Cast Announced for 'Departures' Director's Next Film

Yojiro Takita will adapt the novel 'Tenchi Meisastsu,' about a 17th century astronomer and mathematician.

TOKYO – The cast has been announced for Tenchi Meisastsu, the first film directed by Yojiro Takita since his Oscar win for Okuribito (Departures) in 2009.

Junichi Okada will take the lead role of Harumi Shibukawa, a 17th century astronomer and mathematician who devised a new Japanese calendar, while Aoi Miyazaki will play his wife.

Tenchi Meisastsu -- which roughly translates as "insights into the universe" -- is being shot at Shochiku’s Kyoto studio until the middle of August, and is slated for an autumn 2012 release.

The film is an adaptation of To Ubukata’s novel of the same name, based on the life of Shibukawa, who later took on the name of his father, Yasui Santetsu, a champion player of the strategy game Go.

The novel has won literary awards in Japan on its way to selling 380,000 copies. It was published by Kadokawa, which is collaborating with Shochiku on the movie.

The score will be handled by Jo Hisaishi, who also worked on Departures and many of Hayao Miyazaki’s anime productions.