Kenji Tanigaki (Photo by Taro Karasaki)
Action director thrills with Hong Kong-style stunts
When filmmaker Keishi Otomo sought out to recreate the swashbuckling swordfight scenes of Nobuhiro Watsuki’s samurai manga Rurouni Kenshin in a live action film, he sought the expertise of an action director who honed his skills in an unlikely place--Hong Kong.
Hisako Yamada, director of “Bokyo no Kane--Manmokaitakudan no Rakujitsu” (Kazuo Yamamoto)
Japanese children left in China after war inspire film about peace
Hisako Yamada was so shocked by the plight of Japanese children left behind in Manchuria in the aftermath of World War II that she produced a film to convey a message of peace.
A scene from the second movement of Osamu Tezuka's "The Legend of the Forest," which was newly created by his son Makoto Tezuka ((c)Tezuka Productions)
Tezuka museum to screen new chapter of manga giant's 'The Legend of the Forest'
TAKARAZUKA, Hyogo Prefecture--Fans of manga great Osamu Tezuka can see the new chapter of his unfinished anime epic when it is screened for the first time in his hometown here in February at a museum named in his honor.
Tsugumi (Nana Eikura) meets her new lodger, Kaieda (Etsushi Toyokawa). ((c)"Her Granddaughter" Film Partners)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: A filmmaker equally comfortable with the commercial and the controversial
Editor’s note: This is a column on Japanese movies written by New Zealander Don Brown, who is fluent in Japanese and has been making English subtitles for Japanese films. It will run on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW.
Yokai Watch The Movie ((c) LMYWP2014)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: 'Yokai' have kids, licensees dancing in the aisles
Editor’s note: This is a column on Japanese movies written by New Zealander Don Brown, who is fluent in Japanese and has been making English subtitles for Japanese films. It will run on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW.
Film director Naomi Kawase with France’s ambassador to Japan, Tierry Dana, after receiving the prestigious Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) at a ceremony in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Jan. 7 (Noriki Ishitobi)
Filmmaker Naomi Kawase honored by France for contributions to art, culture
France’s culture ministry has bestowed the prestigious Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) on Japanese film director Naomi Kawase.
A scene from "Crocodile"
'Crocodile' takes Tokyo Filmex top prize with tale of tragedy, myth
Filipino director Francis Xavier Pasion's "Crocodile" won the top Grand Prize in the nine-film competition at the 15th annual Tokyo Filmex film festival that wrapped up on Nov. 30.
Masami Ikoma in the “Ichibanboshi” art truck in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, on Dec. 22. (Rei Oku)
Late actor Sugawara’s iconic screen art truck headed for the road again
KUSATSU, Shiga Prefecture--A glitzy semi truck that Bunta Sugawara dazzled moviegoers with in the 1970s is being prepared for the open road again here as a tribute to the late actor.
Shinya Tsukamoto's “Fires on the Plain” ((c) Shinya Tsukamoto/ Kaiju Theater)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: Plenty to look forward to in 2015
Editor’s note: New Zealander Don Brown's column on Japanese movies runs on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW. Brown is fluent in Japanese and creates English subtitles for Japanese films.
A scene from "The Nutcracker" (Provided by Asmik Ace Inc.)
Brighter, sharper 'Nutcracker' back to life on screens 35 years since 1st release
A remastered, color-rich version of Sanrio Co.'s classic stop-motion animated film "The Nutcracker" is showing at theaters, thanks to the help of art director Sebastian Masuda, known for creating music videos for Japanese pop sensation Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.
A scene from the animated short "Henry's Red Shoes" (Provided by Takayuki Nakamura)
Filmmakers realize Japanese-American monk's dream
YOKOHAMA--An animated short that echoes the life of a Japanese-American incarcerated in a U.S. internment camp who later became a Zen monk in Japan will start screening here this weekend.
A scene from "Tatsumi" (Provided by Zhao Wei Films)
Filmmaker captures essence of Tatsumi's 'gekiga' manga artistry
Singaporean director Eric Khoo has captured the style of “gekiga” (dramatic manga pictures) pioneer Yoshihiro Tatsumi in the animated film “Tatsumi,” which is based on the legendary artist’s autobiographical work, “A Drifting Life.”
Komura (Masashi Komura), Tomoko (f-co), Ohara (Shogoh Uno), and Shizuku (Misato Namba).  ((c) 2014 BULLDOG FILM. All rights reserved)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: To some indie filmmakers, 'entertainment' is not a dirty word
Editor’s note: This is a column on Japanese movies written by New Zealander Don Brown, who is fluent in Japanese and has been making English subtitles for Japanese films. It will run on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW.
An artist’s rendition of the Godzilla head that Toho Co. plans to set up on the rooftop of its new building in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward (Provided by Toho Co.)
Japanese-made Godzilla film to return to big screen in 2016 after 12-year hiatus
Toho Co. said it will release a new Godzilla film in 2016, its first since “Godzilla: Final Wars” hit Japanese theaters in 2004.
Hideaki Anno (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Screening of Anno's works, kabuki performance among highlights of Tokyo film fest
A mix of the new and the old played a supporting role in the 27th installment of the Tokyo International Film Festival, which wrapped up Oct. 31.
Hitoshi Ueki in “Honjitsu Tadaima Tanjo” ((c)WATANABE PRODUCTIONS CO., LTD All rights reserved)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: One icon exits, while another returns in a long-lost curio
Editor’s note: This is a column on Japanese movies written by New Zealander Don Brown, who is fluent in Japanese and has been making English subtitles for Japanese films. It will run on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW.
Arielle Holmes, left, the female lead in "Heaven Knows What," receives the Tokyo Grand Prix prize at the awards ceremony held at the Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo. The film was directed by Joshua Safdie, center, and his brother Benny. (Noriki Ishitobi)
U.S.-French film 'Heaven Knows What' takes top prize at Tokyo International Film Festival
"Heaven Knows What," a film that is a fusion of fiction and documentary realism, took the top Grand Prix award at the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival that wrapped up Oct. 31.
Visitors to the Tokushima city woodworking hall view some of the movie posters featuring the late Ken Takakura. (Yu Fujinami)
Poster exhibition honoring Ken Takakura opens in Tokushima
TOKUSHIMA--An exhibition of Ken Takakura movie posters spanning a 30-year period opened here to honor the Japanese film giant who died on Nov. 10 at the age of 83.
A scene from Atsushi Funahashi's "Nuclear Nation II" ((c) 2012 Documentary Japan, Big River Films)
Dates set for sequel on Fukushima community ripped apart by nuclear disaster
“Nuclear Nation II,” a sequel to Atsushi Funahashi documentary that showed the world how the Fukushima nuclear disaster destroyed a local community, will hit theaters in Japan on Nov. 15.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the TIFF opening ceremony ((c) 2014 TIFF)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: Cinematic culture out of focus at Tokyo International Film Festival
Editor’s note: This is a column on Japanese movies written by New Zealander Don Brown, who is fluent in Japanese and has been making English subtitles for Japanese films. It will run on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW.

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