Yasuko Matsuyuki to play twin sisters in movie "Koto"
Matsuyuki Yasuko will be playing twin sisters for the first time in the new movie "Koto" (Ancient Capital) which is based on Kawabata Yasunari's novel and was made into movies in 1963 and 1980 which featured Iwashita Shima and Yamaguchi Momoe respectively. The 1963 version was nominated for the Best Foreign Movie category in the Academy Awards while the 1980 version was Yamaguchi's retirement work. In this latest version, it will feature the story about the adult lives of the twin sisters who were separated at birth which was not mentioned in the novel.
The movie will be set in Kyoto where the elder sister Chieko is the heir of a traditional kimono shop while the younger sister Naeko lives in the mountains and works in the forestry industry. While living lives dedicated to traditional trades, their lives are portrayed through their interaction with their daughters played by Hashimoto Ai and Narumi Riko. Hashimoto plays Chieko's daughter who is troubled over whether to take over the kimono shop from her mother while Narumi plays Naeko's daughter who is studying art in a Paris university.
Filming began in November last year at Kyoto with the support of the Kyoto Prefectural and Kyoto City governments and at Paris. The movie is directed by Yuki Saito who learned film production in Hollywood and will be screened in Kyoto first from 26 November before its nationwide release from 3 December.
As preparation for the filming, the staff prepared tea ceremony equipment and kimonos which are worth more than JPY 20m. Matsuyuki and Hashimoto also had to begin training in learning how to wear the kimono, the Kyoto dialect and the tea ceremony one month before the filming started. Narumi recounted that she had enjoyed the filming in Paris and was glad to have worked with the local staff.