Japanese news: 岩合光昭の世界ネコ歩きin theatres

Today, like I do on most Fridays, I opened Asahi website in search of an interesting article to study. My attention was caught by the picture of two kittens accompanying the article: 岩合光昭さん「猫が興味を持ってくれるときがチャンス」. This article is about the film adaptation of the TV program 岩合光昭の世界ネコ歩き.

Link to the article

岩合光昭・いわごうみつあきIwago Mitsuaki is an animal photographer 動物の写真家. His popular program 人気番組 intitled “岩合光昭の世界ネコ歩き” (broadcasted on NHKBSプレミアム) has been adapted to the cinema, and the adaptation will be released 公開・こうかい in Japan tomorrow.

This movie version 劇場版・げきじょうばん will feature cutscenes 未公開シーン・みこうかい from the previous TV program as well as newly 新たに・あらたに filmed 撮影した・さつえいした scenes 映像・えいぞう.

The article says that, when filming the cats, Iwago Mitsuaki tries to get closer to them 距離を縮めていく while speaking to them と対話しながら.

  • 距離・きょり distance
  • 縮める・ちぢめる to shorten

In the movie, the family Kotora 「コトラ」一家 who lives in an apple farm リンゴ農家 will appear 登場・とうじょう. From what I gather, the Kotora family is a family of cats and kitten who appeared in the TV program and will be shown again in the movie. (see the clip below).

The Kotora cats seem to be one of the main attraction of the movie. The article goes on saying that the day M. Iwago and his team started filming on location, the cat Kotora, who frequently appeared on the TV program, gave birth to kittens. They continue shooting for a year and could see two of the kitten growing up.

One day, when Iwago Mitsuaki came to visit the cats, he found that one of Kotora’s kitten, who had grown up, was expecting babies. Iwago Mitsuaki says that he could feel the 命のつながり.

つながり means “connection”, “tie”, “relation”. I honestly don’t know how to translate 命のつながり… I guess it means that M. Iwago could directly feel the beauty of life, that he felt connected with it? Anyway, this feeling of 命のつながり will be the on of the highlights of the film 映画の見どころ (a good scene).

At first, M. Iwago had to hide 隠れる・かくれる the camera behind something 物陰・ものかげ, but the kittens soon became accustomed to his presence, and they would come close すり寄ってくれる・すりよってくれる whenever M. Iwago said おいでよ.

The first meaning of すり寄る・すりよる is “come close to” but it bears the nuance of “nestle”. When used to describe a cat’s movement, it can be translated by “nestle up”.

On the last day of the shooting, one of the cats even licked 舐める・なめる M. Iwago’s face. The article uses the onomatopeia ぺろぺろ, together with the verb 舐める.

M. Iwago said that it was the first time that he spent such a long time with the same cats. In spite of himself 思わず・おもわず, he was moved to tears. He is glad not to have been seen (caught) ばれる by his cameraman.

The expression “be moved to tears” is 目頭が熱くなる. Literally, the inner corner of the eyes becomes hot. 目頭・めがしら means the corner of the eye.

The article ends on M. Iwago’s words:


  • 重み・おもみ weight, importance, significance

They weigh themselves not more than 4 or 5 kilos, but they possess the importance of life and the fascinating capacity to move our hearts.