• Japan In Focus

Tour of Locations from the Movie “Tsugaru Lacquer Girl” Held in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shoji Matsuyama, left, speaks about things that happened while filming the movie in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, on Nov. 11.

HIROSAKI, Aomori — A tour of filming locations from the movie “Baka nuri no musume (Tsugaru Lacquer Girl),” set in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, was held on Nov. 11.

Sixteen participants, mainly fans of the movie, visited the locations, including a Tsugaru-style lacquerware studio where the characters worked.

The story of the movie depicts a craftsman of Tsugaru-style lacquerware and his daughter. The movie began screenings in Aomori on Aug. 25, prior to other prefectures. It was still in theaters in and outside the prefecture as of Nov. 11.

A shuttered elementary school, a supermarket, a flower shop and other locations appear in the movie with their real names.

The Aomori prefectural government organized the tour and an official of the Hirosaki Film Commission, which assisted in filming, served as the tour guide.

The participants toured 14 locations by bus.

One of the sites in the city, Matsuyama Urushi Kobo studio, was used as an important location in the film where the father and daughter quietly worked.

Shoji Matsuyama, owner of the studio who also supervised scenes in the movie, joked about things that happened while filming. “In the movie, a Tsugaru lacquerware craftsman is a job which cannot earn a real living, but the reality is different.”

A woman in her 70s from Aomori City who participated in the tour said, “After listening to the craftsmen, I feel like Tsugaru lacquerware has great potential to grow. Now I want to watch the movie again.”