Archive for the ‘Special Screenings’ Category

“Japan’s Peace Constitution” (John Junkerman, Dir.; 2005. 78 min.) May 15,2009

Monday, May 4th, 2009

A Special Event at the University of Toronto

“Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution:  Bringing Peace into Today’s

Date and Time: 6:30 - 9:30 PM, May 15, 2009

OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, U of T), Room 2212
252 Bloor Street West (St. George Subway)

Event Programme:

- Screening of “Japan’s Peace Constitution”  (John Junkerman,
Dir.; 2005. 78 min.)
Followed by- Short presentations, discussion and Q&A’s with;
Joy Kogawa, Author and recipient of Order of Canada
Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, American University
Satoko Norimatsu, Active member of Vancouver Save Article 9
David McIntosh, Founding member of VSA9 (now in Toronto)

- Songs for Peace and Storytelling “May 15, 1972″
Yusuke Tanaka, Writer

RSVP before May 12 by email to with your name
and number of people attending.

Admission free (Donations toward expenses appreciated)

Light refreshments will be served.

Organized by: Toronto Article 9 Event Committee
(Koko Kikuchi, David McIntosh, Satoko Norimatsu, Tomoe Otsuki, and Yusuke

Co-sponsored by: Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in

Supporting organizations:
Vancouver Save Article 9
Peace Philosophy Centre

More about this Event:
May 2009 marks the 62nd anniversary of the enforcement of the Constitution
of Japan, which includes the war-renouncing clause, Article 9. It reads:
“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace and order, the Japanese
people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the
threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In
order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air
forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The
right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

Japan’s current constitution was adopted after war in Asia and the Pacific
came to an end in August, 1945, after taking the lives of over 20 million
people. While Article 9 stands as a symbolic expression of Japan’s remorse
for its aggressive past, particularly against the neighbouring peoples of
Asia, it has also effectively prevented Japan from resorting to violence
in international disputes for the last 62 years. There has been, however,
constant pressure from successive conservative-led governments to revise
Article 9 and diminish its substance by enacting laws that would allow
dispatch of the SDF (Self Defense Force) to other countries. In the mean
time, a nationwide citizens’ movement has arisen to protect the soul of
the Constitution, Article 9.  Today there are more than 7,000 “Save
Article 9″ organizations across Japan and several outside of Japan.
One of these, Vancouver Save Article 9 was founded in 2005 and now has 200
members strong.

In this event, the first of such nature in Toronto, we will watch John
Junkerman’s acclaimed documentary film, “Japan’s Peace
Constitution,” in which the international significance of Article 9
is discussed by scholars, activists and citizens around the world,
including U.S. media critic Noam Chomsky and Chinese filmmaker Ban
Zhongyi.  After the film, author Joy Kogawa will share her insights about
war, peace and Article 9. Dr. Peter Kuznick will talk about his work of
helping Americans face their past crimes, particularly the use of
atomic-bombs against Japan, and the implication of Article 9 for a
nuclear-free world, with reference to the recent commitment by President
Obama to pursue serious initiatives toward reducing and eventually
eliminating all nuclear weapons in the world.  Satoko Norimatsu and David
McIntosh will moderate the event and also talk about some of the
activities and experiences of the pro-Article 9 movement in Vancouver.

The event date, May 15, happens to be the 37th anniversary of Okinawa’s
reversion to Japan, so we will also discuss the meaning of Article 9 as it
relates to Okinawa.  Okinawa was one of the deadliest battlefields in the
Pacific War and, after the war, became home to 75% of the U.S. military
facilities in Japan.  Yusuke Tanaka will dedicate songs for peace and tell
a story, “May 15, 1972,” to commemorate this milestone.

Cinema Kabuki March 26-28, 2009

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009


CINEMA KABUKI at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto - Tickets Now on Sale


March 26 and 28, 2009
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
Tickets: $23.00

The box office is now open for three exclusive screenings of Cinema Kabuki at the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto. This Canadian premiere offers the rare opportunity to experience performances by some of Japan’s biggest Kabuki stars in high definition on the big screen.

Avant-garde in the 1600s, this traditional form of Japanese theatre remains at the cutting edge with live productions featuring some of the best Kabuki actors. Cinema Kabuki series are recorded by multiple HD cameras for theatrical screening with high-quality digital projectors and 6-channel sound.

Seating is limited, so act now and purchase your tickets at or at the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto, 259 Richmond St. W. (Step-by-step instructions for purchasing online tickets below.)

Thursday, March 26, 7:00 PM

Nezumi, The Japanese Robin Hood (a satirical comedy)
Written and directed for the stage by Hideki Noda

Recorded live at Kabuki-za Theatre, Tokyo, 2003
110 minutes
Subtitled in English

Nezumi, a sort of 18th century Robin Hood, is a Japanese urban legend. A cynical, duplicitous coffin maker’s passion for money drives him to take on Nezumi’s mantle. In this kaleidoscope of disguise and deception, society’s pretenses are destroyed in a melting pot of farce, social satire and courtroom drama. The mighty are brought low to everyone’s delight. Contemporary theatre genius Hideki Noda collaborates with Kabuki theatre at the invitation of celebrated actor Kanzaburo.

Saturday, March 28, 1:00 PM

Dojoji - A Lover’s Duet (a dance performance)
Directed for Cinema Kabuki by Naoya Hasumi
Recorded live at Kabuki-za Theatre, Tokyo, 2006

71 minutes
Subtitled in English

Tamasaburo, one of Japan’s most renowned dancers, and rising star Kikunosuke create elegant mirror images to underscore the beauty and eroticism of one soul divided by the sacred and the profane in Dojoji - A Lover’s Duet. Abandoning the sacred path has transformed a beautiful young woman into a serpent. Dancing at a dedication ceremony for a temple bell, the woman/serpent rediscovers her higher self. Following Kabuki tradition, both of the dancers are men.

Saturday, March 28, 3:30 PM

The Sentimental Plasterer (a domestic comedy)
Revised and directed for the stage and Cinema Kabuki by Yoji Yamada

Recorded live at Shimbashi Embujo Theatre, Tokyo, 2007
87 minutes
Subtitled in English

Chobei, a skillful plasterer, blithely gambles his family into poverty. To feed the family, his daughter Ohisa turns to prostitution. Touched by Ohisa’s selfless love for her parents, a Madam arranges a loan for Chobei. On the way home, Chobei saves a young man who, having lost a large sum, is about to commit suicide. But who will believe this story? Surely Chobei has gambled away the family’s last chance. Starring Kanzaburo and Senjaku as Chobei and his wife.


*You do not have to be a SCENE card member to buy tickets.

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3) Choose [Scotiabank Theatre Toronto]

4) From [Movie Show Time Search], choose the screening date

5) Choose the program you want to see

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7) Follow the ticket sales prompts to complete the sale


Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Wednesday March 4, 2009

5:45 pm   Doors open

6:00 pm   Lectures begin

8:30 pm   Seminar ends

Location: Ryerson University, 245 Church Street

George Vari Engineering & Computing Centre, ENG103

Admission: FREE, Reservation recommended for guaranteed seating

RSVP at OR OR 416-966-1600 x600

The Digital Value Lab (Ryerson University) and the Japan Foundation, Toronto are pleased to present a seminar on anime and contemporary Japanese society. Two scholars—Prof. Jaqueline Berndt, Yokohama National University and Prof. Kaichiro Morikawa, Meiji University—have been invited from Japan to introduce the audience to Japanese society today through multi-disciplinary perspectives. At the conclusion of the seminar, Dr. Eric Cazdyn, Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies at University of Toronto will participate as the discussant.

POST-CRITICAL ANIME: Observations on its ‘Identities’ within Contemporary Japan

While anime is being watched on a global scale, there are significant differences in its contemporary reception. The gap between regular consumers and critical spectators, sometimes appearing in the form of Japanese audiences vs. foreign Japanologists, deserves special attention since it raises a number of questions, such as what sort of animated film is identified as ‘anime’; who relates anime to politics, history and society; what kind of meaning is at play in anime’s performative images, and to what extent one can read ‘Japanese society’, or even ‘culture’, out of anime. Comparing Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954) and Gonzo’s Samurai 7 (2004) as well as touching upon anime’s history, this lecture focuses on aesthetic and cultural identities ascribed to anime in modern Japan and their contemporary relevance.

Jaqueline Berndt is Associate Professor of Art and Media Studies, Yokohama National University. She specializes in aesthetics/art theory, visual cultural studies, Japanese studies, aesthetics of comics, art in modern Japan, anime and animation.

OTAKU CULTURE: Personality, Space and City of Anime Fans

In Japan, optimism about an ever-progressing technological future ran out in the 1970’s. It was in the mid-1980’s that the term otaku was coined to signify a new type of personality that emerged as a reaction to the loss of ‘future’. The term evokes a stereotyped image of a geeky computer nerd, long past adolescence but still obsessed with games and anime. The presentation shall explore how this otaku personality became a geographical phenomenon in a district called Akihabara, together with its role in the development of Japanese anime.

Kaichiro Morikawa is Associate Professor of Contemporary Culture in the School of Global Japanese Studies at Meiji University. His research interests include design and architectural theory. Prof. Morikawa served as commissioner of the Japanese pavilion at the Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition in 2004.

Art Theatre Guild of Japan films in New York February 18-March 1, 2009

Friday, February 13th, 2009

“Shinjuku Ecstacy - Independent films from the Art Theatre Guild of Japan”

Wed., Feb. 18
7:30 pm   Terayama Shuji - Throw Away Your Books, Let’s Go into the Street

Fri., Feb. 20
7:30 pm   Matsumoto Toshio - Funeral Parade of Roses

Sat., Feb. 21
3.00 pm   Oshima Nagisa - Death by Hanging
5:30 pm   Kuroki Kazuo - Silence Has No Wings

Sun., Feb. 22
3:00 pm   Yoshida Kiju - Eros plus Massacre

Tues., Feb.24
7:30 pm   Hani Susumu - The Inferno of First Love

Wed., Feb. 25
7:30 pm   Shinoda Masahiro - Double Suicide

Fri., Feb. 27
7:30 pm   Jissoji Akio - This Transient Life

Sat., Feb. 28
3:00 pm   Imamura Shohei - A Man Vanishes
5:45 pm   Okabe Michio - Crazy Love

Sun., Mar. 1
3:00 pm   Teshigahara Hiroshi - Pitfall
5:15 pm   Wakamatsu Koji - Ecstasy of the Angels

For more information please visit the Japan Society homepage:

Some of the films have hardly been screened in the US, so don’t miss the opportunity!

Artist Talk + White Calligraphy performance by Takahiko Iimura at 8Fest Jan 31, 2009

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Saturday January 31 4:00pm

Artist Talk + White Calligraphy performance by Takahiko Iimura

sponsored by FADO Performance Art Centre

White Calligraphy Takahiko Iimura live Super 8 performance Tokyo 1967/2009

Takahiko Iimura has been a pioneer artist of Japanese experimental film and video, working in film since 1960 and with video since 1970. He has been a link between the North American and Japanese experimental media communities for over forty years, spending time and making work in both New York and Tokyo.Iimura will discuss his use of small-gauge film and his body of work as a whole after performing White Calligraphy. This piece reworks a film initially made in 1967 by writing/scratching the characters of the “Kojiki”, the oldest story in Japan, directly onto 16mm black leader (now reduced to Super 8). The language flows by at one character per frame. Iimura handholds the Super 8 projector, varying the speed and angle at will. The result anthropomorphizes the iconographic characters of the story, animating language into a visual dance.
All events at:

Trash Palace, 89-B Niagara Street (Just West of Bathurst) Toronto, ON

Tickets $5 per event, except where noted

more info: the8fest ( at)

Tenchu screening at the JCCC

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Hey Guys, I don’t know if anyone is reading this anymore but I thought that you guys might want to know that that Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) is holding a screening for the film “Tenchu directed but Gosha Hideo and starring Katsu Shintaro. It will be shown on Thursday March 27th starting at 7:00PM. The admission for JCCC members is $5 and for non-members, it is $7. Check out their website here.

Okamoto Kihachi’s Samurai Assassin screening at the JCCC

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Hey guys, I just got the holiday newsletter for the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) and noticed that they are screening Okamoto Kihachi’s “Samurai Assassin” at the JCCC on Thursday January 31 at 7:00PM. For JCCC members the admission fee is $5 and $7 for non-members.

Here is the description from the newsletter:

“Samurai Assassin is director Okamoto (Sword of Doom) Kihachi’s best film. It is also considered by many to be the best samurai film ever made!
On March 3, 1860, a group of 32 men assembled at the Sakurada Gates of the Edo Castle, and waited for Shogunate Elder li Naosuke to arrive. Their mission- ASSASSINATION!
Legendary actor Mifune Toshiro, in one of his greatest and most complex roles, stars as Niiro Tsuruchiyo, a ronin who has joined the conspiracy in the hopes that taking Elder li’s head will win him enough renown that one of the greatest Samurai houses will offer him a position. Fate has dealt Niiro many hard blows. The product of a youthful indiscretion, he doesn’t know who his father is. An ill-fated love affair has broken his heart and delivered him into abject poverty. All he has left is his sword and his burning desire to succeed. Nothing, not even the lives of his friends, matters more than becoming a real Samurai. But what Niiro does not know, as he waits in the snow for the arrival of the Elder, is that cruel fate has not yet finished toying with him!
This film is the first in a series of screening in 2008 to acknowledge the 150 anniversary of the bakumatsu and the birth
of modern Japan.”

For more information on the JCCC, their website is

Toronto Japanese Short Film Festival Nov 8-11

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

At Innis Town Hall this weekend!

Uchida Tomu at the Cinematheque Ontario (Oct 26-Nov14)

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Please check out the Uchida Tomu Retrospective at the Cinematheque Ontario(Oct 26-Nov14). Not to be missed are A Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji (1955, Nov 14, 7:30pm), Policeman (1933, Nov 12, 7;30pm silent with piano accompaniment) and the scope print of A Fujitive from the Past (1964, Oct 28, 3pm).

Reel Asian Film Fest

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (November 14-18)
is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the
Asian diaspora. Works include films and videos by East and Southeast
Asian artist in Canada, the U.S., Asia and all over the world. Reel
Asian has been named Toronto’s Best Small Festival by NOW Magazine:
“(Reel Asian) strikes the best balance between cutting edge and
community. Strong programming and deep roots attract a
super-hyphenated tribe.”

The festival fosters the exchange of cultural and artistic ideals
between east and west, provides a public forum for homegrown Asian
media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for
Asian cinema in Canada.