Shinobu Yaguchi's Wood Job! is big on laughs, but also has a message [Review]

Shinobu Yaguchi's Wood Job! is big on laughs, but also has a message [Review]

In Wood Job! Yuki Hirano is devastated when he fails to get into university and loses his girlfriend. But when he falls in love with the girl on a leaflet recruiting loggers, he decides to follow its advice, and leaves Tokyo to go to the woods.

The skinny city boy soon discovers that he has no business in a remote village with no cell phone signal and hours of hard labour every day. Realising this new life is too much of a struggle, he decides to quit - until he runs into the girl from the leaflet. She encourages him to stick with it for a year.

The movie has no shortage of gags, as Hirano makes a fool of himself trying to learn how to be a logger. One of the funniest moments is when he finds, much to his horror, that the workers dine on snakes and reindeer. (The eating habits of the Japanese are not so different from the Chinese after all …)

Funny stuff aside, Wood Job! makes us think about our impact on nature. The loggers feel they have a very special job: as well as chopping down forests, they plant trees that will be allowed to grow for 100 years before they are chopped down.

If the loggers of the real world did the same instead of exploiting the Earth, our planet would be much healthier.

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
He's a lumberjack and he's OK


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