Shoplifters director Hirokazu Kore-eda is to adapt popular comic Maiko in Kyoto: From the Maiko House into an eight-part Netflix TV series, his first for the streamer. The prolific Kore-eda teased a TV and film project for Netflix late last year and these are the first details to emerge.
Airing later this year, The Makanai: Cooking For The Maiko House from Story Inc and Bun-Buku Inc is set in the geisha district of Kyoto, as protagonist Kiyo becomes a Makanai (person who cooks meals) at a house where Maiko (apprentice geishas) live together. The story depicts the everyday life of Kiyo maiko Sumire, her childhood friend who came with her from Aomori to Kyoto, amid a vibrant world of geisha and maiko courtesans.
Kore-eda, who won the Palme d’Or in 2018 for Shoplifters, his story about a family that relies on shoplifting to cope with poverty, is also in the process of making Korean debut Baby, Box, Broker and has directed roughly one film per year for the past decade.
Joining him on The Makanai is Confessions producer Genki Kawamura and up-and-coming directors Megumi Tsuno, Hiroshi Okuyama and Takuma Sato. Cast includes Nana Mori, Natsuki Deguchi, Aju Makita, Keiko Matsuzaka, Ai Hashimoto, Mayu Matsuoka and Takako Tokiwa.
Kore-eda said the story of the Maiko Houses is “not the story of people left behind by the times, but rather one that might provide us with a hint for how we should live in a post-COVID world.”
He elaborated: “After receiving the offer from [producer] Kawamura, I actually visited Gion several times. There, I was surprised by how the people living in Maiko Houses were like a family without blood ties, and how the entire town felt like an organism connected by telephone wires.”
The comic from Aiko Koyama has been sold almost 2M times worldwide and won the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award.