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  • Writer's picturePhillip Radcliffe

Movie Review: Shiawase No Pan (Shining Hearts)

By Yuto Maruya

The movie Shiawase No Pan (Shining Hearts) is about people who have a problematic marriage, but eventually find happiness. It was released in 2011. Tomoyo Haraada and Yoh Oizumi play the main characters. The story is about the Mizushima couple who moved from Tokyo to Tsukiura, Hokkaido. They started a bread cafe called “Mani'' on a hill overlooking a lake. The location was filmed in Toyako, Hokkaido. One way to enjoy this movie is to feel the four seasons of Hokkaido. You can enjoy the scenery as well as learn about dishes using seasonal ingredients.

Tsukiura is located at Lake Toya in Hokkaido. In the movie, he opens a cafe near Lake Toya. Lake Toya is rich in nature and famous as a tourist destination. The film’s story is divided into spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The name of the cafe comes from the picture book (Moon and Mani).

One summer day, a woman who was dumped by her boyfriend and canceled her trip to Okinawa and instead goes to Okinawa and instead goes to this cafe. Her depressed heart is gradually healed by the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Mizushima and a local young man. One autumn day, an elementary school girl stands alone at a bus stop. Sensing that she is refusing to go to school, Mizushima's wife invites her in and serves her hot milk. Eventually, the girl's father comes to visit, and together with Mizushima and his wife, they help her to solve her problems.

One snowy day, Mizushima receives a phone call from an elderly couple at the nearby station. They are reminiscing about their honeymoon 50 years ago and want to see the moon, but it seems that's not their only purpose. A few months later, A few months later, the snow has melted and spring has arrived. The letter carrier delivers a thank you note from an old couple. Soon after that, Mizushima and his wife were blessed with their first pregnancy. The town of Tsukiura has only 75 households and a population of 193 people. Tsukiura is famous for mountain climbing, farming and camping.

The lead actor, Oizumi, is from Hokkaido. In 1994, after two years of wandering, Oizumi entered the economics department of Hokkai Gakuen University. At the same time, he belonged to the Theater Research Department. He was originally an entertainer who worked mainly in Hokkaido. In 1996, Oizumi, Totsugi, Otoo, Morisaki and Yasuda formed a team called Naxx. Oizumi became famous through the show “Suiyou Doudeshou.” In 2004, Oizumi moved to Tokyo, and in 2009, he married the drama producer, Kumiko Nakajima.

The lead actress, Tomoyo Harada, was born in 1967 and is 54 years old. She was born in Nagasaki Prefecture and started ballet at the age of two. Originally a singer, she sold 1.94 million copies of her single in 2005. The catchphrase of this movie is “Every time we share, we come to understand each other.” It means that if we share our worries as we share our bread, we will all be able to understand each other.


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