Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu plays the role of Date Shigemura, lord of the Sendai Domain. ((c)2016 “Tono, Risoku de Gozaru!” production committee)
Olympic champion figure skater to play warlord in samurai movie
Olympic gold-winning figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu will star as a samurai warlord in his first film this May, movie production company Shochiku Co. announced.
“Three Stories of Love” ((c) Shochiku Broadcasting Co./ Arc Films Co.)
Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s ‘Three Stories of Love’ named best Japanese film by Kinema Junpo
Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s “Three Stories of Love,” a drama about the difficulties of living in the modern world, was named the best Japanese movie of 2015 in film magazine Kinema Junpo’s annual top 10 list.
Ken Yasuda (right) and Kumiko Aso in Satoko Yokohama's “The Actor” ((c) 2015 "The Actor" Film Partners)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: Down-to-earth weirdness that leaves you craving more
Editor’s note: New Zealander Don Brown is a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. His column runs on the second and fourth Friday of the month in AJW.
Director Kim Sung-woong rolls the camera as Iwao Hakamada places a relative’s child on his lap in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, in July 2015. (Atsushi Takahashi)
Documentary depicts struggles of freed death row inmate
HAMAMATSU, Shizuoka Prefecture--Director Kim Sung-woong's latest documentary, “Freedom Moon,” is about how freed death row inmate Iwao Hakamada is coping after spending decades living in fear of the hangman's noose.
Katsuya Tomita's “Bangkok Nites” ((c) 2016 Kuzoku)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: What's on the slate for 2016?
Editor’s note: New Zealander Don Brown is a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. His column runs on the second and fourth Friday of the month in AJW.
Movie director Yoji Yamada reflects on the making of "Haha to Kuraseba" (If I live with my mother), which he wanted to become the most important in his career. (Makoto Kaku)
Japanese too well behaved for the likes of movie director Yamada
The Japan premiere of movie director Yoji Yamada's latest offering, "Haha to Kuraseba" (If I live with my mother), came on a very special day for the film industry.
Shunya Itabashi, left, and actor-director Yosuke Okuda in “The Dork, the Girl and the Douchebag” (© 2015 Eiga Banzoku)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: Tokyo Filmex maintains quality through consistency
Editor’s note: New Zealander Don Brown is a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. His column runs on the second and fourth Friday of the month in AJW.
Maya (Wako Ando, left) gets what she wants ((c) 2015 Geek Pictures)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: An ex-adman auteur in the making
Editor’s note: New Zealander Don Brown is a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. His column runs on the second and fourth Friday of the month in AJW.
Director Kohei Oguri talks during an interview in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture. (Nobuyoshi Kanai)
Painter famed for 'milky-white' nudes subject of film director Oguri's return
MAEBASHI--A Japanese artist who was famed for painting nudes with "milky-white" skin in Paris in the 1920s before suddenly switching to works of militarist propaganda is the subject of a Cannes prize-winning director's return to filmmaking.
Actor Toshiaki Karasawa plays the role of Chiune Sugihara in the movie “Persona Non Grata." (Provided by Toho Co.)
'Japan's Schindler' immortalized in film for helping thousands of Jews flee
Director Cellin Gluck hopes his film on Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986), a Japanese diplomat who helped thousands of European Jews escape Nazi persecution during World War II, delivers a message on the plight of refugees today.
A scene from "Sakurabana" shows a reproduction of the Oka aircraft. (Hiromi Kitagaki)
Movie depicts pilots of ‘Oka’ suicide bomb used in waning days of World War II
KYOTO--“Oka” (cherry flower) may conjure up images of beauty, but it was also the name of a relatively unfamiliar weapon that underscored the horror and desperation in Japan near the end of World War II.
Naohisa Nakagaki as Jihei (Sanchu Uprising: Voices at Dawn © 2014 IKKINO PROJECT)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: Intriguing art springs from an ages-old rural uprising
Editor’s note: New Zealander Don Brown is a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. His column runs on the second and fourth Friday of the month in AJW.
Naoko Mori, left foreground, said she learned to appreciate nature more after enduring primitive filming conditions in the Himalayas and Italian Alps. ((c) Universal Pictures)
INTERVIEW/ Naoko Mori: I can almost begin to understand why climbers climb
Naoko Mori, a Japanese actress based in Britain, talked to the Asahi Weekly about her latest role as Yasuko Namba, a Japanese alpinist who perished in one of the worst mountaineering disasters ever on the world's highest peak, in the movie "Everest."
A scene from "The Genealogy of Sake" ((c) Ikkon Film Partners)
Documentary on traditional sake brewing suited for all tastes
The dilemma over whether to modernize a traditional production technique is featured prominently in the “The Genealogy of Sake,” the latest documentary by Tokyo-based filmmaker Kaori Ishii.
From Pedro Costa's "Horse Money" (Provided by the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Office)
Portuguese film 'Horse Money' wins top prize at Yamagata festival
YAMAGATA--“Horse Money,” a film by Portuguese director Pedro Costa about an old immigrant in a suburb slum in Lisbon, won the top Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival.
Film celebrities hit the red carpet to mark the opening of the Tokyo International Film Festival 2015 on Oct. 22. (Wataru Sekita)
Tokyo's film fest starts with Swank and style on the red carpet
Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank and other screen stars from Japan and abroad delighted film fans by sashaying down the red carpet Oct. 22 as the Tokyo International Film Festival 2015 kicked off in the capital’s central Minato Ward.
“Pink and Gray” stars Masaki Suda and Yuto Nakajima with director Isao Yukisada. (c) BIFF 2015
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: Busan weathers the storm to deliver another successful festival
Editor’s note: New Zealander Don Brown is a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. His column runs on the second and fourth Friday of the month in AJW.
Angelina Jolie (Photo by Noriki Ishitobi)
Jolie POW movie criticized as 'anti-Japan' to finally be shown in Japan
The Angelina Jolie-directed 2014 movie "Unbroken," which has drawn flak for being “anti-Japan” due to scenes of U.S. prisoners of war being abused and other incidents, will finally be shown in Japan early next year.
A scene from "Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi" ((c)SHIROGUMI INC., GAMBA)
Classic adventure tale of 'Gamba' updated by CGI
It was 15 years in the pipeline, but "Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi" (Gamba and his companions), the latest 3-D CG anime film from production house Shirogumi Inc., is finally playing to theaters nationwide.
"Yowamushi Chinsengumi" ((c) Toho)
Ichikawa's rediscovered 1935 anime to screen in Tokyo
A previously long-lost 1935 cartoon by Kon Ichikawa will be shown at the Tokyo International Film Festival on Oct. 26 to celebrate the director’s 100th birthday.

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