Unsolved:The Taste of Tea

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The Taste of Tea
The Taste of Tea.jpg
The Taste of Tea poster
Original title茶の味
Directed byKatsuhito Ishii
Produced byKazuto Takida
Kazutoshi Wadakura
Written byKatsuhito Ishii
StarringTadanobu Asano
Takahiro Sato
Maya Banno
Satomi Tezuka
Tomokazu Miura
Tatsuya Gashuin
Anna Tsuchiya
Rinko Kikuchi
Music byLittle Tempo
CinematographyKosuke Matushima
Edited byKatsuhito Ishii
Distributed byGrasshoppa (Japan)
Viz Media (USA)
Release date
July 17, 2004
Running time
143 min

The Taste of Tea (茶の味, Cha no Aji) is a 2004 Japanese comedy drama fantasy film written and directed by Katsuhito Ishii. Described as a "surreal" version of Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander (1982), it follows the daily lives of a family living in rural Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo. It was a selection of the Cannes Film Festival.[1]


The film follows the lives of the Haruno family, who live in rural Tochigi Prefecture, the countryside north of Tokyo. Nobuo is a hypnotherapist. He teaches Go to his son Hajime. Hajime becomes an excellent Go player, but he has a rough time with girls and puberty. Yoshiko refuses to be an average housewife and works on animated film projects at home. She uses assistance from grandfather Akira, an eccentric old man who is a former animator and occasional model.

Eight-year-old Sachiko periodically sees a silent, giant-size double of herself which mimics or benignly watches her. She contemplates ways to rid herself of it. Uncle Ayano is a sound engineer and record producer who comes to stay for a visit. He engages in inward reflection, seeks closure regarding an old relationship, and recounts a childhood experience—a tale that influences Sachiko and ties into later events.


  • Tomokazu Miura - Nobuo Haruno - father
  • Satomi Tezuka - Yoshiko Haruno - mother
  • Maya Banno - Sachiko Haruno - daughter
  • Takahiro Sato - Hajime Haruno - son
  • Tadanobu Asano - Ayano Haruno - uncle
  • Tatsuya Gashuin - Akira Todoroki - grandpa
  • Tomoko Nakajima - Akira Terako
  • Ikki Todoroki - Himself
  • Anna Tsuchiya - Aoi Suzuishi
  • Kenichi Matsuyama - Matsuken/The man in the red shirt
  • Hideaki Anno - Kasugabe
  • Rinko Kikuchi - Yuriko Kikuchi
  • Ryo Kase - Rokutaro Hamadayama
  • Kenji Mizuhashi - Maki Hoshino


The Taste of Tea has a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes[2] and a 77/100 weighted average on Metacritic.[3] It was also one of Ed Park's choices in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll of the greatest films ever made.[4]


  • Audience Award - 2004, Entrevues Film Festival
  • Grand Prix - 2004, Entrevues Film Festival
  • Golden Maile Award (Best Feature Film) - 2004, Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Best New Actress (Anna Tsuchiya) - 2004, Hochi Film Awards
  • Orient Express Award - 2004, Festival de Cine de Sitges (Special Mention)
  • Audience Award - 2005, Dejima Japanese Film Festival
  • Best Asian Film - 2005, Fant-Asia Film Festival
  • Fantasia Ground-Breaker Award - 2005, Fant-Asia Film Festival (3rd Place)
  • Audience Award - 2005, New York Asian Film Festival
  • Best New Actress (Anna Tsuchiya) - 2005 Kinema Junpo Awards
  • New Talent Award (Anna Tsuchiya) - 2005, Mainichi Film Award
  • Festival Prize - 2005, Yokohama Film Festival



External links