I remember the first time I got to watch Swallowtail Butterfly and found it interesting that Ayumi Ito spoke a couple of lines in Mandarin. Later I was surprised she was in the cast of The Go Master; it just seemed like Ayumi Ito had maybe some interest in working outside Japan. Interestingly, she’s also the one Japanese actress working in Kpop music videos , and I know for certain she speaks pretty good English.
Then again, Japan doesn’t seem to like its actresses trying to work in other markets [eg. Rinko Kikuchi, Koyuki xD]. I wonder if she hasn’t considered working in the US or Europe, or maybe they don’t consider her Japanese enough or hot enough. After all, US and European casting seems to be so random at times.
Anyway, while googling a photo of Ito for the previous post, I ended up running into this short film she did back in 2005 directed by someone called Nomura Yasuo (野村泰夫) titled Shanghai Lian Xiang (上海恋香) or translated to Shanghai Love Fragrance… or possibly referring to the smell of incense. The short that lasts 50ish minutes sees a Japanese young woman (I don’t think they mention her name) that arrives to Shanghai to deliver her grandmother’s ashes to the bay because she had spent the 1930s in the Japanese concession of the city. In there she met a young Chinese man and fell in love… and it’s all melancholy and sadness due to the events of the time.
There’s no much info except for this page.
Ito plays both characters of the woman and the young version of her grandmother, with dialog in different levels of Mandarin and Japanese. It gets a little confusing when you have to read Japanese for big chunks of Mandarin, and Chinese characters for most chunks of Japanese dialog xD But I think you get the point across.
You gotta get your Ayumi Ito fix any way you can.
There’s also a song that plays throughout~