Keiichi Hara, the Japanese film director who has been depicting Japanese culture through animation, has reached the 30th year of his career. The 2017 Tokyo International Film Festival screened all of his works, “The World of Keiichi Hara,” in a special section. Hara said in Hallyu World’s interview, “Right now, there were different works aired and I’m doing interviews. I am enjoying this moment.”
Hara’s works go by a plain and natural style by focusing on bits and pieces of life. Deemed as the successor to Yasujirō Ozu, the renowned Japanese director, Hara uses lots of nostalgic elements such as snapshot extensively, which is rare among directors.
When asked about the opportunities of the production of Miss Hokusai, one of his more popular works, he replied, “I originally like the comic book of the author Hinako Sugiura of ‘Miss Hokusai.’ I always wanted to animate her comic one day… I am not confident to challenge Hinako Sugiura’s works.”
“I think O-Ei on “Miss Hokusai” is an attractive character.” Hara likes all of his characters but O-Ei stood out the most. “She was an un-frank, overbearing, and strong woman. She had a little-complicated inferiority. She will be very frank in front of the person whom she likes. She is a contradictory role. Also, being a woman and a painter in the Edo period should have the great goal. That’s why she attracted me.”
Hara wanted to be involved in the anime world and actually did not want to be a director. “I wanted to have the performance work but I did not notice that I would be a director. I got the opportunity and had the product. I kept doing and living in the world of the anime… I wanted to put it into my work and gave it to next generation. I wanted to give my passions to next generation.”
Hara gave his final words and message to the children, “The cruel and malicious things are existence and everyone will face them in the world… children also will face them. I do not want to let everyone to see the cruelty of the world… I want to let people have the hope that living is a great thing.”
More videos in the special program “Hyesoo in Japan“: