Nippon Connection 2018- The Daily Highlights (June 1st)

The weather has been getting more variable, but at least that means it’s cooler than at the start of the week.  Hopefully this will encourage more people to come visit us and avoid the worst of the weather by sitting in on the many events planned for today!  Highlights below.


Special Events:

Taiko Concert

We are proud to present Ichitaro as our guest, a drummer of international acclaim.  Expect monumental sounds and a stunning performance at his taiko concert!

Japan for Wanderlusty Travelers

The contrast between ultramodern cities of contemporary Japan and its age-old traditions is a source of fascination for many visitors. It may come as a suprise how inexpensive and fuss-free traveling in Japan can be.  Troisi of the Japanese tourist information is here to help you get an idea of how to approach planning your trip.  Admission is free and the presentation is in German.

My Crazy Love for Japanese Camp

Although it isn’t well known, Japanese cinema has a rich history of camp, works of art that utilize exaggerated seriousness and superfluous subversion. In his lecture, Jonathan M. Hall addresses the following questions: What does camp look like in Japan? What does it do? Admission is free and the presentation will be held in English.

Nippon Open Air: The Yamasakis

Julia and Yusuke YAMASAKI invite you to discover the lively and cheerful facets of traditional Japanese music. The Berlin duo combines Japanese vocals and Shakuhachi melodies with upbeat piano tunes in their own distinctive style. Admission is free, and the concert will take place in front of the Naxoshalle.

Nippon Buyo Workshop

The traditional dance Nihon Buyo was developed in 17th-century Japan out of Kabuki and Noh theater traditions, and remains immensely popular today. The elegant and expressive motions, as well as the precious kimonos and fans, are quite a sight to see. Experience this magical dance performance by Michiko YAMAZAKI! This workshop will be held in English.

Nippon Live: Tim & Puma Mimi & Melted Moon

A cucumber as a synthesizer and concerts including live music mixed with Skype-added vocals? Of course we are talking about Tim & Puma Mimi. The Swiss-Japanese electropop-duo will captivate audiences on Friday evening with a mix of cheerful and laidback sounds. They are supported by Melted Moon, who will set the mood for the night with gameboy-generated chiptunes.

Meiko Kaji Unchained

With LADY SNOWBLOOD and FEMALE PRISONER SCORPION, Meiko KAJI became an icon of 1970s Japanese action cinema. But the shadow of these monumental films hides a long and diverse career that we know little about: from playing love-struck teens in the 1960s, via hard-edged gamblers in yakuza films, to becoming a versatile and award-winning dramatic actress in films by master directors. Dr. Tom Mes, author of “Unchained Melody: The Films of Meiko Kaji”, takes you on an audio-visual journey through the fascinating career of this enigmatic, powerful, and iconic actress.  The lecture is in English and admission is free.


Special Premiers:

Inland Sea by Kazuhiro SODA

This touching, observational documentary will air tonight as part of our new section at the festival, Nippon Docs.

NHK-World Japan Screenings

NHK is screening a selection of documentary shorts at the festival this year, and two, Tsutuko’s Tea Journey and Living Ninja Legend, are being shown today.  Admission is free.

Moon and Thunder by Hiroshi ANDO

This afternoon is the European premier of this stirring emotional familial drama.

The Third Murder by Hirokazu KOREEDA

Director Hirokazu KOREEDA returns to Nippon for the first time since we premiered Like Father, Like Son, with a new thriller sure to excite audiences.

Passage of Life by Akio FUJIMOTO

Illegal aliens in Japan is a topic not often dealt with in a major film, so that makes FUJIMOTO’s debut as a feature filmmaker all the more impressive for taking on such sensitive subject matter.

Hanagatami by Nobuhiko OBAYASHI

This long-form adaptation of the classic novel of the same name, already being praised as a “visual feast,” is sure to be a major highlight of today’s screenings.

Top Knot Detective by Aaron McCann and Dominic Pearce

This mockumentary on the history and backstory of a famous 90’s television series, easily one of this year’s more unique festival offerings.


Meet the Guests:

Occult Bolshevism by Hiroshi TAKAHASHI

This horror-thriller by the acclaimed screenwriter of The Ring has its European premier tonight.  The director himself, as well as two of the films actors, Emina KONDO and Tomomi KONO, will be in attendance.

Danchi Women by Akiko SUGIMOTO

This film’s European premier will be attended by the film’s producer, Seiko KATO.

Pumpkin and Mayonnaise by Masanori TOMINAGA

This film’s director will be present at the film’s premier tonight.

Strange Fruit: Shorts

This screening of three selected short films will have the honor of having the director, producers, and actors present from the short Deep Tastes.


If You Haven’t Been:

Nippon Yatai- Japanese Market

During each Nippon festival, both Mousonturm and the Naxoshalle feature a series of stands offering various types of merchandise, with a focus on Japan- and festival-related goods.  See what sort of surprises await you today!

-Noah Franc

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