A Japanese peace activist must chose between his moral beliefs and the history of his family’s past.
Second feature film project written and directed by Darryl Wharton-Rigby starring Shogen and Ana Tanaka.
Ryuu works hard at a little Tokyo fish shop, trying to get ahead – until one day his boss calls him into his office. He’s being let go – his past has caught up with him. Yet Ryuu knew the day might come, but not so soon – his boss gives him some cash and food to tide him over.
On the way home Ryuu runs into his old friend Bo, and his ex-girl, Risa. Bo slips a package into Ryuu’s pocket – “you know. A little something to remember the good times.” On the house,” Bo says. Risa flirts with him, trying to cheer him up -- he ignores her, just wanting to go home and lick his wounds.
Unable to find any peace by himself, Ryuu his old haunt, just to dance. He chills at the bar – until he locks eye with a girl on the dance floor. He dances with her and she leads him into the ladies room where they fool around.
After their wild adventure, Ryuu realizes he doesn’t even know her name. She silently disappears into the crowd. After running to Risa, Ryuu tired, finally catches an early train home – where to his surprise he sees the girl from the club. “My name is Hope,” she says, “and I’m between places to live.” Ryuu offers to let her crash at her his apartment. She initially declines – then changes her mind.
At the apartment the Ryuu and Hope crash hard. Later when she wakes, Hope smokes a joint. Ryuu, emerging from the shower, asks her to put it out. She stubs it out. Ryuu asks her to come with him for breakfast, a little café he loves, for some talk and tea. They find they have a spark as they get to know each other – Hope even makes bet with Ryuu. He loses and to pay up, has to sing her a song.
Later, Ryuu takes Hope to visit with his grandmother. Learning more about Ryuu, Hope discovers that he’s a good man with problems. Hope spends more time with Ryuu in and around Tokyo, including Shinjuku Gardens, and the amusement park. It’s a nice start to a relationship, until they run into Ryuu’s ex-flame Risa on the same train. Ryuu ignores her, but she’s persistent. Following Ryuu and Hope as they try to get away from her. Ryuu yells at her telling her Risa in no uncertain terms their relationship is over.
Ryuu makes dinner for Hope. After a great meal, they go out for dessert – and get mugged. The thief takes all of Ryuu’s money and Hope’s cherished necklace. Recognizing the mugger, Ryuu goes to his old friend Bo, who gives him an address. Ryuu goes to the mugger’s apartment and beats him up, but doesn’t get the necklace. Even though he was trying to protect her, Hope sees that Ryuu has a dark side.
Hope sits Ryuu down. She wants “the talk.” He begs her to stay, but she tells him that she has to go. He tells her about his drug addiction and she tells him about her ordeal in Tokyo. Ryuu eventually understands why she has to leave. Although both realize it’s over, the bittersweet moment leads to the couple making love.
The next morning, Hope asks Ryuu to wear one of his suits. He does, for her. On the way to the airport, they stop by a temple where Ryuu they pray together. At the airport, Hope buys a new tie for Ryuu’s suit. She tells him to look and be the best he can when finding a new job. Then, they say goodbye.
Alone, tired, and uncertain about where his life will go, Ryuu contemplates his life, again. He finds the packet that Bo gave him earlier in his coat pocket. He runs into Bo, who invites him over.
Risa is there, getting high. He’s almost tempted to try get into some bad habits until he sees something -- Hope’s necklace. Angry, Ryuu takes the necklace. Risa admits she set up the robbery. Any temptation he might have had is now gone. He rips the pipe out of Risa’s hand.
Ryuu leaves the house, holding the necklace. As he walks up the street, Ryuu smiles. He is very much filled with hope.
Don Doko Don: The Yamakiya Taiko Club Story is a documentary by filmmaker Darryl Wharton-Rigby, which follows Genki Endo and the Yamakiya Taiko Club, an award winning Japanese taiko drum troop. The group is comprised of kids, teens and 20-year-olds – living in Yamakiya, a small town near the failed Fukushima nuclear power plant – that struggle to stay together after being is forced to flee their beloved mountain community because of high levels of radiation. This story is important as it shows the resiliency of a community working to maintain their lives and traditions after a tragic and life altering event.
The documentary would give a history of taiko drumming in Japan and how Yamakiya Taiko fits into that world. We will get to know the members of the group and come to understand what taiko drumming means to them as well as their community.
For the past seven years we have been following the Yamakiya Taiko Club and documenting them. As filmmakers with a proven track record, we have over 100 hours of footage, which includes Genki since he was a high school student and other group members.
This is a story that must be told now, as it will show how this community is surviving and moving forward after a tragic event.