Memories of Tomorrow

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Memories of Tomorrow
Directed byYukihiko Tsutsumi
Based onAshita no Kioku
by Hiroshi Ogiwara
StarringKen Watanabe
Higuchi Kanako
Release date
  • 2006 (2006)

Ashita no Kioku/Memories of Tomorrow (明日の記憶, Ashita no Kioku) is a 2006 Japanese drama film starring Ken Watanabe, Higuchi Kanako and directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi. The film is based on a novel of the same title published by Hiroshi Ogiwara in 2004.


The film begins by showing the inevitable outcome of the events of the film: the viewer is shown a scene of a man who is disabled by Alzheimer's disease, set in the year 2010. The story proper then begins by switching back to an earlier stage in the life of the man, Masayuki Saeki in 2004. Masayuki Saeki is a brilliant and successful advertising company executive. Saeki is shown to be a prime example of an ideal Japanese white-collar worker. He is strict, well organized, hard working, devoted to his job, and sets very high standards for himself and his subordinates. However he is soon shocked to realize that he is failing to meet up to his perfect standards. He starts inexplicably forgetting things - appointments, details of his work, and his knowledge of the layout of Tokyo. Following this he is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, to which he reacts with great anger, disbelief and despair. What follows through the rest of the film is a tragic, emotional and very human portrayal of the suffering and the decline of this once powerful, soaring man to that of a pitiful state that resembles a second childhood as the disease wears him down. As the years pass, his memory worsens. He leaves work, and lives at home, where he is cared for by his devoted wife, Emiko. Inevitably, tensions surface between Masayuki and his wife and daughter, and it reaches the point where Emiko's life revolves around taking care of her debilitated husband.



The film received eight awards and four nominations from various sources.

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