During my flight to Korea late last year, Oto Na Ri was one of the featured films. Instead of sleeping throughout the flight, I decided to watch this film, after all I am into not-so-popular films. There were other films but the synopsis of this film got me interested.
Satoshi and Nanao know about each other's existence by the sounds their neighbor makes through the thin wall. Even though they do pay attention to the sounds next door, they actually have never met each other, or make any attempt to meet the other person. The movie tells two separate stories that happen in parallel and focuses on the lives of two people approaching their thirties, and the doubts they have about work, life, and love. more here
I also thought that maybe after watching this film, I could learn more about Japan. And I was right. The movie was simple, as summarized above. It’s about a photographer and a florist being neighbors for a long time but didn’t have the chance to see each other. In other countries, this scenario seems impossible but not here in Japan . For more than a year of residing in my present apato (apartment), I still have no idea who my neighbors are, what they look like. Sometimes the corridors have an eerie feeling same as that of hospitals or chapels. Before I can reach my room, I pass regularly to at least six more doors. The sounds of shower, the smell of curry or the lights inside often tell me that, yes, I have neighbors, and I am not alone on the seventh floor.
On the said movie, there were scenes that the two characters are getting used to the “sounds” of each other. The footsteps, the key chains, the singing and the likes. The movie also showed how annoyed they were if the noise generated by each other exceeded the tolerable level. In order to let this annoyance be felt, one would knock the wall in order for the guilty one to shut up. RESPECT. Japanese are very particular with silence, especially at night time. And living in an apato, you need to be extra cautious. I missed this one terribly.
echo of footstep
leading to eternity
a golden silence
leading to eternity
a golden silence
Yesterday, I received an unexpected phone call from a Japanese guy. Since I can’t understand what he was saying, I politely asked one of my officemates to answer it on my behalf. The guy was the landlord of the apato where I stay. He informed my officemate about the complaint of my neighbors, yes, neighbors (plural form). He mentioned two things, one, just before the year ended, I invited some of my friends to celebrate my birthday, we were up until morning but if I remember correctly, we kept our voices at minimum, a little louder than whispers. Though occasionally there was uncontrolled laughter which greatly bothered my neighbors, according to him. It may be more than a month ago, but I guess, they didn’t forget. So no more overnight invitation for the time being.
Second one was about the volume of music from my room. I must admit that I always listen to some music every night, but I thought it’s not that loud. It would be boring if I will only listen to drips of the faucet or the wind outside my window. Music was my company at night. But after hearing that particular complaint, I guess I’ll have to use my earphones from now on. My neighbors may file a petition and will kick me out of the apartment if I won’t listen to their complaints. Being a foreigner, I guess I’ll have to do necessary adjustments, to adapt with their culture and way of living.
But I just hope and pray that I won’t be receiving any complaints regarding the sound of my alarm clocks. If it'll happen, this time, I will cry foul!