Archive for the 'Japan' Category

Hirokazu Koreeda – “Monster’ won Script Award at Cannes 2023

Tuesday, June 6th, 2023

(“Air Doll”, Joe Odagiri and the amazing Korean Actress directed by Hirokazu Koreeda)

(Makanai – Koreeda drected Netflix series)

(Hirokazu Koreeda won Screeplay award, accepting for Yuji Sakamoto, Koji Yakusho for best actor at Cannes 2023 working with Vim Wenders.
previously Koreeda directed Koji Yakusho in “The Third Murder”)

Happy birthday Hirokazu Koreeda

See more photos for Koreeda from previoua poar – Shoplifters wins Palme d”Or at Cannes 2018

An Appreciation of Itami Juzo on His Birthday, May 14, 1933

Monday, May 15th, 2023
  • “I am trying to discover who I am through making movies. I see myself as being confined in a cage of Japanese culture and the cage of being a man. I have to look at myself from an outsider’s point of view when I make my films.” Itami Juzo.

    Nobuko Miyamoto and Juzo Itami, NYC, 4/12/88

    Itami and Nobuko Miyamoto, Creative Marriage

  • Itami was the brother-in-law of Kenzaburō Ōe and an uncle of Hikari Ōe.

    A Quiet Life – Criterion based on a novel by Kenzaburo Oe, directed by Itami Juzo.

  • Itami Juzo was cast in “Lord Jim” acted with Peter O’Toole. When Peter O’Toole visited Japan, Itami took him to meet Akira Kurosawa when he was
    filming, “Red Beard”.

  • Spotlight on Juzo Itami

    Movies & TV Spotlight: Juzo Itami — The Revered Tampopo Director Who Died in Mysterious Circumstances

  • Itami Juzo Museum

  • Juzo Itami vs The Yakuza

  • Good bye Ryuichi Sakamoto

    Sunday, April 2nd, 2023

  • Ryuichi Sakamoto homepage

  • His nickname is Kyoju, which means Professor in Japanese.

  • Listen to Ryuichi Sakamoto playing “Bring Them Home” (Sakamoto was an activist for peace- scroll down) (Previous post)
    Kitano Takeshi and Ryuichi Sakamoto

  • The Passing of Nobel Prize Winning Author Oe Kenzaburo

    Monday, March 13th, 2023
  • Oe Kenzaburo
    Oe was married to sister of Tampopo director Itami Juzo.

    BBC Obit – Oe Kenzaburo

  • Oe Kenzaburo and Mario A
    (interesting photos of Oe Kenzaburo and his family and friends here)

  • Oe and his sonOe Kenzaburo and his son Hikari

    The birth of Hikari was a turning point in Oe’s life and in his literary career. Much of Oe’s later fiction examined the relationship between disabled and non disabled people. Hikari turned out to be exceptionally gifted in music, and he is acknowledged as one of the most famous composers in Japan.
    Hikari Oe Wikipedia here

    Art and Healing: Conversation with Oe (UC Berkeley edu)

  • Oe Kenzaburo and Kazuo Ishiguro in Conversation. (Among many other topics they discussed Yukio Mishima)

  • A Stranger in Shanghai Based on Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s Diary

    Thursday, January 5th, 2023
  • NHK World on Demand till June 2023

    China is tumultuous in 1921 when the famed Japanese author of Rashomon, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, visits Shanghai as a correspondent. Here he encounters revolutionaries, courtesans and much more…

    Ryuhei Matsuda who played Ryunosuke Akutagawa was directed by Nagisa Oshima in Gohatto (御法度), also known as Taboo.

  • Akutagawa Ryunosuke
    KappaRyunosuke Akutagawa
    drawing at the bottom by an author.
    Akira Kurosawa made “Rashomon” world famous with Toshiro Mifune playing the bandit.

  • Adieu Arata Isozaki & Vivienne Westwood

    Thursday, December 29th, 2022

  • (Joshua Tree) ‘


  • Arata Isozaki Himalayas Center Zendai

  • In Pictures. gallery

    Vivien Westwood & Greta Thunberg

    Vivienne Westwood says Greta Thunberg should run the world

    ‘If Greta was world controller it would be great’

  • Joe Strummer by Masayoshi Sukita and Haruki Murakami Library

    Friday, December 23rd, 2022
  • Joe Strummer
    (Photo of Joe Strummer by Masayoshi Sukita)
    Thanks to Actor/Photographer Masatoshi Nagase who posted this on FB (Dec 23, 2022).

  • (Yoko Ogawa and Haruki Murakami)
    Murakami adds voice to his work in reading with Yoko Ogawa

  • See a film based on Yoko Ogawa – Professor and his beloved equation

  • Murakami Library from Asahi Shinbun

    AUTHORS ALIVE!: Murakami spins best of Stan Getz while he talks about jazz great

  • (3 books by Haruki Murakami Photo by Fung Lin Hall)
    On the right:
    Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
    Left bottom
    Haruki Murakami, Illustration by Anzai Mizumaru
    Haruki Murakami Usagi Oishi Furansujin 1st Edition Mizumaru Anzai
    The Top : The Scrap – 1980 Nostalgia.

  • Yoshishige Yoshida – Famous for film “Eros Massacre” Passed Away

    Thursday, December 8th, 2022
  • Yoshishige Yoshida

    Graduating from the University of Tokyo, where he studied French literature, Yoshida entered the Shōchiku studio in 1955 and worked as an assistant to Keisuke Kinoshita,[1] before debuting as a director in 1960 with Rokudenashi.[2] He was a central member of what came to be called the “Shōchiku Nouvelle Vague” along with Nagisa Oshima and Masahiro Shinoda,[3] and his works have been studied under the larger rubric of the Japanese New Wave,[4] a linkage which Yoshida himself disliked.[1] Like many of his New Wave cohorts, he felt restricted under the studio system. After Shōchiku’s re-editing of his Escape from Japan (1964), he left the studio to start his own production company,[1] for which he directed such films as Eros + Massacre.[2]
    Between 1960 and 2004, Yoshida directed more than 20 films, some of which starred his wife, actress Mariko Okada.[1] After a long absence from the screen following the 1973 Coup d’État, he returned with A Promise, which was shown in the Un Certain Regard section the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.[5] Two years later, his film Wuthering Heights would compete for the Golden Palm at the 1988 Festival.[6] In 2002, Women in the Mirror followed after another hiatus of 14 years.[7] In addition to his theatrical films, Yoshida directed a series of documentaries for Japanese TV.
    Yoshida named European cinema as a great influence on his work, most notably the directors Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni, and pre-war French films like the works of Jean Renoir.[1] He also published a number of books on the topic of cinema, including one on his own cinematic work and an analysis of the films of Yasujirō Ozu.

  • Mariko Okada married to Yoshishige Yoshida is an actress who worked with her husband, Yasujiro Ozu, Juzo Itami and her father was a legendary silent film star Okada Tokihiko. (Both father and daughter were directed by Ozu).

  • Yoshishige Yoshida MUBI

  • Midnight Eye Interview Yoshishige Yoshida

  • RIP – Toshi Ichiyanagi – A Pioneer Composer, Yoko Ono’s First Husband

    Saturday, October 8th, 2022
  • A Pioneer Composer Ichiyanagi dies, 89 years old

    Avant-garde pianist and composer Toshi Ichiyanagi, who studied with John Cage and went on to lead Japan’s advances in experimental modern music, has died

    Toshi Ichiyanagi (wiki)

    One of the leading composers in Japan during the postwar era, Ichiyanagi worked in a range of genres, composing Western-style operas and orchestral and chamber works, as well as compositions using traditional Japanese instruments.[1] Ichiyanagi is known for incorporating avant-garde techniques into his works, such as chance music, extended technique, and nontraditional scoring.[1] Ichiyanagi was married to artist Yoko Ono from 1956 to 1962.

  • John Cage, T.Ichiyanagi
    and David Tudor, Great Budhha in Tokyo)

    See photo John Cage Shock vol 3 here.

  • Brilliant Casting of Hidetoshi Nishijima for “Drive My Car” by Ryusuke Hamaguchi

    Sunday, September 4th, 2022
  • Hidetoshi Nishijima and Ryusuke Hamaguchi photographed by Mark Selige

  • Drive My Car at Criterion

  • In Conversation Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Hidetoshi Nishiima – Adapting Drive My Car for Screen

  • The Playlist Interview

  • Actor embraces grief Chekov and a red Saab for “Drive My Car” (LA times)

  • >
    (Hidetoshi Nishijima in Dolls directed by Takeshi Kitano)

  • Kenji Miyazawa – A Poet, Educator & An Agronomist

    Saturday, August 27th, 2022
  • Kenji Miyazawa cultivated a life as a thinker, a practicing buddhist, a geologist/agronomist, and idealsitic educator and reformer.

    From Who is Kenji?

    In the introduction to his collection of short stories, The Restaurant of Many Orders, he set himself up as an experimental medium for the chaotic processes of natural phenomena. Kenji Miyazawa was born on Aug 27, 1896. Today he is known mostly for writing children’s stories.
    He saw himself as a simple vehicle for reprocessing nature itself. “These stories of mine,” he wrote in 1923, “all came to me from moonlight and rainbows, at places like railroad tracks and fields and forests.”
    Kenji Miyazawa, Rebel with a Cause (collection of essays)

  • He was 37 when he died. (wiki)
    Almost totally unknown as a poet in his lifetime, Miyazawa’s work gained its reputation posthumously,[2] and enjoyed a boom by the mid-1990s on his centenary.[3] A museum dedicated to his life and works was opened in 1982 in his hometown. Many of his children’s stories have been adapted as anime, most notably Night on the Galactic Railroad. Many of his tanka and free verse poetry, translated into many languages, are still popular today.

    Miyazawa Kenji anime

    Kame neko (oven cat- a sample story by Kenji Miyazawa)

    Miyazawa Kenji
    Drawings by a buddhist/poet/geologist/agronomist/socialist

  • The World of Kenji Miyazaki

  • Tokyo Toilets – Wim Wenders & Yakusho Koji

    Sunday, August 14th, 2022
  • Wim Wenders homepage

    „THE TOKYO TOILET“ Art Project with Wim Wenders, Koji Yakusho, Tadao Ando et al.
    Wim Wenders announces a new art project which includes a short film about high-end public toilets in Shibuya, Tokyo.

    Japan’s leading international actor, Kōji Yakusho (Memoirs of a Geisha / Babel etc.) will play the lead role.
    The spaces featured in THE TOKYO TOILET (TTT) were designed by world-renowned architects like Tadao Ando, Shigeru Ban,and designers like NIGO, with the idea that a pleasant public restroom could counter the common expectation of a dark, dirty and dangerous place.

    “My first reaction was: What? Toilets? Chotto mattete,” said Wim Wenders during the press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday, using the Japanese expression for “wait a minute”.

    For Wim Wenders, the project has high social value and he could immediately see the potential and story behind these stylish Tokyo toilets. „Because a toilet is a place where everybody is the same. There’s no rich and poor, no old and young, everybody’s part of humanity“, he said.

    The film shooting will take place in Tokyo in October 2022.