Synopsis: Daigo Kobayashi is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and now finds himself without a job. Daigo decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled "Departures" thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a "Nokanshi" or "encoffineer," a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of "Nokanshi," acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living.
Genre: Drama, Music
Director(s): Yôjirô Takita
Production: Regent Releasing
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
130 min

U.S. Academy Award 2009 (OSCAR)

The Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Another 28 international prizes

and 4 nominations

Winters didn't feel this cold...

... when I was a child.

It's almost two weeks since

I returned to Yamagata from Tokyo.

Now that I think of it,

I've lead such an unremarkable life.

Please, this way!

Coming in!

My condolences!

We are here to assist you with encoffining.

May I light up the incense?


Thank you for coming!

Looks like she's still alive.

Probably charcoal-burning suicide.

How can you tell?

The body is undamaged.

This is what happens when someone

is discovered immediately

after death in a cold car.

What a waste, she's beautiful.

Do you want to try?


For the deceased's peaceful departure,

I will now commence

the rite of encoffinment.

Everyone, please see her off from up close.

I will now begin the cleansing.

It has the thing.

What thing?

The thing.

What thing?

You know, the thing...

Err... May I have a word with you?

Yes, what is it?

After the cleansing,

we apply makeup on the deceased...

We have different makeups

for male and female...

Oh... please wait.


Sis, which makeup

do you want for Tomeo?

Men's or girl's?

Come on, which one?

If I gave birth to

a girl from the start,

this would've never happened.

But thanks to someone's seed...

Girl's is fine then?


Female's, please!





Not many in the audience again today.

Yeah, they should put

more effort into advertising.

I know.

Let's make a homepage for the orchestra.

My wife is a web designer.

I'll make her do it for free.

What do you think?

More importantly,

are you going to be fine?

About what?

Next, the next.

Next what?

You spent so much money on that.

Got to start looking for the next one.

Good performance again, everyone!

Good work everyone!

Although the seats were empty...

I think your performances were great.

Um... actually...

... today...

... the owner of this orchestra,

Mr. Sonezaki...

... has something to tell you.

So, please give him your attention!


... disbanded!

See ya!

I finally became

an orchestra member.

But it became

a past memory in a flash.

This cello is innocent.

Only because it was bought

by a loser like me,

it lost its job.

In many ways...

this cello was too heavy for me.

Thank you very much!

Please cook it immediately.


Good bye!

I'm home!

Welcome back!

She gave me an octopus.

I just happened to see our neighbor.

They just caught it this morning.

What's wrong?


What is?

My orchestra.

I see...

You just have to find the next one.

There won't be a next one.

Someone with my skill level

can only go so far...

and there's the debt for this cello.

How much?

Don't worry, if it's just

around 10,000 yen,

I can pay it back with my job.

Pros all spend that much...

It's relatively cheap.

Why did you hide it from me?

I knew you'd be against it.

Why didn't you tell me

about something so important?

I'm sorry.

I'll make dinner.

"All the cities around the world

are our new homes.

Let's live together

on a musical tour."

Those were the words

of my marriage proposal.

But the reality is harsh.

No, I should've realized

the limit to my talent a lot sooner.

What happened?

This octopus is alive!

You're right. It's alive.

Hey, Dai...

what should we do?

Don't get caught again.


I think I'll quit.

Quit what?


What will you do then?

Go back to the countryside...

in Yamagata.

I vote yes!


You don't mind?

Well, the house your mom left you...

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"Departures" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 24 May 2020. <>.

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