Kawa no soko kara konnichiwa

Sawako Decides


“Kawa no soko kara konnichiwa” can be translated as "Hello, from the bottom of the river."
At the center of the story is Sawako, the 23-year-old daughter of the owner of a freshwater clams packing company. These clams (シジミ = basket clams) grow at the bottom of rivers.
The English title "Sawako decides" refers to the fact that Sawako has to take over the management of the packaging company.
The comedy was presented at film festivals in 2009 and then came to cinemas in 2010.

The new anthem of the company

Taxes are rising, taxes are rising.
We don't have a single rich friend.
Look at the Great Recession. We are overthrowing the government.
Fall, fall the government!
Packing freshwater clams. Packing freshwater clams.
From the bottom of the river, Hello!
Failed once or twice. We don't care about you running away.
We cannot abandon our useless men.
The work is basically boring.
It's a life below average. We are all below average.
It's fun. It's fun.
Below average. Below average.
Of course, not everyone has a great life.

Packing freshwater clams. Packing freshwater clams.
From the bottom of the river, Hello!

Movie Data

Original title: Kawa no soko kara konnichiwa
International title: Sawako Decides
Original language: Japanese
Published: 2010
Length: 112 Minuten

Director: Yuya Ishii
Script: Yuya Ishii
Music: Chiaki Nomura

Sawako Kimura: Hikari Mitsushima
Kenichi Arai: Masaru Endo
Kayoko Arai: Kira Aihara
Tadao Kimura: Hirotaro Shiga
Nobuo Kimura: Ryo Iwamatsu
Tomomi Muraoka: Natsumi Suzuki


In present-day Tokyo, 23-year-old Sawako Kimura (Hikari Mitsushima) is on her fifth part-time job and is dating her fifth boyfriend. Kenichi Arai (Masashi Endō) is a second-rate designer at the toy company where Sawako works and has a four-year-old daughter, Kayoko (Kira Aihara). Kenichi wants Sawako to marry him, but she thinks he's "just average" (she also thinks she's "nothing special") and she doesn't like children.
At the same time, Sawako's uncle Nobuo Kimura (Ryo Iwamatsu) keeps calling and asking her to return to her hometown because her father Tadao Kimura (Kotaro Shiga) is dying of liver cirrhosis. The uncle wants Sawako to take over her father's freshwater clams packing business, which is in financial difficulties. When Kenichi is fired from his job as a toy designer, he persuades the reluctant Sawako to accept the offer to return home and take him and Kayoko with him. After 1,100 km by train, the trio arrives in the Pacific coast town of Kawaminami in southern Japan. There, Sawako is despised by the women because she ran away from home to Tokyo with her high school tennis club captain Yoshio (Ryu Morioka) five years earlier.
The moment comes when Sawako has to decide what she wants to do with the freshwater mussel packing company, her boyfriend Kenichi and his daughter Kayoko and her whole life.