November 08, 12 | Takako Chiba
Have you ever seen the movie "The Yellow Handkerchief"?
"The Yellow Handkerchief," directed by Yoji Yamada, was released in 1977 and starred Ken Takakura, Chieko Baisho, Tetsuya Takeda, and Kaori Momoi. This movie, called a timeless classic by many, was shot right here in Yubari, Hokkaido.
I'm not going to talk about the plot of the movie, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet. But I would like to tell you about this location, "The Yellow Handkerchief" Memorial Square, taken from one of the movie's most moving scenes. Here, among the nostalgic wooden houses, lies the memory of Yubari's coal mining history. On exhibition is a car from the movie, explanations of different shooting locations, and a room recreating a scene from the movie.
Mr. Kurata, from the Yubari Resort Company, told us "Of course many visitors are fans of the movie, but we also have many people come out because they want to write a message card. Every year we get about 15,000 visitors."
Of course, visitors are able to relive parts of the movie here, but perhaps the best part of the visit is writing a yellow message card.
Once a year the message cards are transferred from the walls to the ceiling to make room for others to post their own card. So before you know it, your card will be buried underneath the messages of others.
If you take time and read the messages already posted, you’ll find some incredible things. There are some with thoughts from the movie or which talk about Hokkaido, but the large majority are filled with Buddhist prayers. Well being of family, the hopes of young lovers, dreams for our childrens' future, and many more messages fill the walls. It was very easy to completely lose track of time while reading.
That such profound messages could be left here, all because of the movie "The Yellow Handkerchief," really made me appreciate the film even more. I made sure to leave a message from Hokkaido LIkers, on behalf of all those who like the page.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit this spot, see if you can find the Hokkaido LIkers message card while you're there!
(Memory Square from "The Yellow Handkerchief")
Location: Hiyoshi 5, Yubari
TEL : 0123‐52‐3456 (Yubari Resort Reservation Center)
■ Hours of Operation: 9:30-17:00
(Due to a time delay between the original Japanese article and the translation, I'm sorry to say that this location was open until November 4th of this year. But if you're interested in going, it will be open again next year! Please contact the number above for more information.)
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)
(Photographs provided by Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Megane)