Brimming with warmth, light and laughter, Tatsushi Ohmori’s <Every Day a Good Day> is a heartwarming coming-of-age masterpiece that illuminates the tranquil beauty of chado or 茶道, the Japanese tradition of tea making. Premiered in 2018, this film is based on a collection of essays by Noriko Morishita, relating her experience of learning chado over a span of 24 years.
With the traditional Japanese tea ceremony as the main focus, much of the film takes place in the tea room where a wise teacher called Takeda-sensei teaches Noriko, a clumsy yet lovable protagonist the way of tea; from the folding of the handkerchief to the proper positioning of the body when performing, each movement is calculated yet natural, easily painting a picture of elegance and poise that is furthered by the director’s choreography.
Peppered throughout the film, Noriko’s careful reflection on the weather and life’s moments serve as significant indicators of her character while providing a precious glimpse to the concerns of the Japanese society — social responsibility, familial relations as well as the anxieties and happiness of self-actualisation in an increasingly competitive world.
As we observe the changing scenery in Takeda-sensei’s beautiful garden, we also witness Noriko’s growth during these years and her interactions with the various other characters that weave in and out of the tea room. The simple sincerity of her words sustains throughout, complementing the serenity that is brought by the gentle gestures of the tea ceremony.
Admittedly, the pace and plot of the film are not exceptionally exciting, but in this safe space where we learn about tea and quietly observe the passing of time, there is an undeniable sense of calm that washes over. Much like how different seasons offers a chance to experience a different kind of tea and sweets, through <Every Day a Good Day>, one is given the opportunity to slow down their pace and appreciate the beauty in the everyday.
If you are anything like the rest of us at teapasar, maximum satisfaction while viewing this particular film is only assured once you are comfortably seated with a warm cup of matcha and some mochi or sweets to match. Here are a few that we enjoy the most on a slow day like this.