Chonmage Purin

Yoshihiro Nakamura / Japan / 2010 / 109 min / Japanese with English subtitles / color / digital / West Coast Premiere


Audience Award, 2011 New York Asian Film Festival
Audience Award, 2011 Fantastic Fest

Manga-based A BOY AND HIS SAMURAI has it all: a samurai, a cute little boy, mouthwatering pastries, and even time travel! Suitable for all ages, the film serves a wildly entertaining and enchanting tale starring one of Japan’s biggest TV heartthrobs Ryo Nishikido.

An Edo-period samurai named Kajima (Nishikido) ends up being “spirited away” to present day Tokyo where he is understandably lost and confused. Single-mom Yusa and her 6-year old son Tomoyo take in the lost samurai and offer food and shelter, although not seriously believing yet that he has time-traveled.

Not long after, Kajima steps into the role of a surrogate father, as Yusa repeatedly works late at the office, and learns to master every domestic duty from laundry to dishes. Then through Tomoya’s fondness for custard, Kajima makes a profound discovery, even claiming that the custard must be from the heavens. While mom is making progress up the chain at her work, the boy and the samurai stay home and master the art of pastry-making. After they enter a highly competitive cake contest together, their world turns upside down – Kajima is discovered by a top upscale restaurant, and an opportunity he can’t refuse threatens to tear the family dynamic apart.

A BOY AND HIS SAMURAI recently won the Audience Award at the New York Asian Film Festival and it is easy to see why. With sincere lead performances and a heartfelt storyline that also touches on the role of women in modern Japanese society, it is audience-pleasing without dumbing down. Among all the choices in this year’s Japan Spotlight, this endearing and visually appetizing box-office hit with strong family values is not one to miss. – Mye Hoang

Co-presented by: Anime Conji, Buddhist Temple of San Diego, Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego, Lighthouse Magazine, Mochi Cafe, San Diego Japanese American Citizens League, UCSD MASA


  • Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
  • Writer: Yoshihiro Nakamura
  • Cast: Ryo Nishikido, Rie Tomosaka, Fuku Suzuki


October 22, 2011 7:45 pm
Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas

October 27, 2011 7:00 pm
Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas