A simple acting audition was being conducted for Mori Aikko in the New Otani Hotel's banquet hall.
Director Yan Wu said first, "Imagine that you fell in love with a man and play the scene where you confess your feelings to the man. You don't have to feel nervous. I just want to see if you can do acting."
Mori Aikko looked at Gun-Ho's face to overcome her nervousness, and Gun-Ho encouraged her by giving a slight nod. The two movie directorsYan Wu and Woon-Hak Simdidn't understand Japanese anyway. They wouldn't be able to understand what Mori Aikko would say. Their evaluation score to be given to Mori Aikko had to be based on her gestures and facial expressions.
Mori Aikko came forward. As a matter of fact, Mori Aikko wanted to get into an acting career. She wanted to appear in a movie or TV drama like other celebrities. She, in fact, preferred to be a celebrity over being a dancing geisha who was doing a dance performance in an event held by a provincial city. She would make more money and become more popular if she was known and work as an actress. Even if the audition was for a role in a Chinese movie, not a Japanese movie, it didn't matter for her. She wanted to be an actress, and this could be a start for her.
Mori Aikko started playing the role of confessing her feelings to a man who she loved as Director Yan Wu asked.
"Oppa, let's move to Otaru City and live together. Let's forget about all the things going on here and start a new life with me there. You can work as a fisherman, and I will live as the fisherman's wife."
Gun-Ho recoiled a little bit as he was listening to what Mori Aikko said. She had actually told him the exact same thing before. Mori Aikko was serious; she was expressing her sincere mind. Director Yan Wu and Director Woon-Hak Sim were so impressed that their eyes widened. The veracity of her saying must have successfully been delivered to those two directors, and that was exactly what the movie directors were looking for in testing an actor or actresses.
Mori Aikko continued, "Oppa, I love you. I don't mind if I would have to live in poverty as long as I am with you. I want to have a life with you. We can walk along the canal in Otaru City during the weekends. I want to walk in Sakaimachidori Street with you too."
Mori Aikko's tears looked genuine.
"Okay, that's enough!" Director Yan Wu said as he started clapping.
"That was great."
Mori Aikko stopped acting and turned her gaze to Gun-Ho, and she smiled at him. Gun-Ho also smiled at Mori Aikko while applauding in praising her act, but his smile also contained a lot of mixed feelings.
Director Yan Wu gave a second request to Mori Aikko.
"This is the situation where I want you to act. You are buying fruits from this merchant. You paid 10,000 won to him for the fruits that you picked, but the merchant insisted that he only received 1,000 won from you. You are arguing with the seller."
Mori Aikko took a moment before starting her act, "I gave you 10,000 won. Check your pocket again. I don't lie. You have to have a 10,000 won bill there that I just gave to you. See? That's the 10,000 won bill that I gave to you. What? That's a 10,000 won bill that you received from another customer?"
"Okay, stop right there."
Director Yan Wu stopped Mori Aikko and gave his comment.
"This scene was a bit awkward. You were like reading a book out loud. I guess we need to train you as we shoot the movie. Since you don't speak Chinese, your part will be dubbed into Chinese by a Chinese voice actor, of course. However, we need you to act well with your face and body. That's critical for us in order to produce a quality movie. I will need to discuss with Director Woon-Hak Sim whether we would cast you for our movie. Mr. Director Sim, what do you think?"
"I'd like to work with her. We can train her for acting."
Gun-Ho usually wouldn't say anything in a situation like this, but he said, "Let's make the decision right here now before we leave."
"The words out of Gun-Ho's mouththe major investor in this movie productionalways weighed heavily. Director Yan Wu responded quickly, "Good. I was leaning on casting her anyway. Ms. Mori Aikko, please have a seat."
Mori Aikko carefully sat on a chair.
Director Yan Wu sipped his water out of a bottle and said, "We don't strictly follow the movie script. I was thinking about it when I saw the geisha's Odori yesterday that we will add a lot of geisha's Odori scenes here and there in the movie."
Mr. Yoshitaka Matsuda agreed, "That's a good idea. Ms. Mori Aikko is a talented dancer, and we should make the most of it."
"That's exactly what I'm saying, and that's one of the main reasons why I decided to work with her."
"If you decided to cast Ms. Aikko, you need to talk with the bar owner in Shinjuku City where we went yesterdayMama San. Mama San is like an entertainment agency in the geisha's world."
"We can stop by her bar today."
"That's a good idea. I will give her a call for our visit today."
Director Yan Wu said, "And, once I go back to China, I will have our movie script translated into the Japanese language for Mori Aikko and send it to her. She needs to know the overall story and what's going on in the movie."
Mr. Yoshitaka Matsuda added as he scratched his nose, "Umm, there are a few things that you need to make an arrangement in working with her. Once she leaves for Shanghai, she will need an interpreter for her."
"Also, she needs a makeup artist as well."
"A makeup artist?"
"I understand that your movie production company in China has makeup artists; however, the geisha makeup is special, and it is done by those makeup artists who know how to do it. A geisha can't do the makeup by herself. Many geisha makeup artists are men, but since Ms. Mori Aikko has to be accompanied by a makeup artist for the trip abroad, we probably want to find a female geisha makeup artist."
"Well, it's noon now. Let's have lunch here first. We will then leave for the bar to meet with Mama San. Or, maybe we can ask her to come to the hotel."
"Ask her about it. Either way is good."
"Okay, I will talk to her."
Mr. Yoshitaka Matsuda made a call to Mama San Segawa Joonkko.
"Mama San? This is Yoshitaka Matsuda. The movie directors here decided to cast Ms. Mori Aikko for their movie. They want to make a contract today. Can you come over to the hotel for it?"
After getting off the phone with Mama San, Mr. Yoshitaka Matsuda said, "She will be here by 1 pm."
"Great. Let's have lunch now."
Hotel's staff started bringing food to the banquet hall.
Gun-Ho said, "Please have your lunch. I will sit at a separate table with Mori Aikko. I have something that I need to talk about with her."
Gun-Ho stood up from his seat, held Mori Aikko's hand, and moved to another table. Looking at Gun-Ho holding Mori Aikko's hand, the other three men were surprised.
"Something is going on between President Goo and Ms. Mori Aikko, right?"
"Yeah, it looks like it. I can tell by looking at the way Ms. Aikko was staring at President Goo. It's so intensive."
Gun-Ho and Mori Aikko were sitting at the table by the window, where they could see Japan's State Guest House. The three men at the other table kept glancing at those two while having their food. Gun-Ho and Mori Aikko seemed to have a good time. They talked, laughed, and clinked each other's glass of beer. Mori Aikko's profile reminded them of a sculpture that was carefully carved by an artist. The three men were jealous of Gun-Ho; he seemed to have it all. They were envious of his youth as well.
After finishing lunch, they went to a caf within the hotel to have a cup of coffee. When they finished half of their cup of coffee, Mama San Segawa Joonkko arrived at the hotel.