Chika Araki stars in Kyoshi Sugita's film "Mr. Haruhara's Song", which won the triple crown at the 32nd Marseille International Film Festival! Reported the award to her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Yamada of Hokuryu Town!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

On July 25, at the 32nd Marseille International Film Festival held in France, Kyoshi Sugita's "Haruhara-san's Song" (starring actor Chika Araki) won the Grand Prix in the International Competition, the Actor Award (starring Chika Araki), and the Audience Award.

This is the first Japanese film in the history of the Marseille International Film Festival to win the Grand Prix. Congratulations!

杉田協士監督『春原さんのうた』海外版ポスター(C)Genuine Lig東京都内でht Pictures
International poster for Kyoshi Sugita's "Haruhara-san's Song" (C)Genuine Light Pictures

Haruhara-san's Song" is a new Japanese film unlike any other.

The film "Mr. Haruhara's Songs" is based on the title song of writer and poet Naoko Azuma's first book of poetry, "Mr. Haruhara's Recorder.

The film expresses an unseen, emotional thing that makes us think of and lean toward someone else by sensing the consciousness that flows through the ordinary events of daily life.

The Grand Prix winner, Kyoshi Sugita's "Haruhara-san's Song," was highly acclaimed as "an unprecedented new Japanese film full of mystery and surprise," and as "a program that is the complete opposite of Cannes in its radicalness and strong artistic orientation that does not flatter the French film industry.Adapted from an article by Nanako Tsukidate(See Section 2.1.2.).

This film is New Year 2022 in Japan,Polepole Higashi-Nakano(Nakano-ku, Tokyo), and will be open to the public.

Chika Araki

Chika Araki's grandparents live in Hokuryu Town

Chika Araki, who played the main character Sachi in the film, is from Takikawa City. Her parents are both school teachers. Chika's grandparents are Takao and Chieko Yamada, who live in Hokuryu Town.

Story by Chika Araki

Attended an interview with Kita Sorachi Shimbun newspaper

This time, I had the pleasure of sitting in on an interview with Atsushi Shima, a reporter for the Kita Sorachi Shimbun newspaper, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Yamada. Mr. Shima is a well-known actor who belongs to Fukagawa City's "Fukagawa Shimin Gekidan" (Fukagawa Citizens' Theater Company). The interview was conducted as only an active actor can.

Mayor Yutaka Sano, who lives nearby, also came to congratulate us.

Chika Araki being interviewed by Atsushi Shima, a reporter of Kita Sorachi Shimbun

Profile of Chika Araki

Born in Takikawa City (July 18, 1995, age 26), he graduated from Takikawa Municipal Kaisei Junior High School, Hokkaido Takikawa High School, and Tama Art University, Department of Theatre and Dance Design, Faculty of Fine Arts.

Pre-Corona movie scenarios are set in Hokkaido

I have been active mainly on the stage, and this is the first time for me to act in a film, so I still don't feel that I have won an award. The film was cranked in early August of last year. We started there, and the filming took place in Tokyo with a small group of people wearing masks due to the Corona disaster.

In fact, the scenario for the movie was ready before it became Corona. It was set in Takikawa City, Hokkaido, and it involved going back and forth between Takikawa City and a museum in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo. However, due to Corona, we could no longer shoot in Hokkaido, so we had to shoot in Tokyo.

Kyoshi Sugita Offer from Director

When I went to see Director Sugita's "Hikari no Uta (a feature film consisting of four chapters based on four tanka poems)," I was having surgery to adjust my jaw bite and my jaw was very swollen. Director Sugita, who knew me, asked me, "Who are you? I was asked by Director Sugita, who knew me, "Who are you?

At that time, Director Sugita told me, 'When your jaw is completely healed, let's make a movie to commemorate the completion of your jaw surgery,'" says Chika.

Harmonious shooting scene

The director created a very relaxed mood during the actual filming of the movie. The film was shot with a small crew (four people: cameraman, lighting, sound, and director) and a few actors, all in a relaxed atmosphere.

Response to my first film performance

The director told me to "just be myself," so I acted naturally, as if I were having a normal conversation, without thinking too much. Shooting a movie was a completely different experience from the stage.

Unexpected results

I was very surprised at the unexpected result. Everyone commented on how wonderful I looked and behaved.

Chika's natural behavior is bright and gentle.

Elementary and junior high school years when I was awakened to theater

My mother encouraged me to participate in the Takikawa Citizens' Musical "Ai to Chikyu to Auctioneer," which was staged at the Takikawa Civic Hall in August 2001. When I performed in the show, the standing ovation at the end was impressive, and I remember being very happy.

Since then, he has performed in the fourth grade school play "Gongitsune" and musicals. At the junior high school festival, she played the leading role.

Elementary, middle, and high school days filled with basketball

When I was in junior high school, we didn't have a basketball club. So, while belonging to the table tennis club, I got together after school with members who had played basketball together in elementary school. We formed a basketball club with our volunteer friends and had a lot of fun. Even after I entered high school, my life was still full of basketball," he says.

University days at Tama Art University, where he started his theater career in earnest.

Graduated from Tama Art University in March 2018.

I decided to apply to Tama Art University after hearing from a friend that it had a theater club. Tama Art just started a theater club, and I am a first-year student in the Department of Theater and Dance Design. I learned the basics of fine arts in the first and second years, and in the third and fourth years I learned to create plays as a student. At the time, I was asked to perform in outside productions, and I experienced the stage with my seniors.

These experiences led me to decide to pursue acting and acting as an actor. The activities of the Tama Art University theater club have led me to where I am today, and I am grateful to my friends for recommending it to me," says Chika.

The path to becoming an actor that exists through connections with others

I am where I am today thanks to the recommendations and connections of my teachers and seniors from my days at Tama Art University. I feel that I have followed the path of becoming an actor in a natural way.

I have never auditioned before and have come this far through connections with other people, such as receiving offers. My teacher at Tama Art University was also the leader of a theater company, so most of my connections are through that kind of relationship.

After graduation, I did not find a job, but appeared on stage one after another as I was called upon. Currently, I do not belong to any theater company or office, but work as a freelancer.

Winner of the Best Dancer Award

I have also been in a dance performance. which was held at Kyoto Art Center on March 11 and 12 this year.KYOTO CHOREOGRAPHY AWARD2020I won the Best Dancer Award (for my performance in "Balance," choreographed by Ono and Nakazawa) at the "Ono & Nakazawa" competition," he said.

Future Plans, Goals, and Dreams

Next year, in January 2022, he will be performing on stage in Tokyo. In addition, I have been invited to participate in a film festival overseas. And my biggest dream these days is to appear in a commercial for my favorite company, TIFFAL!

My target actress is Sakura Ando. I would like to challenge myself in various fields in the future. There is no genre that I am particular about, not limited to the stage. I would like to try various activities and participate in anything as long as I can create wonderful works.

I also like design and calligraphy, so I would like to do art exhibits, etc.," he said.

I would like to challenge myself in various fields!

The story of Takao Yamada's grandfather (81 years old)

祖父 山田孝雄さん
Grandfather Takao Yamada

Takao Yamada received a certificate of appreciation from the Hokkaido Police this June 2021 (served as a Hokuryu Town traffic safety instructor for 17 years). He is good at karaoke and woodworking crafts.

When Chika-chan was little, she used to enjoy forming comedy duos with her friends. Ever since she was little, she loved to entertain everyone in front of everyone," said Grandpa Takao, reminiscing about Chika's childhood.

I remember one time I performed a comedy routine in front of the junior members of the basketball team. Rather than being amused, they listened intently and applauded my story," recalls Chika nostalgically.

Grandma Chieko Yamada (80 years old)

Grandma Chieko Yamada excels at dancing and Western-style dressmaking.

祖母 山田智恵子さん
Grandmother Chieko Yamada

Chika-chan has been a neighbor since she was a little girl.Grandpa Dr. Murakami(95 years old), and she has learned calligraphy and received a magnificent brush as well. I was surprised when she put her foot in the ink and drew a calligraphy during a calligraphy performance," said Grandma Chieko.

Chika Araki is an accomplished calligrapher and has been asked to write letters on signboards, and since her college days, she has also performed her own calligraphy performance in which she draws letters with a large brush while dancing.

Chika's performance photo

Calligraphy Performance & Creative Dance

The walls of the Yamada family's living room are decorated with photos of calligraphy performances and creative dance.

書道パフォーマンス & 創作ダンス等の写真
Photos of Calligraphy Performance & Creative Dance etc.

Ishikari River T-shirt designed by Chika

Takao Yamada's favorite T-shirt was designed by Chika. The design is said to represent the flow of the Ishikari River.

Grandpa Takao using a T-shirt designed by Chika

Congratulatory message from Mayor Yutaka Sano

Congratulations! She is indeed a wonderful young lady! We hope to have the opportunity to work with you in the future.

As a surprise, the mayor of the town, who lives nearby, presented a bouquet of flowers!

Mayor Sano presents a bouquet of flowers

Chika has been entertaining others with her love of comedy since she was a child, and has excelled at basketball, dance, calligraphy, design, and other versatile talents!

With great love, gratitude, and prayers to the lovely Chika Araki, who is bright, free-spirited, and expresses herself as she is in an unlimitedly natural way.

We would like to congratulate Ms. Chika Araki on winning the triple crown at the Marseille International Film Festival and wish her continued success in her endeavors!

Congratulations on winning the Triple Crown at the Marseille International Film Festival!

Related Articles and Websites

Hokuryu Town Portal

Thursday, July 29, 2021 Chika Araki, 26, grandson of Takao Yamada, 81, a resident of Hokuryu Town, France,...

Haruhara-san's Song," the third feature film by Kyoshi Sugita, director of "Hitori no Uta" and "Hikari no Uta," will be released in the spring of 2022....

◇ Photography and Editing: Noboru Terauchi Reporting and Writing: Ikuko Terauchi