wakes up early to clean the office like he always does. Massan comes in and asks him to take care of Masashi for him. He also thanks Toshio for all the help he had given all throughout this time. Toshio turns away from him, and tries to dismiss his sentimental talk. Scenes of their times together are shown, from Hiroshima to Osaka all the way to Yoichi, they both have come a long way together. Toshio whines that because of "Obochama", his life had "messed up." Massan is about to say that, even so he was able to meet Hana and... he stops when he realizes Toshio is crying. He says nothing more, and just pats his Toshi-nii on the shoulder.

Everyone comes out into the courtyard to say goodbye to the couple. Toshio hands his "Doukah" happi coat to Satoru (who is now a Kameyama since he has been adopted by Massan). They all thank the couple, and Ellie even gives them food packs of Hokkaido dishes that Hana had taught Ellie. They wish the couple good luck, with Ellie giving them hugs. Then, Susumu comes, glad he is able to make it in time to see the couple off as well. He asks where Kumatora is. Out comes Kumatora all dressed in his old traveling clothes complete with fedora and sunglasses. He says he will go with the couple to Hiroshima, and that along the way, he will tour them to his Aizu homeland. Everyone is surprised at this sudden decision. Before leaving, Kumatora stares at Massan and says, "If there is life, we'll meet again!" He laughs and goes off, with Hana and Toshio following him, still in a state of disbelief. The others wish them safe travel and good luck. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.146 Synopsis
It is now January 1961. Twelve years have passed since Toshio left for Hiroshima. The year after "Yoichi no Uta" was introduced, Massan was able to come out with an authentic luxury whiskey called "Super Doukah" and was also a huge hit. Still Massan who is now 70 years old, with gray hair, is still at it at the lab, trying to come up with more delicious whiskey products. An older Satoru is beside him, helping him. Since he has been adopted, Satoru will succeed Massan in the business. He had taken up brewing science at a Hokkaido University, and has been honing his skills as a master blender. He has also gotten married and has two children...

At the house, Grandma Ellie is playing the organ and singing Scottish ditties along with her grandchildren, Masashitaro (Hongo Hayate) and Emi (Kawasaki Suzuno). The kids start arguing about which song to sing next. Their mother Wakako (Miyajima Mai) comes to serve them cookies, and tells them not to fight. She apologizes to Ellie for their behavior. Ellie doesn't mind, and continues to play the organ.

The mailman comes to deliver a letter. It is from Ema, who has gone abroad 12 years ago, and has worked as an interpreter in the US. She has since migrated to the UK, where she's been working with a publishing company in London. Ellie eagerly reads Ema's letter, and is happy to learn that she's coming home soon for the first time in 3 years.

Ellie offers the letter to the altar where pictures of deceased loved ones are displayed. This includes her mother Rosemary, Massan's parents, and Morino Kumatora. She asks that their spirits look after Ema.

The day has come for Ema's homecoming. They meet her at the gate of the factory where there is snow all around. Finally, Ema arrives and hugs and greets her parents. However, she is not alone. She has brought along Mike (Nakajima Tony), her boyfriend from England. He greets the Kameyamas in perfect Japanese. Massan and Ellie are very surprised about this unexpected development.

Back at the house, Ema gives her nephew, niece and sister-in-law her gifts to them: gloves and muffler. They say thank you and go out to make a snowman, wearing their new gloves. Massan and Ellie have a sit-down chat with Ema and Mike. Massan and Ellie are looking at traveling photos of Mike and Ema around Japan. It seems Mike is very interested in the Japanese culture and so he has learned the language as well. Massan asks if they are working partners. Ema confirms it but adds that they are "life partners" as well, and that they have been living together for two years. Ellie and Massan look surprised, with Massan asking why they did not get married since they're together anyway. Ema says marriage is not important because they are prioritizing their work. Massan insists that marriage is important, and that they should go through proper procedures like asking for the parents' permission, make the proper greetings etc. But Ema points out that he and Ellie did not go through a proper wedding themselves. Mike is interested in knowing their story but Massan says it isn't any of his concern. Ema explains that Mike wants to become a freelance photographer and is trying to find a nice story to tell, that is why he wants to hear Massan and Ellie's love story. Massan is still being stubborn about it so Ema asks Ellie instead about the first time they met. Ellie obliges, and scenes are shown of how they met during a Christmas party. Mike finds it a romantic story. Then he was told about how everyone had opposed their marriage, but that they still registered their marriage before they left for Japan. Massan seems to lament that they were not able to have a proper wedding. Ema eggs the two to hold a wedding even at this late stage, because they deserve it. Ellie: "At this age, I will wear a wedding dress?" Ema: "It's okay, Mom, you'll look good." Then, Massan attempts to talk again about Ema's refusal to marry, but Ellie tells him to rather talk about calm and peaceful topics since they haven't seen each other for a long time. She heads for the kitchen to get cookies and fill up the tea pot. Ellie at this time, looks noticeably tired, slower, and weaker. When she entered the kitchen, she stops and drops the tea pot, crashing into pieces on the floor. They others come to her aid and ask what happened. Ellie says she only felt a bit dizzy but claims she's fine. They let her rest while Ema cleans up. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.147 Synopsis
Massan has come home from work. He sees Ema alone at the house, listening to "Sukiyaki" song on the radio. She says Ellie has gone to the hospital while Mike went out to take pictures. Massan shows her drawings for the new plant design which he plans to build some place (Tohoku, Sendai, Kansai or Nishinomiya). He says it will include a grain brewing building where they'll make dark whiskey. Ema comments that Massan's eyes as usual lights up when he talks about whiskey. Massan looks at the clock and feels worried about Ellie. He tells her that the hospital is near, just beyond the river, and that Ellie has been getting medicine for her stomach and anemia. He decides to go and meet her outside. Ema teases that they're still the usual lovey-dovey couple even after all these years.

Massan goes to the bridge spanning Yoichi river. Below, he sees Ellie strolling in the snow by the river, staring out into the distance. She is singing "The Parting Glass". Massan watches her intently, doesn't say anything, and just listens to her sing. After the song, Ellie finally sees Massan and greets him. He goes over to his wife, and asks if there is any news about her condition. Ellie says nothing much happened, and as usual got her medicine and had a small talk with the doctor. Massan is glad to hear of that and they go home together.

They have lunch with Ema and Mike at the house. Ema learns that Ellie also had a fainting episode last year and complains that she wasn't told about it. Ellie says it wasn't a big deal. Then, Massan again tries to bring up the topic about marriage, and Ema just dismisses it. Ellie asks Mike what he loves about Ema, and Mike says, "Everything." He adds that he loves that Ema is always bright and positive, and likes to challenge everything. Ellie is touched by his words, and is happy that they have found the people that they love. She apologizes to Massan because he still doesn't approve of their arrangement.

The four go out for a stroll and a tour of the factory. Massan is describing the buildings to Mike. They stop because Mike wanted to take pictures of Ema and the buildings. Then the two young lovers start laughing and playing with snowballs. Massan and Ellie watch the two have fun, remembering the days when they too were young, and laughing and playing. Massan and Ellie continue to stroll hand-in-hand...

Five days since Ema has come home with Mike, Ellie's physician, Dr. Kawakami Kazue (Amami Yuki) pays Ellie a visit, bringing her favorite biscuits as a gift. Ellie serves themselves some tea while she enjoys the biscuits in the dining area. Dr. Kawakami comments that Ellie has gotten livelier and asks if it's because her daughter had come home or maybe it's because of Massan's love. Ellie answers "Both". Later, the doctor leaves and meets Massan outside the house. She tells him Ellie is fine and that she only visited to deliver some bisquits. But Massan asks that they speak privately so they both go inside the herring palace. He asks her if Ellie is really okay. Doctor: "Why do you ask?" Massan: "It's because she's been talking about the old days lately, and been singing a song about farewell ("The Parting Glass"). There is a look of hesitation on the doctor's face. Finally, she decides to answer his question about Ellie's condition. Massan's eyes widen as he listens to the doctor...

Back at the house, we hear Ellie's inner voice. She is writing a love letter to her husband. "My dearest Massan, my beloved Massan. Thank you for meeting me, and making me your bride and your wife. Thank you for bringing me to Japan, making this beautiful country my hometown. Thank you for the wonderful adventure. However, it seems the end of the adventure is approaching. So I am leaving this letter to say thank you one last time. Finally, in gratitude, I write this letter..." (~synopsis by ec)
Last edited by earthcolors on Apr 1st, '15, 08:48, edited 3 times in total.

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Massan (Episode Summaries) Final Week 25

Post by earthcolors » Apr 1st, '15, 08:23

Massan Ep.148 Synopsis
Ellie finishes writing her letter to her husband. At breakfast time, the four eat at the table. Massan says "there is a proposal for a wedding." Ellie thinks it's between Ema and Mike but Massan says it's from him to Ellie. He wants them to have a wedding ceremony. Ellie protests saying she's too old for that. But the rest say they want to see her in a wedding dress so Ellie reluctantly accepts. Massan is happy but Ellie looks at him worriedly, having an inkling that he might know the truth about her condition...

Later, Ellie is alone with Mike. She serves him tea in the living room. Ellie apologizes for her husband's behavior. Mike says he understands. Then Mike opens up to her about his feelings for Ema. He is worried how he will be able to provide for her, if he quits his job and pursue his dreams of becoming a freelance photographer. Ellie assures him that Ema will stand by him, and support him in pursuing his dreams as well as hers, because she goes by their motto of "Life is an adventure." Mike feels relieved to hear that. As Ellie goes to fetch biscuits from the kitchen, she suddenly feels dizzy again, and faints. Mike realizes what happened and tries calling her name, but she does not respond. So he frantically goes to ask for help...

Later, Ellie is lying on her futon, being checked by Dr. Kawakami. Massan and Wakako are also there. Mike is outside the room, and Ema just informed him that her mother is fine. Inside the room, Dr. Kawakami tells Ellie that she needs to take it slow and try to eat something good. As the doctor is about to leave the room, she gives Massan a serious look that says "Let's talk outside."

The doctor tells Massan and an unsuspecting Ema to spend as much time as possible with Ellie. "Call me if anything happens," she says before leaving. Ema is shocked, and asks Massan what she meant. Massan, with a resigned look of despair, tells her to try to spend time with her mother smilingly. Ema drops on the floor, and cries...

Three days have passed after Ellie's collapse. She hasn't yet gotten up like she used to, and is being nursed by Ema. It seems a good day since Ellie is able to eat more than before. Then, Massan and Mike arrive carrying a box. They open it, and inside is Ellie's wedding dress. Ellie gets up, aided by the others, to checks the dress on a full-length mirror. Massan tells her to get healthy soon, so they can hold their wedding any time. Ema and Mike wish her good health, and Ellie says thank you. Then, Ellie asks Massan that they go for a walk outside. They protest, saying it's cold outside but Ellie insists. They grant her wish...

Outside, Massan and Ellie are walking slowly on a snowy road. Massan is of course, holding his wife to support her, in case she falls. But then, it was him who slips on the snow and falls. They both laugh. Behind them, Ema and Mike are following the older couple at a considerable distance. Mike takes photos of the couple and comments what a lovely pair they are. Ema agrees, and says she is proud of her parents. Then Mike suddenly proposes to her, saying that they'll be happy together as a married couple. At first, Ema is so surprised she wasn't able to say anything for several seconds. Then she suddenly calls for her mom and dad, and runs to them. Mike shouts and runs after her. "Wait, Ema!" Don't tell them yet! You have to give me your answer first!" When Ema reaches her parents, she is about to tell them something when Ellie again suddenly faints and falls down on the snow... (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.149 Synopsis
Ellie wakes up in her room, on her futon. She is surrounded by everyone, including Satoru and his family. Her grandkids are calling her, worriedly. Ellie turns to Ema, and asks her what she was supposed to say before Ellie fainted. Ema tells her that she and Mike are now engaged, and would like to have her and Massan's permission. Massan asks Mike if he's serious about Ema, and to promise to make her happy. Mike says yes. Ellie tears up, happy that they decide to tie the knot, and wishes them both happiness. Her grandkids ask about Ellie's wedding with Massan. Emi wishes to wear her kimono on her wedding day so they encourage her to get better so they can hold the event soon. Ellie smiles and says yes. She tells them she loves all of them, and wishes to be alone with her husband now. They all leave except for Massan.

Ellie hands her love letter to Massan, and tells him to not read it, until after she has "gone to heaven." Massan says yes.

In the next room, Ema slumps on her bed, crying. Mike is there to comfort her.

A weak Ellie tells her husband that she is very happy, and had an adventurous life. "Still dying is also a new adventure, right?" Massan nods sadly. She tells him he had always been busy, and now finally they can take it slow and talk. So the couple spend their last moments together, talking, and reminiscing about the past. They also laugh and look at old pictures, with Ellie sitting up on her futon, being cradled in Massan's arms. Finally, Ellie looks very tired and weak. He lays her down on the futon and asks if she needs something to drink. Ellie says she only wants him beside her. She apologizes for not being able to make it for their wedding, but Massan says not to worry about it. However, Ellie says she was very happy during their wedding day. She is referring to the day they registered their wedding in Scotland before they left for Japan. A flashback scene is shown of that moment. After the papers have been signed, and when they were alone, a young Massan told Ellie that she gives him courage. Ellie: "You give me courage, too." Massan: "Once we live together, I will overcome anything, no matter what." Ellie: "I will love you and continue to love you until death do us part." And the two exchange a long lingering kiss.

The end is near for Ellie. For her final moments, she thanks Massan for keeping his promise (presumably the one about not dying ahead of Ellie). She says, if she is reborn, she would want to be his bride all over again. Massan, already crying profusely, replies, "Of course." She asks that he see her off with a smile, so Massan tries to smile (his funny "business smile") amid his tears, making Ellie laugh a bit. Ellie: "I love you..." Massan: "Me, too." As Ellie closes her eyes, he holds her hand, and asks her not to let go. Ellie is able to utter a yes. Then, Massan feels her hand loosening and she stops responding. Ellie has finally passed away. (~synopsis by ec)
Massan Ep.150 Synopsis
After Ellie's funeral, a paper that says "In mourning" is attached on the gate of the house. A depressed Massan is holing himself up in his room for days. A portrait of Ellie is displayed at the altar. Ema comes in to check on her father. He is sitting on the floor, staring into space. There are photos scattered around him. Ema asks how long he's going to stay in his room. It is dark so she draws the curtains back to let the sunshine in. Massan stares at the window. Ema tells him to try and eat with them soon, and leaves. Massan sees the letter from Ellie on top of the dresser. He gets it, and opens it. He reads the words of thanks from Ellie. The letter continues: "When you read this, I know your heart will be breaking, and may feel disappointed. But you mustn't remain heartbroken forever. Life is an adventure. Your adventure will continue still. May it be now or always, please try and make more delicious whiskey. And someday, make a whiskey that will give people smiles all over the world. Your dream of whiskey is my dream. This is the first time I will admit it but I really do not understand the taste of whiskey. Whether it's dark, thin, burnt, smokey, I don't understand it well, most of the time. Sorry about that." Massan is smiling a bit and nods as he reads. In the letter she reminds him to prioritize his health, and to always eat meat and vegetables, and not to drink too much. Also, when she is gone, someone else will be doing the washing of dishes (probably referring to Wakako) and so he should put his plates in the sink himself. "Finally, I have one more request. Everyday, before you fall asleep, think of me. Once a day, before going to bed at night, remember me. Please say, 'Good night, Ellie' and somewhere I too will be saying 'Good night, Massan.' You may not be able to see me, but I am always with you. Do not feel lonely, my love. Thank you. Your ever loving wife, Ellie." Massan is crying as he reads. Ellie had apparently spritzed her perfume on it on the day she had written it, and Massan has detected it. He puts the letter to his nose and sniffs it, remembering his wife's scent.

The letter has encouraged Massan to be lively again. Wearing his white lab coat, he goes to the distillation room, lights some wood, and puts it in the kiln. He shovels coal, lighting up the pot stills. He has decided to start doing what he does best: making whiskey.

1971. Ten years have passed. A scene is shown from the first episode: the launching ceremony of Super Ellie. The sign board reads: "Best Scotch-style Whiskey Special Award Gala". British Ambassador Jones (Charles Glover) gets up on stage and makes a speech. In a special seat in the audience, 80 year old Massan is looking up at the stage, staring at a picture of Ellie. He sings softly to himself Ellie's favorite song, "Auld Lang Syne."

After the ceremoney, Massan goes to visit Ellie's grave. Her grave has the inscription: "In loving memory of Ellie Kameyama" and her motto: "Life is an adventure". Massan presents a bottle of Super Ellie, and pours it into two glasses set on her grave. He says thank you to her gravestone and drinks one of the glasses. A close-up of the bottle is shown. It seems the bottle's neck is decorated with a design of a thimble, symbolizing the one that Ellie cherished and worn around her neck. Massan then, attaches the necklace with the thimble pendant on Ellie's tombstone, as well as the silver coin (from the Christmas party) on it. He imagines hearing Ellie calling his name and turns around, and stares into the horizon. Flashback scenes of their many moments together are shown. The drama ends as a scene is shown of the young Massan and Ellie promising not to let go of each other's hands and walking off into the far distance. (~synopsis by ec)

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by kathia_sophia » Apr 3rd, '15, 22:23

Thank you all! I'm finally able to watch Massan :D I'm going to see week 8 right now, and I'm loving the show. I must say Charlotte's acting of Ellie is superb. It might be me, but why westerners act so poorly and fake on doramas? I must say that Massan is the only one that is amazing. Ellie is excelent and shows lots of emotions. As for her japanese, it's impressive to study the script even without speaking the language or even saying words you don't know the meaning. But I hope her accent gets better with time, it's good now, but I bet at the end it should be amazing.
I've been wondering, we'll ever get to see Charlie? I mean, Catherine's husband. I'm really curious about him.
What about Yuko? When I was finally enjoying her relashionship with Ellie, she gets married. I wonder if she'll have more screentime.
There is a character that I'm fond of: Sumire. She's so sweet and she really likes her foreign sister-in-law. It's a pity she doesn't appear much.
Great Asadora!!! Massan was a hit as well, it got 21.1% in rating. If you're wondering about the other Asadoras ratings, please check below:
2014 - Massan (21.1)
2014 - Hanako to Anne (22.6)
2013 - Gochisousan (22.4)
2013 - Amachan (20.6)
2012 - Jun to Ai (17.1)
2012 - Umechan Sensei (20.7)
2011 - Carnation (19.1)
2011 - Ohisama (18.8 )
2010 - Teppan (17.2)
2010 - Gegege no Nyobo (18.6)

I've seen all of the period asadoras since Gegege (not Umechan yet, there are no english subtitles). I've no interest on nowadays setting pieces, such as Teppan, Jun to Ai, Amachan and now Mare, and it's curious in fact that the period ones are the most successfull. Also, it is said that it was thanks to Gegege no Nyobo that Asadora got the so awaiting revival.
I must say that Massan is the best Asadora when it comes to the ending pictures. So lovely to show international couples! I LOVE IT!

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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by snoozey2 » Apr 14th, '15, 22:04

A handful of stills from the first spinoff SP... :wink:
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Re: [Discussion] Massan

Post by dhisashi » Apr 14th, '15, 23:01

snoozey2 wrote:A handful of stills from the first spinoff SP... :wink:
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I hope Heiwa subs these, but if not how about earthcolors subbing? :-)

:D :D :D

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