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From Up On Poppy Hill [Movie]

Plot Summary
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Umi Matsuzaki is a 16-year-old student at Isogo High School living in Coquelicot Manor, a boarding house overlooking the Port of Yokohama in Japan. Her mother Ryoko is a medical professor studying abroad in the United States. Umi runs the house and looks after her younger siblings, Sora and Riku, and her grandmother, Hana. College student Sachiko Hirokouji and doctor-in-training Miki Hokuto also live there. Each morning, Umi raises a set of signal flags with the message “I pray for safe voyages”.

One day, a poem about the flags being raised by a local girl is published in the school newspaper. Shun Kazama, the poem’s author, witnesses the flags from sea as he rides a tugboat to school. Umi meets Shun when he participates in a daredevil stunt for the newspaper, leaving Umi with a negative first impression. Umi later accompanies Sora to obtain Shun’s autograph at the Latin Quarter, an old and dilapidated building housing the high school’s clubs. Umi learns that Shun publishes the school newspaper, along with Shir? Mizunuma, the school’s student government president. She ends up helping on the newspaper. During a debate on the future of the Latin Quarter, which may be demolished, Shun convinces the other students that they want to renovate the building. At Umi’s request, the female student body should help renovate the building.

Back at Coquelicot Manor, Umi shows Shun a photograph of three young naval men. One of these men is her deceased father Y?ichir? Sawamura, who was killed in the Korean War. Shun, who has a duplicate of Umi’s photograph, isolates himself from Umi, and later reveals that they may be related by blood during a confrontation with Umi. Umi is able to hide her feelings from Shun, and they continue as friends.

The renovation of the Latin Quarter is complete; however, the Kanagawa Prefectural Board of Education decides to proceed with the building’s demolition. The students nominate Shun, Umi, and Shir? to visit Tokyo and meet with Tokumaru, a businessman and the school board’s chairman. The trio travels through the city, which is in preparation for the 1964 Summer Olympics, and successfully convince Tokumaru to visit the Latin Quarter. As Shir? leaves the group, Umi professes her love to Shun, and he reciprocates her feelings in spite of their situation.

After she returns home, Umi discovers that her mother has returned. Ryoko reveals that Shun’s father was Hiroshi Tachibana – the second man in the photograph. Tachibana was killed in accident on a repatriation ship. Shun’s mother died in childbirth. Y?ichir? registered the child as his own, to avoid leaving Shun as an orphan in the confused post-War years. However, Ryoko could not raise Shun, as she was pregnant with Umi during her time as a medical student. Shun was eventually given to the Kazamas, a local couple who had lost their newborn at the time. Umi, however, still has concerns.

Tokumaru later visits the Latin Quarter and, impressed by the students’ efforts in renovating the building, he decides to abandon the demolition. Umi and Shun are soon summoned to the harbor. They meet Yoshio Onodera, now a ship’s captain, who was the third man in the photograph, and the sole survivor of the three. Onodera confirms that Umi and Shun are not related by blood, and tells the full story of the three naval men in the previous era. With everything resolved, Umi returns to Coquelicot Manor and resumes her daily routine of raising the flags.

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