From Up on Poppy Hill


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From up on Poppy Hill

This paper has for end to seek and specify the construct of leading. For this intent the movieFrom Up on Poppy Hillwill be our chief focal point ( though some mentions to other paperss will happen ) . This movie takes topographic point in Yokohama, in Japan, in 1963 and tells the narrative of a high-school miss, Umi, who lives with her grand-mother and younger brother and sister in a embarkation house were invitees reside. Her male parent, a crewman, died during the Korean War and her female parent went for a long trip in the United-States ; as a consequence she is in charge of the house. She shows a great fond regard for her male parent and rises flags every twenty-four hours to retrieve him and the clip she used to make that while he was still alive and approaching place. At the same clip there is the narrative of a male child analyzing at the same high-school, Shun, the pupil representative, a member of the school’s newspaper and an active support in the battle to salvage the Latin One-fourth. The Latin One-fourth is an old edifice where the pupil nines are located and that the schoolmaster wants to pulverize. Those two supporters meet and his battle becomes their battle.

“Different state of affairss call for different types of leadership” said Daniel Goleman in his article “What Makes a Leader” published in the Harvard Business Review ( HBR ) . Indeed the involvement of this movie is to see and compare the two different types of leading with Umi and Shun and to happen out which has the most positive result and why. In this instance, it is non the state of affairss that are different, they are both contending to salvage the clubhouse, but the motives behind each person. Shun is portion of a nine and wants to salvage what belongs to him and go through it on, whereas Umi is moved by the yesteryear and her life narrative.

  1. Shun’s leading: remembering the country’s yesteryear

Shun feels particularly concerned about salvaging the Latin One-fourth because he plays a great portion inside the students’ life: he is their representative and he writes in the newspaper, and this edifice represents the pupils and the activities they like. He spends a batch of clip there with his friends and to compose his articles so destructing this topographic point is destructing everything that goes with it: the sense of common assistance, the geographic expedition of another universe than school, the merriment and the feeling of belonging, this affects him peculiarly. The first expansive gesture he does to show his sentiment and demo his rebellion against the principal of the school who took the determination is to leap from the roof of the house into a pool. Shun is hotheaded and likes to take hazards to support a cause. His leading arises out of the desire to salvage the Latin One-fourth but before that, as mentioned above, he was already a chief figure of the school with his extracurricular activities and he is kind of a born-leader ; he has personal appeal and presence: when the misss see him at school they all look at him and notice him, and he displays assurance. Furthermore he “leads with his bosom and his head” and has some features of the “authentic leader” as described by Bill George, Peter Sims, Andrew N. McLean, and Diana Mayer in “Discovering Your Authentic Leadership” . The high-school male child is passionate about his intent: he makes the full school aware of the issue by manner of the school-paper and organises meeting, and he empowers others to accomplish his end: he accepted Umi’s aid and allow her name on the other misss to clean the house, make it look good and demo its existent value. Furthermore his intrinsic and extrinsic motives are balanced: he wants to salvage the Latin One-fourth for what he experiences at that place, for the community that it creates and he holds it really beloved to himself besides for the future coevalss: he wishes they had the same opportunity he had to cognize this topographic point, to portion minutes with his friends and classmates and to detect the memories of the past. During a meeting conveying into resistance Shun’s friends and Alliess supporting the clubhouse against other pupils in favour of seting up a new edifice alternatively, the male child expressed this desire stating “Destroy the old and you destroy our memory of the yesteryear. [ … ] There’s no hereafter for people who worship the hereafter and bury the past” . Indeed in this movie, the yesteryear and the traditions play an of import portion ; for case some traditional vocals can be heard. When the pupils hold that meeting, mentioned earlier, whereas there is a batch of hustle, every bit shortly as the schoolmaster comes in, everyone starts singingShiroi Hana no Sakukoro( “When the white flower clears up” ) and he assumes everything is traveling good and leaves. Second when the President of the School’s Council, Tokumaru, agrees to come and see the Latin One-fourth, the pupils greet him with the vocalKon’iro no Uneri tabun( “Deep blue waves” ) . Both the clubhouse and the vocals remind of the yesteryear of Japan which should non be forgotten, wiped out and replaced but on the contrary remembered and passed down. This event is really representative of the period that Japan was traveling through: after the Second World War and the Korean War, after the atomic bombardment in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan had to reconstruct. The Latin One-fourth embodies this transition to the new epoch and the struggle opposing those who want to salvage the edifice and those who want its destruction reflects the trouble that Japan encounters seeking to convey together the yesteryear and the hereafter while non maintaining the coevalss apart. The revival of the state is depicted in the movie by the mention made to the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo ( illustrated by a posting in the office of the President of the Council ) and the battle that Shun is taking refers to the students’ presentations that took topographic point in Japan in the sixtiess ( the name of the clubhouse, the “Latin Quarter” , comes from a Gallic pupil country: the “Quartier Latin” ; the Japanese adopted this name after the 1968-protests ) .

Shun’s will is to bear in head the events of the yesteryear while heading towards modernness and a new prosperity. Japan has already started its transmutation when the male child decides that the Latin One-fourth is deserving salvaging and grows his leading accomplishments. He is more determined than of all time ; he managed to convert many pupils to beat up behind this cause, they made people around them aware of the fact that the governments wanted to raise a trade name new edifice on this topographic point, acquiring rid of old ages of memory to build the hereafter.

Actually, if the Nipponese society did non desire to construct its hereafter wipe outing the yesteryear, it would non hold arisen such feelings into Shun. The altering society and civilization afraid him in a manner that he did non desire to bury and lose what is portion of the state, what made it go what it is now and in the same clip, it is besides a manner to protect his ain yesteryear. He knows that his parents are non his existent parents and that his biological male parent, that he had ne’er met, died during the Korean War. Continuing the past and therefore the Latin One-fourth is in fact, a mean for him non to bury his male parent, non to bury where he comes from. His true intrinsic motive, that he might non be cognizant of himself, is maintaining the memory of his male parent, for his male parent every bit good as for him and his personal development. He hardly knows what his beginnings are so he does non desire to lose information, objects or edifices from the yesteryear. When he explains that the hereafter can non be if there is no past, he alludes to his ain life, non merely to Japan.

Then what accounts for Umi’s leading? What is her narrative and what sort of a leader is she?

  1. Umi’s leading: the narrative Teller

The movie first nowadayss Umi as a composure, serious and responsible miss: she is in charge of the embarkation house, she does the housekeeping, cooks, stores… Besides the decease of her male parent left its grade on her, she misses him really much and raises his flags every twenty-four hours, as a keepsake of when she used to make it when her male parent was coming back from a mission on the sea. This making was noticed and related in the school newspaper ; even though Umi does non cognize for certain who wrote about her, she suspects Shun to be the writer. Therefore when she finds out about pulverizing the clubhouse and the battle lead by some pupils and among them, Shun, she starts to be interested. Yet this involvement for the Latin One-fourth is based on her being funny about this male child ; at this point in clip, she does non experience straight concerned by this battle and the economy of the edifice. She comes at the meeting held for this affair because the male child invited her, non because she feels related to his cause. All of a sudden, when the students’ representative takes the floor and pronounces those words: “Destroy the old and you destroy our memory of the yesteryear. Don’t you care about the people who lived and died before us? There’s no hereafter for people who worship the hereafter and bury the past” , it acts like a disclosure for her. She eventually sees why the male child she fell in love with is eager to salvage this house, and more than that, she relates the Latin One-fourth to her ain history. She, more than anyone else, feels the demand to protect the past and its memory ; merely like Shun her leading emerges from her life experience and is born at this precise minute. She will contend for her country’s recollection to lucubrate the hereafter trusting on the right footing because this ordeal echoes her ain life: she will ne’er bury her male parent and will go on turning up believing about him while traveling frontward at the same clip. Although it is painful, Japan should non originate its recovery without looking at what is behind. What is narrated in the movie is the echt state of affairs that the state had to face after the awful events that it lived through.

Then, is Umi a or the leader in this battle? Does non the function of hero suit her better?

In the old yearss, adult females used to take attention of the house. This is really what the high-school miss does at the beginning, looking after her younger brother and sister, maintaining control over the embarkation house ; she was ready to be a good married woman. However she challenges the society as she does non stay at this peculiar topographic point. Like Mulan, she has greater aspirations and goes for something that is kept for work forces ; merely like the other heroine goes off to war, Umi is the first miss throwing herself into the battle to salvage the Latin One-fourth. Historically talking her character embodies the release of the adult females in Japan, happening during this period ( from the 1950s to the eightiess ) : she assures her sentiment, she is ambitious ( she wants to go a physician ) , she integrates a universe of work forces. Hence this immature miss can be considered as a hero for what she represents in the Nipponese society.

Yet Umi besides has some features of a leader. She brings new thoughts ; Shun jumps into the pool to do people listen and respond and to show his discontent but this does non hold the desired impact, the clubhouse is still traveling to be torn down. She has the head to clean the edifice and manages to call up many misss to assist with this undertaking. Thankss to this action, the pupils had the chance to demo the house and their motive to the President of the Council: if this topographic point had remained in the province it was before the high-school miss discovered it and transformed it, the pupils would ne’er hold been in a place to ask for anyone to see it and it would hold been knocked down. Besides this go oning brought people together. This miss is besides a leader in that she got together the new Nipponese coevals. Ahead of that, there was a separation between the male childs and the misss, the misss had ne’er set pes in the Latin One-fourth and were non that much interested about what was go oning inside of it, but Umi’s committedness made the boundaries move ; it is as if Japan’s new coevals was born thanks to this immature miss.

Another decisive minute in the movie is when Shun, the pupil representative and his friend Shiro , who is the President of the pupil Council make up one’s mind to travel to Tokyo to speak to the President of the Council, Tokumaru. At this point their edifice is traveling to be demolished and the lone manner to halt that is to convert the adult male behind this determination. Even though the two male childs are the two leaders of this claim, by their position and by their actions ( largely Shun’s making ) , they ask Umi to fall in them. In fact what is of import to detect is that it is non Shun, who has grown feelings for the miss, who asks her but Shiro , who saw something particular in her. He understood that she had this cryptic characteristic that made people listen to her and follow her. As a consequence she is non genuinely a leader, she has some features and moves people but she is diffident and does non gain the impact she can hold. Therefore when the pupils eventually have the opportunity to run into Tokumaru, Umi does non talk. The male childs pour out their end and statements excessively rapidly, they seem excessively aroused and naif to be taken earnestly. The President of the Council might merely believe they are some adolescents who are looking for some amusement, that they are non wholeheartedly committed to salvage the clubhouse but they merely want to populate an exciting escapade. As for Umi, when she is asked by Tokumaru why she is here, she explains calmly and modestly her want to salvage the edifice to maintain the memory of the yesteryear ; she does non seek to convert him ardently, her history and the evocation of her male parent who passed off during the Korean War merely makes an feeling on him. The President is affected by her life experience which concerns legion Nipponese people and hold on what the Latin One-fourth represents. It is non merely the issue of a school but a symbol for the whole state. He must see in Umi the hereafter of Japan, the development of the society and realises the importance of the yesteryear to construct a span between the coevalss. Furthermore he knows that many alterations are happening and that the Japanese should non bury who they are, where they come from and what they have suffered. In her narrative, the miss has what is called by R.McKee in “Storytelling That Moves People” an “inciting incident” ; the decease of her male parent threw her life out of balance and since so, her life has ne’er been the same once more. The Nipponese authorities could be identified as the enemy, which is responsible for the decease of her male parent, and who works against the Restoration of her balance as it wants to destruct what she cares about, viz. the Latin One-fourth and more particularly what it stands for: the yesteryear.

After this interview and Tokumaru’s determination to come and see the clubhouse, the pupils have hope that the result will be positive and they are right. The President of the Council notes the beauty of the topographic point and the attempts of cleansing and reconstructing that have been done and grants its maintaining. The memory of the state is safe and it can germinate peacefully. Just like Umi and Shun: through this experience, they both learned more about their history: Umi learned that her male parent was a great adult male: he saved his friend’s babe and entrusted him to another friend and Shun learned who his existent male parent was, that is to state, non Umi’s male parent but one of his friends and besides a hero of the war. They can now populate on a great life.

To conclude, through this movie and the word picture of the two characters, some specific features of leaders have been uncovered and the thought of leading appears more clearly. Shun, who had some of the “authentic leader” characteristics, managed to beat up the high-school male childs and subsequently many pupils to support his cause, he showed bravery and devotedness but was non able to carry the other people that this was something they should care about. Umi and her life persuaded people that her battle was something that all the society could care for and referred to Japan’s corporate history ; every Japanese is concerned from near and far by this narrative, the wars damaged the state and even if it is being rebuilt, the Nipponeses do non desire to bury their yesteryear.

At last it is the brotherhood of the two characters that reaches the end: Umi without Shun would non hold committed herself to this intent and would non hold been to Tokyo to run into the President of the Council, because it does non match to her personality. Conversely the brave Shun would hold started this conflict without being able to accomplish his purpose.

Shun and Umi can both be considered as leaders as they had an consequence on the bequest of the Nipponese society. In the article “Discovering Your Authentic Leadership” it is said about “authentic leaders” that “ [ … ] their leading emerged from their life stories” . This applies absolutely to these characters.


From up on Poppy Hill – Goro Miyazaki – 2011

Mulan – Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook – 1998

“What Makes a Leader? ” – Daniel Goleman – Harvard Business Review – January 2004

“Discovering Your Authentic Leadership” – Bill George, Peter Sims, Andrew N. McLean, and Diana Mayer – Harvard Business Review – February 2007

“Storytelling That Moves People” – R.McKee – Harvard Business Review – June 2003



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