Cooking for Casa Maiko’ – The Hollywood Reporter

Internationally renowned Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda has unveiled a first look at his debut drama series for Netflix, The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House. The preview images give fans a glimpse into Kore-eda’s original take on the rarefied world of Japanese geisha.

Based on a best-selling manga by Aiko Koyama, the nine-episode series is set in Kyoto’s traditional Geiko district and represents the inner sanctum of aspiring Maiko courtesans. The story follows a protagonist named Kiyo (played by Mori Nana) who moves to Kyoto from rural Aomori to become a Makanai (a traditional cook) in a house where a group of Maiko (trainee Geikos or geishas) live. .

Kore-eda, who won the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2018 with her family drama burglars, acts as producer, showrunner and co-writer of the show. He is also directing some of the episodes, while supervising a group of aspiring Japanese directors who will be directing additional individual episodes. Kore-eda has been outspoken about his desire to harness his influence in the industry to create opportunities for a new generation of Japanese film talent. The series is produced by Japanese multi-talent Genki Kawamura.

Other characters and stars of The Makanai they include Sumire (Deguchi Natsuki) who arrives from Aomori with Kiyo and is believed to be a “once-in-a-century talent” like Maiko. Makita Aju plays Ryoko, the Maiko House manager’s high school daughter, while Matsuzaka Keiko plays Chiyo, the Maiko House’s former manager who still plays a key role in the Maiko House’s operations. Japanese star Hashimoto Ai, this year’s ambassador for the Tokyo International Film Festival, plays Momoko, the most popular Geiko in the house. Matsuoka Mayu plays Yoshino, a former classmate of Momoko’s who returns to Geiko’s life. Azusa, the manager of the Maiko House and Ryoko’s mother, is played by veteran Japanese actress Tokiwa Takako.

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The other filmmakers Kore-eda has hired to co-direct the series include Tsuno Megumi (ten years japan), Okuyama Hiroshi (Jesus), and Sato Takuma (Any crybaby around here?). They all share screenwriting credits along with Kore-eda and writer-director Sunada Mami.

The Makanai is produced by Tokyo-based Story Inc. and Kore-eda’s Bun-Buku Inc. for Netflix.

The show will be released worldwide on Netflix on January 12, 2023.

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