High school student Ito lives in rural Aomori prefecture in northern Japan. Teased at school for her thick accent and Tsugaru dialect she has become introverted and afraid to speak. Her only creative outlet is the shamisen, which she learned to play in the style of her mother and grandmother. When Ito sees a job advertisement for a ‘maid cafe’ in Aomori, she sees this as an opportunity to break free of her shyness. Aomori’s only maid cafe is a bit different from the ones in Tokyo, and desperate for a new waitress, Ito gets hired on the spot.

Slowly but surely Ito begins to emerge from her shell. But when disaster strikes on the job it may be the shamisen that rescues her (and the cafe) after all. Grand Prize Winner at the Osaka Asian Film Festival, this sophomore film from director Satoko Yokohama is charming and heartfelt. Director Yokohama, herself an Aomori native, captures a sense of authenticity in the film, solidified by the breakout performance of the young Ren Komai as Ito.

-Anna Page



Online Access

Access Window: November 4, 2021 - November 28, 2021
Passholder Access: All Access, Limited Virtual, Supporter, Hale Virtual Festival, Individual
Only Accessible from: USA

Live Stream

Film Details

DIRECTOR(S)Satoko Yokohama
PRODUCER(S)Ryuichi Matsumura
SCREENWRITER(S)Satoko Yokohama
CASTRen Komai , Daimao Kosaka, Mei Kurokawa

You Might Also Like:

Film Details

PREMIERE STATUS: Return Engagement
YEAR: 2021
RUN TIME: 116 Minutes
LANGUAGE: Japanese, with English subtitles


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin