In a very profound way, our memories define who we are; their sudden recollection can be empowering or haunting, yet we can’t control what we remember or the sudden feelings they conjure inside. The emotions we feel at these times, the memories we recall; they are often so insignificant, not our greatest successes or even our worst failures, but random chinks of light from childhood, the foolish interactions, smiling faces and feelings from years past that now seem so free and exciting… But times change, and we can’t be kids forever. I suspect at some point we all struggle to let go of those confused and nostalgic echoes, that innocence and naivety seems so appealing now, but fact is that this was all yesterday, and life moves on.
The poignantly named “Only Yesterday” follows the introspective Taeko, a single Japanese woman at the “not really anywhere” age of 27. Constantly being hassled about getting married and rapidly losing her time to a desk-bound job in Tokyo, she takes a holiday from her busy city-life and retreats to the quiet Japanese countryside, a peaceful alternative to the constant hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s concrete jungle. This break from the daily grind allows her time for reflection, to bathe in memory and realise a life caught in the past.