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¿¿Departures¿¿ is a delightful and sensitive journey into the heartland of Japan and an astonishingly beautiful look at a sacred part of Japan¿¿s cultural heritage. A cellist named Diago (Masahiro Motoki) comes to the rueful conclusion that he¿¿s not talented enough to make a career as a musician; having just returned to his hometown with his wife Mika (Ryoko Hirosue,Wasabi), he answers a classified ad entitled ¿¿Departures¿¿ thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. Fearful of his wife¿¿s response, he hides his new job - but as he grows to appreciate his boss (Tsutomu Yamazaki, Tampopo) and the affect that the humbling ceremony of cleaning and dressing the deceased has on their families, Daigo develops a deep respect for life in all its variations, and a profound empathy for people trying to make peace with the finality of death. Too embarrassed to tell his wife about his conversation-stopping profession and admit that he has fallen in love with the townsfolk, Daigo vainly tries to keep his new life secret. As their relationship hangs in the balance, the big question is how he¿¿s going to react to surprising news she brings, as an encoffineer, as a husband, as a son and as a human being. It is Daigo¿¿s turn to deal with life and death among the people who are dearest to him. A story of love, of discovery, of revelation and of the transcending human spirit.