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Saturday, April 26, 2014

"KANO" – A Movie Review

Momo Lin & Anny Cheng

Baseball is a popular sport in Taiwan. Baseball originated in American and then spread to Japan. In 1895, Japan colonized Taiwan and baseball also came to Taiwan. In 1928, one baseball team, the KANO team, would become part of Taiwanese history. There are many movies about baseball in Taiwan, but this movie is different. It is KANO, a true story of events that took place during the Japanese occupation. The movie describes how a Taiwanese baseball team went from a winless team to the team representing Taiwan in the Japanese baseball championship.

Poster coutesy KANO official website

KANO is about a baseball team of Japanese, Taiwanese and Taiwan aboriginal players. The coach took advantage of his players’ natural talent and, through rigorous training, led them to victory. “Do you know how to grow a big, sweet papaya?” This question from the team’s coach became a slogan for the team. It means that when people face stress, they will work harder and their efforts will bear the fruits of success.

In the movie, there are Taiwanese, Japanese and Taiwan aboriginal actors. Most of the main actors had never acted before, but their acting attracted us very much and inspired us, too.
Photo courtesy Chiayi National University

The KANO theme song is sung in Japanese and Chinese by Taiwanese by the team’s players, showing how the different talents of different people can be combined in a beautiful harmony, just like how combining their individual strengths led the team to success.  The soundtrack really compliments the movie very well and increases the audience’s emotions as viewers laugh, cry, and cheer together. The story of KANO was told through flashbacks. The movie begins in 1944 with an old Japanese soldier and baseball fan telling the story of how, when he was a young soldier in Taiwan, he had gone to Chiayi to see the KANO baseball team.

“If you are afraid of losing, you have to find a way to win.” This was the slogan from this movie. No one wants to be a loser, so we have to work hard and never give up. The story of KANO takes place during the Japanese occupation, a time when the people of Taiwan had tragic lives. In KANO, the teenage baseball players show us how we should not mind what we have to face but do our best. If we do our best, then we will win.

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