[Film] March 13, 7 PM
In this wry comedy adapted from the semi-autobiographical work of legendary cartoonist Yoshiharu Tsuge, a hapless manga artist disillusioned with drawing comics turns his attention to selling rocks that he finds in a nearby river – a hopeless endeavor that only further estranges him from his poverty-stricken family.
Next event3/13/2020 7:00 PM
Gentle Motions: Atsushi Wada's Short Animation
[Special Screening] March 21, 3 PM
Atsushi Wada (b. 1980, Hyogo Prefecture) is an award-winning Japanese animator whose distinctive hand-drawn style emphasizes a minimalist aesthetic and evocative use of negative space. His whimsical and surrealist works, often involving animals and soft humans with blank expressions, utilize sudden shifts in perspective, sound effects and idiosyncratic gestures to express the comic absurdity and poetry of everyday life.
Next event3/21/2020 3:00 PM
Sumo Do, Sumo Don't
[Film] April 10, 7 PM
Before receiving global acclaim for the smashing success of Shall We Dance? (1996), director Masayuki Suo had another major hit with this light-hearted comedy about a ragtag group of misfits who eventually find their self-worth by resurrecting a nearly defunct university sumo club.
Next event4/10/2020 7:00 PM
[Film] April 11, 2 PM
Made under the watchful eye of the Japanese wartime government, Akira Kurosawa’s first film as a director is an adaptation of a popular novel about the legitimization of judo, based on the life of one of its earliest disciples, Shiro Saigo, and his training with the martial art’s founder Kano Jigoro.
Next event4/11/2020 2:00 PM
I Will Buy You
[Film] April 11, 4 PM
Before taking on the Japanese feudal system in anti-establishment jidaigeki masterpieces such as Harakiri (1962), director Masaki Kobayashi turned his attention to the world of professional sports with this scathing indictment of the baseball industry and postwar capitalist greed. Battling against rival teams, a talent scout for the major league Toyo Flowers goes all out to sign a star college baseball player—a cutthroat process involving bribery, deception and back room deals—at the risk of losing his humanity.
Next event4/11/2020 4:00 PM
[Film] April 11, 7 PM
One of the rare non-jidaigeki films directed by Kenji Misumi—best known for his contributions to the Lone Wolf and Cub and Zatoichi swordplay film series—The Sword nevertheless evokes the bushido spirit through the story of an exceptionally talented kendo club captain whose ascetic devotion to the centuries-old practice draws the ire of his less-disciplined assistant.
Next event4/11/2020 7:00 PM
[Film] April 15, 7 PM
Initially lured by the prospect of getting close to a beautiful new coach, five awkward students at an all-boys high school sign up for a synchronized swimming club despite having little athletic ability and even less coordination, finding some help from an eccentric dolphin trainer along the way.
Next event4/15/2020 7:00 PM
The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine
[Film] April 18, 3 PM
Amid the sociopolitical turmoil following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, a group of radical male anarchists who call themselves the Guillotine Society cross paths with an itinerant female sumo troupe and form a bond strengthened by their shared resistance to rising militarism and racist vigilante nationalists targeting socialists and Koreans.
Next event4/18/2020 3:00 PM
Aim for the Best!
[Film] April 18, 7 PM
Following the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics and the domestic excitement surrounding Japanese athletes, the sports manga and anime genre (supokon) became popular in Japan in the late 1960s and ’70s, including several shojo (youth female-oriented) series. Among the most iconic and influential of these is Aim for the Best!, created by Sumika Yamamoto, about an insecure high school girl who strives to become a professional tennis player with the guidance of a mysterious coach and the rivalry of an older teammate.
Next event4/18/2020 7:00 PM
A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness
[Film] April 21, 7 PM
In need of a new cover girl to boost advertising sales, the top brass of a large sports magazine manufacture the latest Japanese sports star: an amateur golfer who looks good in a bikini. When the golfer’s fame attracts the unwanted attention of a crazed housewife stalker, however, she finds herself terrorized by a blackmail scheme and Suzuki makes a sharp turn into surreal psychological thriller territory.
Next event4/21/2020 7:00 PM
Koshien: Japan's Field of Dreams
[Film] April 24, 7 PM
Every summer in Japan, baseball fans are swept up in the thrill of Koshien, the wildly popular national high school baseball championship named after Osaka’s hallowed Koshien Stadium. On the historic 100th anniversary of the single elimination tournament, documentary filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazaki follows the coaches and players of two promising teams as they undergo rigorous training—a process that reveals a uniquely Japanese and exceptionally martial approach to the Western sport that emphasizes self-sacrifice and spiritual conditioning.
Next event4/24/2020 7:00 PM
Tokyo Paralympics: Festival of Love and Glory
[Film] April 25, 4:30 PM
This summer, Tokyo will be the first city to host the Paralympic Games on two separate occasions. This frank and intimate documentary—recently rediscovered and restored after being forgotten in storage for decades—offers a fascinating glimpse of the first occasion in 1964, the 2nd official Paralympics, by following the journey of several pioneering Japanese athletes whose participation (along with that of over 300 other athletes from 20 countries) helped raise disability awareness and change prevailing stigmas in their home country.
Next event4/25/2020 4:30 PM
Youth: The 50th National High School Baseball Tournament
[Film] April 25, 7 PM
Among the hardest-to-see films in Kon Ichikawa’s oeuvre, this 1968 documentary finds the legendary director approach the subject of Japanese high school baseball with the same lyricism and visual splendor as he did with the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo Olympiad (1965).
Next event4/25/2020 7:00 PM