Japanese Cinema Day

Film fans have a treat in store on Saturday 25th February as Bangor University celebrates its first Japanese Cinema Day.

The event, which celebrates Japanese cinematic history, starts at 2pm and consists of two one-hour informal seminars and two film screenings.

This event is free to attend but places are limited and need to be booked in advance. Please email JapaneseCinemaDay@gmail.com to reserve a place or to ask any questions. The seminars will give an overview of Japanese cinematic history and show how cinema, culture, history and politics of Japan work together.

The first film will be Kurosawa Akira’s first feature film, The Most Beautiful (Ichiban utsukushiku, 1944), a propaganda film focusing on young women working in a lens factory in wartime Japan.

The second film to be shown is the Berlin Film Festival winner, Caterpillar (Kyatapirâm,2011), directed by Wakamatsu Koji. This film examines the difficult position a wife finds herself in when her disabled husband returns from the Pacific war. Please note that this film is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

These two films typify the changes that have taken place in Japan over eight decades and illustrate how the nation’s cinema has developed.
After the seminar there will be a question and answer session. The day will end with traditional sake or Japanese rice wine and edamame soybean snacks.

Organiser Dr Kate Taylor-Jones, a Lecturer in Visual Culture from the School of Creative Studies and Media at Bangor University, said: “This event is aimed at everyone, although Caterpillar cannot be seen by those under 18. Learning about Japanese cinema history is a way to understand more about the Japanese nation and the East Asian region.

“The day is ideal for anyone who is interested in history, Asia, politics and art. It is an opportunity to enjoy a fun few hours of Japanese film and culture. This is a unique free event to explore an exciting and fascinating area of the world. You may even learn a few Japanese phrases.”
This event is part of an Arts & Humanities Research Council and Great British Sasakawa Foundation funded project on early Colonial and Wartime Japanese Cinema.

Publication date: 17 February 2012