entertainment

Death of a Japanese Salesman

18 Comments

Ready for a good cry? Check out the documentary “Ending Note” which is currently in theaters. It tells the story of Tomoaki Sunada, a man who has been passionate toward his work all his life and a control freak. Shortly after he retires, he learns that he has terminal stomach cancer.

Sunada makes a notebook full of things he has never done, such as vote for a party other than the LDP, say “I love you” to his wife, go on a family trip, and so on. His daughter films him doing all these things, showing a humorous side to his character.

The documentary was shown at last month’s San Sebastian International Film Festival, where it was titled “Death of a Japanese Salesman.” It is a story that makes us consider how important life is.

It is playing at Shinjuku Piccadilly in Tokyo.

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18 Comments
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“Death of a Japanese Salesman.”

This would be a really good watch. Japanese salesman have it really tough. I'm s glad i was born overseas and have seen so many different lifestyles and I can choose my own path even though it's not a perfect life, I sleep very good at night without stress.

In Japan if you don't have stress, something is wrong with you. So that basically sums it up

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In Japan if you don't have stress, something is wrong with you. So that basically sums it up

..and foreigner here have made good 'friendship' with stress and they sleep like you 'southsakai' !

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Whether it's the film "The Bucket List" in which two guys with terminal cancer make a list of all the "crazy" things they want to do before "kicking the bucket," or whether it's the sad but heroic tale of Mr. Sunada, we often hear stories of people with 3, 6 or 12 months to live deciding to take life by the horns and grab all the gusto they can get in their remaining days.

But wouldn't it be revolutionary and very cool if all of us realized that as healthy and active and young as we might be, we, too, have a terminal condition, and that there is absolutely no difference between having 3 or 6 months to live and having 30 or 60 years. Life itself is terminal, and the sooner those of us free of disease can realize this and act accordingly (loving and living to the fullest), the richer and deeper our lives will become, as well as those around us.

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Hmmm can anyone say "Bucket List"?

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ben4shortOCT. 05, 2011 - 07:52AM JST Whether it's the film "The Bucket List" in which two guys with terminal cancer make a list of all the "crazy" things they want to do before "kicking the bucket," or whether it's the sad but heroic tale of Mr. Sunada, we often hear stories of people with 3, 6 or 12 months to live deciding to take life by the horns and grab all the gusto they can get in their remaining days. But wouldn't it be revolutionary and very cool if all of us realized that as healthy and active and young as we might be, we, too, have a terminal condition, and that there is absolutely no difference between having 3 or 6 months to live and having 30 or 60 years. Life itself is terminal, and the sooner those of us free of disease can realize this and act accordingly (loving and living to the fullest), the richer and deeper our lives will become, as well as those around us.

Excellent, Just excellent words Ben! You said it very well.

You know we are so caught up with all the things in the world that don't even really matter, or matter so little - until we realize what really matters most like our family and good friends, people around us and then it's too late. As humans it seems most of us, it's all about chasing paper till the end.

Once should realize to live each and every day to the fullest. After all as you say Life itself is terminal. We should appreciate the day now, not expecting wonderful things 30 years from now.

Some14some, I sleep very well each night because I have found peace within myself. No hate, jealousy, negative thoughts in my mind. Helps me sleep very good and say bye bye to stress. Well most of the time, I'm not perfect.

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In The Bucket List the two men decide to do things they have never done, like sky-diving, racing classic cars, sitting atop Egyptian pyramids, etc. This poor guy's 'bucket list' is telling his wife he loves her, voting for a party other than the LDP, etc. It's sad that life can be reduced to utter servitude, be it here or elsewhere, and sadder still that the lifestyle is probably what killed him.

Sounds like a good flick, though.

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I agree with ben4short. When I got diagnosed with cancer, the doc told me that I had max. 6 months. At that time, I thought about what I wanted to do too. In the end, I came to the conclusion that I didn't want to do anything extravagant and that materialistic things didn't really matter at all. I just wanted to live my daily life and take more care of people around me, listen to them more, spend quality time together. I survived the ordeal but my thoughts remain the same.

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vote for a party other than the LDP, say “I love you” to his wife, go on a family trip,

Wow, what a fascinating life he must have lived...

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Wow, combinibento, what a nasty judgmental life you must live.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sounds like this poor old fella had a brutish and stressful life. Hope he found some joy in his last days. May be a little too depressing to watch this flick. I will watch "Bucket List" instead.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Havent seen the flick, but sounds like it shud be mandatory viewing for new high school, uni grads etc & company execs shud be made to watch at least once a month.

I see & know scores of people like this guy, they live nothing lives, I have often said many Japanese simply DONT know how to enjoy life, few have any real hobbies other than booze, cigs, pachinko & sleeping. It doesnt have to be like that, at least teach the young you dont have to have a crappy life then die, you can have fun, do stuff, LIVE, what a novel idea whose time surely has to hit these shores at some point

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Watched my FIL die of lung cancer after retirement, he & my MIL basically did NOTHING most of their lives, I think HE went to Hong Kong once but basically did ZIP with wife & family, at least NOW my MIL is out doing stuff at my & my wifes prodding, took a bit but now she is doing stuff, too bad my FIL never did, you have one life only!

My brothers kids back home have lived more than most Japanese will in their entire lives in a year or two, like I said you dont have to lead lives like this salesman but FAR TOO MANY DO!

I know what I am talking about, my wife when we married said she said goodbye to her friends, I said YOU DONT HAVE TOO, so she keeps in touch, they visit, she visits them, do hobbies together etc, life can easily be much better in Japan for many, but you have to choose to do so, sadly from where I sit many dont, or wait until its almost too late, NO THANKS!

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My Dad died on a round trip from London - Hong Kong - Brisbane - Bangkok - London. Unfortunately he collapsed on the HK leg of it and I know that that will have been what peed him off more than anything - he never made it as far as Bangkok (one of his favourite places in the world that he really wanted to show to Mum) but he also died doing what he loved - travelling (well, ok, and drinking too but we wont go into that...!)

It was so sudden - one minute he was saying goodbye at the airport, and the next I got a phone call from the British embassy in HK. Live every day as if it was your last. But be nice!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

GW, unfortunately you're being way too harsh and judgmental by looking only at the exterior without having the slightest clue about the internal lives of the people you are so quick to deride. Perhaps it's time to take a deeper look.

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@ben4short, you're not wrong, but unfortunately most of us spend most of our time preoccupied with other commitments rather than "making the most" of life. carpe diem is a nice idea, but i don't think you'd want to live around people who were doing that on a daily basis; they wouldn't care about you, that's for sure...

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You better take a fool's advice and take care of your own. 'Cause one day they're here, the next day they're gone.

"New York Minute" - Don Henley

on "The End of the Innocence" album (1989)

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Sounds almost like Ikiru ..

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Wait, isn't this the same thing Steve Jobs said at the Stanford 2005 commencement speech after he learned about his condition? So, yeah, of course, if you're about to die, yeah, you can say "effit, I'm going to shed all pretense, I'm going to do all those things I held back from --I'm going to call that 23 yo girl I've been pining over, I'm going to sit down and smoke weed in front of a koban and I'm not going to give two licks."

Sure, you can do that when you have noting to lose. But, so long as you have responsibilities and a life to live, you can't just drop whatever life you have and take a galloping detour thru the roads less taken that you missed. I mean, unless you plan to drop out of life and take up wandering -some people do "fall off the face".

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