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Kore-eda Hirokazu makes his Netflix series debut with The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House

The nine-episode adaptation will be available on Netflix worldwide later in 2022.

Aishwarya Vasudevan
Jan 07, 2022
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Image courtesy: MUBI

Kore-eda Hirokazu, the director of Shoplifters, has set The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House as his first series production for global streaming service Netflix. reports that the show is a live-action adaptation of an original comic.

Kore-eda previously hinted at a film and a series with Netflix but did not reveal any details. The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House will be a collaboration between Netflix, Story Inc., and Kore-Bun-Buku Eda's company.

It will be available on Netflix worldwide later in 2022. For the nine-episode adaptation, Kore-eda will serve as showrunner, co-director, and writer. The series is based on Koyama Aiko's popular graphic novel Maiko in Kyoto: From the Maiko House, which was first serialised in Weekly Shonen Sunday in 2016.

Set in Kyoto's geisha district, the protagonist, Kiyo, works as a Makanai (person who prepares meals) in a house where apprentice geishas live together.

The story depicts the daily life of Kiyo Maiko Sumire, her childhood friend who accompanied her from Aomori to Kyoto in a vibrant world of geisha and maiko courtesans and delectable food. The comic novel won the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award and has sold over 1.8 million copies. Kore-eda, Sunada Mami, Tsuno Megumi, Okuyama Hiroshi, and Sato Takuma wrote the adapted screenplay.

Kawamura Genki will produce alongside Kore-eda. Individual episodes will be directed by up-and-coming directors such as Tsuno Megumi, Okuyama Hiroshi, and Sato Takuma. Mori Nana has been cast in the role of Kiyo, the Makanai at the Maiko House. Sumire, who comes from Aomori with Kiyo and is regarded as a "once-in-a-generation talent" as Maiko, is played by Deguchi Natsuki.

Makita Aju plays Ryoko, the high school daughter of the Maiko House's manager. Matsuzaka Keiko portrays Chiyo, the former manager of the Maiko House who continues to play an important role in its operation. Momoko, the most famous geisha, is played by Hashimoto Ai.

Momoko's former peer, Yoshino, decides to return to the path of the geisha, played by Matsuoka Mayu. Tokiwa Takako plays Azusa, the manager of the Maiko House and Ryoko's mother.

In a statement, Kore-eda revealed that he returned to Gion several times after accepting Kawamura's offer. He was taken aback by how the people living in Maiko Houses felt like a family without blood ties, and how the entire town felt like an organism linked by telephone wires.

He added that this is not the story of people who have been left behind by the times, but rather one that may give one a hint as to how we should live in a post-COVID world. 

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