August 23, 2017
American Bestselling Novel Becomes Movie In Japan
An American bestseller, The Pearls of the Stone Man by Edward Mooney Jr. has been adapted for the big screen in Japan. The title of the movie is 愛を積む人（Ai Wo Tsumu Hito) means “The Man Who Built with Blocks of Love”. The movie stars Kanako Higuchi and Koichi Sato and is directed by Yuzo Asahara. The story set is the village of Bie, in Hokkaido. The movie was released in Japan on June 20th.
During the panel on June 20th, Yoko Higuchi, the actress who played Ryoko, the wife of the main character, read a surprise letter written by the wife of Sato Koichi, the actor who starred in the film. Sato had no knowledge that his wife had written the letter, or that it would be read during the panel. As the letter was read, Higuchi began crying because she was so touched. Sato too could not keep tears from his eyes.
Below is the letter.
“Dear Koichi. I’m guessing that you are so surprised that your heart might burst from your chest. Sorry. Today will be the third time I’ve seen the film, and I’m probably sobbing in my seat. I’ve been wondering what would I do if I were to die before you, my husband.
Would I be able to tell a white lie to you and our sons like Ryoko did in the film?
Would I be able to maintain my dignity, strongly until the last moment?
Would I be generous enough to forgive young people who, in their immaturity, commit crimes?
Would I be able to write a sweet letter imaging the time after I’m gone?
I don’t know if I have the confidence to do that.
Soon after we married, I told you that if I die before you, I want you to make the movie you always wanted, using the insurance money.
At that time I was young, and death seemed so far from me.
But I still felt I would pass before you.
Now, I am different. You cannot do anything but be an actor. Just like Atsushi, your passion is your life. If I die and leave you alone, it would devastate your manager at the agency and everyone who works in the movie industry. When I think of this, I think I could never die before you.
Through this movie, I felt from deep in my heart that life is finite, and ordinary daily lives can disappear. I would like to spend the time I have left cherishing my family and the people important to me so that I will have no regrets in my last moment. I will never forget the words “I will be on your side for the rest of my life,” which you wrote in the letter you gave me 23 years ago. You are my number one supporter, and because of that, I can overcome anything. Let’s continue to build our love, our family, with many smiles, and lots of laughter.
The Man Who Built with Blocks of Love is a movie which will make an impression, not only in married couples, but also with troubled youth, children, and young couples. I hope that many people will see this movie, and I hope that it will be the catalyst for them to shed light on their relationships with the important people in their lives. Koichi, I promise I will live longer than you so that I will not leave you alone.