Nippon Connection 2019- The Daily Highlights (May 31st)


For those of who who’ve been held back by work or school thus far, today is the day! It’s Friday, which means there is still a full weekend’s worth of Nippon to sink yourselves into. Here are some of the special programs we’ve got planned out for today.

Special Events:

Remembering Isao Takahata

Last year, Isao TAKAHATA, one of the most influential Japanese animation directors of all time, passed away. Ilan NGYUEN, an employee at the Tokyo University of the Arts, knew him personally and will, in his lecture, go into detail about TAKAHATA’s enormous influence.

The lecture will be in English and attendance is free.

Nippon Open Air: Bon Odori

In Japan, traditional folk dances such as Bon Odori are celebrated at the annual Obon Festival in August to welcome the spirits of the deceased. This year, the Japanese-German Bon-Odori Tanzkreis e.V. invites all those interested to come learn Bon Odori and dance along!

Admission is free.

Alternative Histories of Japanese Film

The 1970s were an important decade for Japanese cinema. Many important works came out that triggered a change in the film industry, in the understanding of the very medium, and in cinematic sensitivity, yet are almost completely unheard of nowadays. In his lecture, Dr. Alexander Zahlten (Harvard University) honors an underappreciated decade in Japanese film history.

The lecture will be in English and admission is free.

Nippon Live On-Stage: Film Music in Concert

Japanese cinema has produced countless unforgettable melodies. The multiple-award-winning pianist Shinnosuke INUGAI will play music from films such as PRINCESS MONONOKE, YOUR NAME, and MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE on stage at the Internationales Theater. The musical singer Mitsuru KIJO, former member of the famous Takarazuka Revue ensemble in Japan, will perform with him.

Nippon Live On-Stage: Mutsumi ARAGAKI

Mutsumi ARAGAKI from Okinawa enchants her audiences with her tender voice and her exquisite playing of the traditional string instrument Sanshin. Her avant-garde sounds are merged with experimental visuals.


Special Premieres:

Ryuichi Sakamoto: ASYNC International Short Film Competition

After finishing his recent Album ASYNC, Ryuichi SAKAMOTO felt that it was the soundtrack to a film that hadn’t been created yet. Therefore he announced an International Short Film Competition, encouraging filmmakers to create the visuals for his music. NIPPON CONNECTION presents SAKAMOTO’s personal winning pick, as well as the ten winners of an online audience voting.

JVTA Meets PIA Film Festival: Shorts

The Global Universities Subtitling Project, initiated by Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA), provides students with their first experiences in subtitling films. NIPPON CONNECTION presents two short films from PIA Film Festival, which were subtitled by students of the University of Gent.

Okko’s Inn by Kitaro KOSAKA

This remarkable animated film will celebrate it’s German premiere today.

Dare To Stop Us by Kazuya SHIRAISHI

Tonight’s showing of this film will be its German premiere.

NC19_Docs_Sending Off_01

Meet the Guests:

Love at Least by Kosai SENKE

The film’s director will attend today’s German premiere of this film.

Another World by Junji SAKAMOTO

Both the director of this film, as well as one of its lead actors, Kiyohiko SHIBUKAWA, will be present for this film’s European premiere.

Sending Off by Ian Thomas Ash

Nippon Connection is pleased to welcome back Ian Thomas Ash for the world premiere of his latest work. The film’s protagonist, Dr. Kaoru KONTA, will also be in attendance.

The Chaplain by Dai SAKO

Dai SAKO himself will attend tonight’s international premiere of his latest film.

Hard-Core by Nobuhiro YAMASHITA

This film’s German premiere will be attended by the director.

The Call of Zon by Takuji SUZUKI

The actress Ritsuko will attend the international premiere of this film late tonight.

SPECIAL SCREENING: Tokyo Fist by Shinya Tsukamoto

Our Nippon Honor Award recipient, Shinya Tsukamoto, will attend this special screening of one of this most beloved films.


If You Haven’t Been:

Rajio Taiso- Radio Gymnastics

Rajio Taiso, or radio gymnastics, is practiced throughout Japan. These simple exercises to evocative music are perfect to quickly relax and stretch out a bit. Experience a piece of everyday Japanese culture so as to be rested and relaxed for the next film.

-Noah Franc

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