Based on Saburo Kawamoto’s autobiographical novel “My Back Page: Aru 60-nendai no Monogatari” (A Story of Life in the 60s), the film is set during the student protests at Tokyo University. At the time, Kawamoto was working as a journalist covering the protests, which were in reaction to the Japanese government’s tolerance of US involvement in the Vietnam War and the use of Okinawa as a staging ground for that war.
Satoshi Tsumabuki plays a reporter named Sawada who interviews protesters and collects data on behalf of the editorial department of a weekly publication. As tensions ramp up in the late 60s, he meets a young activist who introduces himself as “Umeyama” (Kenichi Matsuyama), although his real name turns out to be Katagiri. Katagiri tells him “Guns and other weapons are being gathered. In April, we’ll take action.”
Sawada has serious misgivings about Katagiri, but the two men strike up a strange rapport during a uniquely turbulent era.
“My Back Page” will be released in Japan on May 28, 2011.