Nippon Connection 2018- The Daily Highlights (May 31st)


It’s been another warm one so far, but we hope that you have been able to stick out the sticky pre-summer weather and have some good times at Nippon Connection 2018 so far.  Rain is predicted today but hopefully it restricts itself to the times when you are all inside, enjoying some of these great premiers and workshops!

Special Events:

Nippon Film Breakfast- The Boy and the Beast

Ren, an orphan boy living on the streets of Tokyo, finds the secret entrance to a parallel world inhabited by talking beasts. There, he becomes the apprentice of a sword fighter. Several years later, Ren finds a way back to the human world, and soon finds himself torn between the two worlds. Mamoru HOSODA’s latest masterpiece proves him to be one of the most important animation filmmakers of our time.

Nihon Buyo Performance

The traditional dance Nihon Buyo was developed in 17th-century Japan out of Kabuki and Noh theater traditions, and remains immensely popular today. Experience a magical dance performance by Michiko YAMAZAKI’s performance will provide you with a sense of the magical elegance of this expressive art form. Admission is free.

Japanese Cinema Post-Fukushima

Seven years after Japan was struck by the tsunami and nuclear disaster that followed the earthquake of March 11, 2011, Japanese society seems to have processed the trauma caused by the catastrophe. Chantal Bertalanffy illustrates how this return to normalcy was possible despite considerable civil protest, and what role Japanese cinema played in this. The lecture will be in English.

Kirigami Workshop

Michiyo ARAKAWA from Okinawa will teach guests the secrets of the papercut-technique called Kirigami, where there is no such thing as a mistake.

Translating Mangas

Japanese comics have their own, distinct language. When translated into German, it should sound just as witty or lurid as in the original work. John Schmitt-Weigand and Gandalf Bartholomäus are specialists on the matter. A talk on their experiences will be moderated by the translator Karin Betz. The presentation will be in German and admission is free.


Tea Ceremony

During the ritualistic preparation and degustation of Japanese tea, nothing is left to chance. The tea ceremony doesn’t only regulate the harmonic communication between the host and the guest, it also conveys respect for the objects used. Tee master Yumiko Ono-Wiesheu, president of the Chado Urasenke Tankokai Association in Frankfurt since 2011, will explain the basics of this historic ritual. The workshop is in German.


Shogi is the Japanese version of chess. Its numerous peculiar rules make every game a new challenge. The Frankfurt Shogi Club and its members will give interested players an introduction, and afterwards you can try Shogi out for yourself. Our youngest festival guests can try dobutsu shogi (animal chess), a version specifically developed for kids.


Benshi Performance

NIPPON CONNECTION is delighted to showcase a historic gem from the silent film era: Ichiro KATAOKA, the most well-known Benshi (film-narrator) of his generation, will accompany the period piece KURAMA TENGU from 1928, supported by three musicians from Japan (piano: Ayumi KAMIYA, shamisen: Yasumi MIYAZAWA, percussion: Masayoshi TANAKA).

Nippon Open Air: Melted Moon

Tonight’s open-air musical performance will be by Melted Moon, a group that uses modified game consoles to weave music out of the various types of digital music video games have given rise to.

Film Talks: Shuichi OKITA

Tonight’s Film Talk will be moderated by Maggie Lee and will be with the director for Mori, The Artist’s Habitat.


Special Premiers:

Lu Over The Wall by Masaaki YUASA

Masaaki YUASA’s original story has already received numerous international accolades, and will finally have its German premier tonight.

The Night I Swam by Wataru TAKAHASHI

This fantastical coming-of-age adventure tale will have its German premier this afternoon in the Naxoshalle.

Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura by Takashi YAMAZAKI

YAMAZAKI’s latest work is a romantic fantasy story being premiered in Germany for the first time this afternoon in Mousonturm.

Violence Voyager by Ujicha

In one of the most unique and bizarre animated works of recent years, Ujicha utilizes a technique called “gekimation” to bring to life the horror-scifi experiences of two young friends who discover an abandoned amusement park.

The Hungry Lion by Takaomi OGATA

A film about sex scandals and the price of being part of a media frenzy, this is arguably one of the most topical and relevant films being screened this year in Nippon Cinema.

The Blood of Wolves by Kazuya SHIRAISHI

Arguably one of the best yakuza-and-cop movies to come out in years, this premier is sure to be a special treat for any fans of the genre.


Meet the Guests:

Trace of Breath by Haruka KOMORI

The German premier of this unique documentary will be attended by the director, as well as its producer, Takeshi HATA.

Zen and Bones by Takayuki NAKAMURA

This documentary’s European premier will feature the presence of the director and producer (Kaizo HAYASHI).

Dear Etranger by Yukiko MISHIMA

The director, MISHIMA, will be joined by the film’s composer, Takuto TANAKA, as well as the producer Toru EMORI at this film’s German premier.

We Are by Michihito FUJI

This film’s world premier will be attended by its director, its lead actor Ryusei YOKOHOMA, and the producer, Chikara ITO.


If You Haven’t Been:

Nippon Bookcrossing

Our open bookshelf in the Café at Mousonturm invites you to browse a variety of Japan-related books. All of the books are registered on BookCrossing, a worldwide internet platform created to pass on books. Every book has its own journal where its journey is being captured. Just take a book, read it, make an entry in the journal, and release it again!

-Noah Franc

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