Words to Live by: Dekotora movie producer Tamegoro Sudo
The movie’s producer, Tamegoro Sudo, is amazing: gentle and funny, he has the type of reassuring control that attracts everyone to him.
Judit Kawaguchi: Please tell us about your weekly schedule.
Tamegoro Sudo: I get up at 5 am to bake bread till about 11 am, then I run around arranging the shooting schedule, have meetings and go begging money from sponsors. I also have a tuna business so I have to take care of that, too. On weekends I go to children’s events at department stores and kindergartens with my stuffed animals. I work seven days a week, from about 5 am till 11 PM, then go home, take a bath and sleep 4 or 5 hours.
JK: Gee, sounds like a tough schedule. Do you have time left for your family?
TS: I live with my mother. I don’t even have time to make a family! If you know a nice woman who would make a good wife, please introduce her, OK?
JK: You got it. How did you start producing movies?
TS: I was an actor but I retired in 2000 and decided to produce movies that I wanted to see myself. I always loved dekotoras and wanted to do a Truck yaro movie combined with elements of Tora san, who is my favorite character. Also, since I am from Asakusa, I made it Shuichiro’s home.
KJ: Could you explain what being from Asakusa mean?
TS: Asakusa people are stubborn but incredibly kind and once you are friends, they help you for the rest of your life. It is a tight community where compassion rules. Also, we love jokes and comedy is part of our daily lives.
JK: What about Shuichiro’s character?
ST: He is pretty much me. Most of the storyline is based on my own experiences, although some are exaggerated for comical effect. Some are not, for example the special institute for challenged children in Fukushima prefecture really exists and I have been going up there for years as a volunteer so I just included this into the movie.
JK: What would you say was the main message of the new movie?
TS: In today’s IT world, we have less time to have a conversation but I want the viewers to reexamine their lives and to think of all the people who mean a lot to them. People are treasures!
A bilingual version of Judit Kawaguchi’s dekotora article series appeared in the Japanese magazine Truck King.
Reported at the shooting of “DECOTORA NO SHU – KOI NO HANA SAKU SHIMIZU KO” (Decorated Truck Driver Shu – Flower of Love Blossoming in Port of Shimizu).
People are treasures! — Tamegoro Sudo