The Professor and His Beloved Equation

 This was a very touched movie. I watched it when I attended a free movie screening at JCC (Japan Creative Centre). I went alone, in fact I should invited a couple of friends to come along with.

For our 14th session, we will be screening “The Professor and His Beloved Equation”, a Japanese movie directed by Takashi Koizumi. The story is about a housekeeper who comes to work for a mathematics professor and genius, who’s only capable of remembering 80 minutes into the past at any given time, after meeting with an accident. She and her son, “Root”, see a form of beauty of the man’s love of math, and find special hidden meaning in the mathematical phrases he constantly utters. The movie is adapted from the well-known novel ‘The Professor and the Housekeeper’ written by Yoko Ogawa.

I shed my tears when I watched the movie. Its music was so beautiful.
I almost cried when i could feel the frustration of the professor when he had to write all the important things to him on sticky notes and paste it on his vest. His memory only last for 80 minutes. And there is a conversation repeated many times in the movie: “You have a son. Yes, his name is ROOT, he is 10 years olds “.
The professor though cannot pretty much remmember everything, but his sensation of numbers, especially noble numbers, amicable numbers… are very strong and it made him can create his own world of mathematics numbers. And as time goes by, Root becomes a maths teachers.
Even for myself, learning maths was a chore for me in high school. But I was no longer touch it at a deeper level since I joined uni. I should come back, don’t I?
I need a higher ethic and passion of mathematics, find the true meaning of each number. I could imagine it is awesome after solving problems. But creativity is not just solving problem, it is also think about questions and learn how to promote it. Most of maths problems are abstract, we virtually realize its impact on society at micro level, thus we tend to neglect mathematicians who devote their lives to solve unrealistic problems. However, in retrospect  I deeply admire many of my friends who have the courage to pursue maths major. It is destiny. I don’t want to solve unrealistic problems. I want to create things that many people could understand and feel its impact. Social problem are more difficult to solve but the rewards must be very satisfying. Believing in that, I have to try my best to open a new dimension of my life. This would be another page of my life, a long journey  I choose.
Deep in my heart, I want to rewrite a story, the story of my life. My heart bounds to me that I cannot do it alone. I need someone to support. 
———–
Back to the movie screening, Yako’s book is very easy to understand.
In contrast to the original work, which is told from the perspective of the narrator, the film is shown from the perspective of a 29 year old root as he recounts his memories of the professor to a group of new pupils. Though there are a few differences between the film and the original work (for example, the movie touches on the relationship between the professor and the widow while the book does not give much detail), the film is generally faithful to the original. (quoted from JCC)
Mr Snider (the book’s English translator) revealed a fact that Japanese people do read novels more than other countries. they read novels on the train. There is a statistic that in 7 people in Japan, at least 1 person already read Norwegian Wood.  And some people, they will buy the whole series of an author if they like one of his books. This actually a strong reading culture among Japanese people. Since reading will engage more imagination ability, creativity will be nurtured in such an environment.  I personally value reading a lot, apparently because it opens another door to other cultures.
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