Tokyo governorShintaro Ishihara will script and executive produce a film about Japanesesuicide pilots in World War II. Called Kimi no tame ni koso Shiniiku (I WillDie for You), the film will be directed by Taku Shinjo and distributed byToei.
The cast andrelease date have yet to be decided. The genesis of the film is Ishihara'sfriendship with Tome Torihama, a woman who ran a canteen near an air base andcame to know many suicide pilots before they embarked on their fatal flights.At a recent press conference in Tokyo, Ishihara told reporters that Torihamawas "like a bodhisattva" to the pilots and "saved many of themspiritually." "For some reason she opened her heart to me and told meabout her painful experiences," he added.
As executiveproducer, Ishihara will take an active role in planning, raising funds andcasting. As a scriptwriter he has a long list of credits, but is best known forthe films he wrote for younger brother and iconic star Yujiro Ishihara in the1950s, including Season of the Sun (1956) and Crazed Fruit(1956).
Ishiharaproposed a film about Torihama and her relationship with the pilots to Toeiand, late last year, dashed off a script in four days. It was his first in eightyears, since his script for the Taku Shinjo film Hisai in 1997.
Following along, successful career as a rightist politician and commentator, includingeight successive terms in the parliament, Ishihara was elected governor ofTokyo in 1999 and re-elected in 2003. He has also been a prolific writer,penning novels, plays and non-fiction books in addition to screenplays. Hisbest known book in the West is probably the 1989 bestseller The Japan WhoCan Say No, in which he severely criticized Japanese politicians for theirunthinking subservience to the United States.