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Riceballs (2016)

A father and a son overcome a death with their love and cultural identity firmly squeezed into a Japanese riceball.


Shingo Usami


Shingo Usami
9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Shingo Usami ... Kenji
Tatsuo Tatsuo ... Josh
Cat Martin Cat Martin ... Kelly
Benjamin Benjamin ... Steve
Joshua Joshua ... Kevin
Daniel Krige ... Michael
Yoko Nishimura-Parke Yoko Nishimura-Parke ... Mieko
Yoji Tatsuta ... Kenji's Colleague
Hiroshi Kasuga ... School Parent
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Billie Palmer Billie Palmer ... Family Friend


Since having lost his Australian wife for an illness, Kenji has been doing his best to bring up his only son, Josh. While he is in two minds whether to move back to Japan with Josh or not, Kenji keeps making clumsy Japanese riceballs for Josh wishing his son will remain connected to his cultural heritage. Eventually, those riceballs strengthen their bonds and help them overcome the pain of losing their loved one.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Riceballs is a story of a father and a son overcoming a death with their love and cultural identity firmly squeezed into a Japanese riceball.


Short | Drama | Family



Official Sites:

Fb Page | Shingo Usami website




English | Japanese

Release Date:

21 July 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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User Reviews

Understated, touching, beautiful father son story.
4 September 2017 | by kire1975See all my reviews

A father and on share a meal after a long day at their mother's funeral.

This film is a little bit of greatness. It's extremely understated, but these characters are great men. Not just good men. Great men. Honorable men.The conversation is quiet and intimate, real and heartbreaking at the same time. They are examining the past with grief, but really without regret or resentment. They are building new traditions for their family.

I will look out for more from this director. He is obviously influenced by Yasujirō Ozu. We need a new filmmaker like that. Some may say it's a little too simple, but I give this film my highest recommendation.

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