Location Diaries: Japan-il Shiva
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week it is Sumo
Actor Shiva who shot in Japan for his next film, Sumo, directed by Hosimin, fell in love with the country and its ancient culture. He had quite some time in which to take in the country. “Film crews usually travel there to shoot songs, and return soon. We shot there for as many as 30 days,” reveals Shiva. “The people were friendly and polite, but the real problem was language. We have cast many Sumo wrestlers and Japanese actors in the film, and they couldn’t speak English.” The crew apparently hired a translator to make the process easy. “But we didn’t realise how time-consuming it would be. The director, translator and actors would have long exchanges about their position, movement and performance.”
There was another problem—one of a good kind. “The Japanese are extremely punctual. If we asked them to come at 4AM, they would be there by that time. For us Indians used to being a bit loose with time, it was quite a task to have to be extremely punctual,” he says with a laugh.
The actor is also quite proud about having passed on his love for Indian food to some Japanese actors. “I was telling them to try it, and was surprised to hear actor Tashiro shout from the changing room that he wanted butter chicken,” Shiva says and laughs. “Later, when he came to Chennai, I also got him addicted to idli and dosa.”
This was the hardest part for Shiva during his 30 days in Japan: Separation from South Indian food. “Every day, we were served sushi, sticky rice, and some other Japanese delicacies. It was there that I truly realised how much I love idli, vadai and pongal, not to mention sambar rice and rasam rice,” says Shiva. “Thankfully, we found an Indian friend there, who arranged South Indian food for us. And then, we were finally able to concentrate on our work better.”