Setting: Okinawa in the 1990s.
Nanako quits her job in Tokyo to return to her home island where her grandfather, Keitatsu and grandmother Nabbie, still live. The ferry is captained by a young man she knew when she lived on the island as a child. Also aboard is a quaint fellow, Sanra, dressed in a dandy tropical outfit, who seems to have some nostalgic link to the island.
Nabbie and Keitatsu’s home is filled with bougainvillea and song. Reiko, owner of the only shop on the island, happily accompanies her Irish fiddler husband, O’Connor. Life on the island is lazy and content with music seemingly always in the background. Far to the south of the bustling metropolises of Japan the chain of islands that make up Okinawa are a topical paradise and the people operate at a much slower pace than their cousins on the mainland. As she renews her acquaintances on the island. Nanako, one day, sees Nabbie and Sanra in each other’s arms. An extraordinary passion seems to pass between the old island woman and the dandy from afar.
Nanako decides to keep what she saw a secret, but word soon leaks out and the illicit Iove affair shocks the conservative islanders. A formal clan meeting is held, the shaman is summoned and her verdict is that Sanra must leave and Nabbie must never see him again. Nabbie is of course vehemently opposed to this course of action but her upbringing in the tight clan system of the islands means she must either accept the decision or leave the island herself.
Nanako’s grandfather sits her down and explains that 60 years ago, Nabbie fell desperately in love with Sanra but was forced to separate from him because of her family’s standing in the community. They were deeply in love but unable to marry. The only thing to be done was for Sanra to leave the island. Sanra emigrated overseas. Later on Keitatsu, who is younger than Nature; married to her family. He also tells Nanako the secret of the bougainvillea flowers. Nanako begins to cry as the old man wearily tells her he never thought he’d see Sqnra again. But Nabbie never could forget her lover and she had faithfully written him once a year. The fires of Nabbie’s love still smoldered.
Comedy about an old woman’s passionate love incubated for 60 years on a small tropical island off Okinawa.
Director Yuji Nakane
Executive Producer Isao Takenaka
Producer Shirou Sasaki
Screenplay Yuji Nakae & Motoko Nakae
Photography Kenji Takama
Music Kenichirou isoda
Main Theme Music “RAFUTI”
Michael Nyman &
Nanako Naomi Nishida
Fukunosuke Jun Murakami
Nabbie Tomi Taira
Reiko Reiko Kaneshima
Patriarch Rinshou Kadekaru
Patriarch’s wife Masako Ohshiro
Patriarch’s son: Rinji Kadekaru
Abujama Yukichi Yamasato