Experience dedication to a promise made...


Yoko the Cherry Blossom

The inspiring true story of a rural Japanese high school teacher's lifelong quest to create the very first artificially pollinated hybrid cherry blossom, to fulfill a promise he made to his beloved students before they were sent off to the battlefields to fight in World War II.

Based on the inspiring true story,  of the life of Masaaki Takaoka, a high school teacher in rural Japan. The time is World War II, and all Japanese are expected to collectively and faithfully support the war efforts of the military government. When Japan's defeat becomes imminent, Masaaki's beloved students get called upon to join the imperial forces' last-ditch efforts. Masaaki has no choice but to send them off, with the promise that they would all meet again under the beautiful cherry blossoms on the school grounds upon their return, yet knowing the odds of their survival are slim to none, not to mention his very deep and personal anti-war sentiment.

  • Showing as part of the Japanese Film Festival on 27 October, at 2.30pm

Prices*: Free, but bookings essential through the Hannah Playhouse. *Service fees apply to on-line bookings. Tickets are for general admission seating. See Ticketing T&Cs for the Hannah's policies on phones, photos and large items. 

Film length: approx. 1 hour and 54 mins (no interval), with English subtitles. Latecomers will be seated when appropriate. This film is rated PG - parental guidance recommended. 

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Finding the Hannah - Accessibility at the Hannah - Hannah's policies on phones, photos and large items

The Japanese Film Festival

The Japanese Film Festival 2018 is run by the Embassy of Japan in New Zealand, in cooperation with the Japan Foundation. We run this event annually, in order to encourage the growth of Japanese culture and understanding in New Zealand. Each year, we try to give the people of New Zealand some insight into the culture, customs, and traditions of Japan, alongside what is popular with Japan’s society today, through film.

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