Akira Kurosawa (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
It's time for Japanese filmmakers to dust off Kurosawa's sword
The most brilliant director in Japanese cinema history was also a hit maker and managed to attract more moviegoers into this nation's theaters than anyone else.
A vision of hell on the battlefield in “Fires on the Plain.” (c) Shinya Tsukamoto/ Kaiju Theater)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: Depicting war with less sentimentality, more reality
Editor’s note: This is a column on Japanese movies written by New Zealander Don Brown, a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. It will run on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW.
A scene from the 2009 biopic "John Rabe" (Provided by the organizing committee of the screening of "John Rabe")
Volunteers screen controversial Nanking Massacre film in Japan
A movie about a German businessman who created a safety zone to protect Chinese citizens during the 1937 Nanking Massacre will be screened in Japan by a group of volunteers after failing to find an official distributor.
Filmmaker Yoji Yamada and actress Sayuri Yoshinaga share a moment during filming of their movie on the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki at the Kurosaki church in the city on July 10. (Ryo Ikeda)
Film heavyweight takes megaphone in Nagasaki to complete 'war trilogy'
NAGASAKI--Veteran filmmaker Yoji Yamada is producing a movie about the atomic bombing of Nagasaki to fulfill a playwright’s last wish to complete a trilogy on three Japanese regions devastated during World War II.
Yuko Oshima as Romance Car attendant Hachiko Hojo (c) 2015 Toei Video
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: A match made in Hakone
Editor’s note: This is a column on Japanese movies written by New Zealander Don Brown, a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. It will run on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW.
The Hello Kitty balloon floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 27, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo)
Hello Kitty goes Hollywood with animated feature blockbuster planned for 2019
Sanrio Co.’s ubiquitous bobtail cat Hello Kitty is set to star in her own Hollywood blockbuster.
Teacher Tadashi (Kengo Kora, left) takes his student Kanda (Ren Asakawa) under his wing. (c) 2015 “Being Good” Film Partners
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA:From goodness to greatness
Editor’s note: This is a column on Japanese movies written by New Zealander Don Brown, a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. It runs on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW.
A scene from “Tomorrow We Will See” shows girls chatting in Lebanon. (Provided by Soraya Umewaka)
Documentary portrays artists in Lebanon dealing with social upheaval
In a scene in a documentary about conflict-torn Lebanon, the camera pans across new buildings standing next to bullet-ridden structures in the capital city of Beirut.
Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, Suzu Hirose and director Hirokazu Kore-eda (from left) talk to the media about "Our Little Sister" at the 2015 Cannes International Film Festival. (Noriki Ishitobi)
Big stars with indie cool--Cannes highlights fresh path for Japanese film
Star attraction and artistic creativity seem to be fusing in Japanese cinema--as shown on the red carpet and in the films shown at the Cannes International Film Festival.
Toshiro Mifune in the 1961 Akira Kurosawa film "Yojimbo" (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Toshiro Mifune to get star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
SAN FRANCISCO--Japanese movie star Toshiro Mifune (1920-1997) will join the ranks of globally renowned legends at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced June 22.
A scene from "Taifu no Noruda" (Provided by Studio Colorido)
Young animator makes directorial debut after leaving prestigious Studio Ghibli
For any aspiring anime creator, landing a job at the legendary Studio Ghibli Inc. has got to be the ultimate dream job.
Japanese filmmaker Yasuo Furuhata attends the special screening of the 1999 film “Poppoya” at a theater in Shanghai on June 14. The film was the first of a series of movie screenings acknowledging the work of iconic actor Ken Takakura. (Naoki Takehata)
Chinese film fans bid Ken-san a final farewell
SHANGHAI--Chinese cinema buffs are acknowledging the late Ken Takakura, one of the most renowned Japanese actors in China, at a film festival in Shanghai. And the tickets for special screenings of his movies are selling fast.
Kanichi (Takahiro Miura, left) and Mihari (Erisa Yanagi). (C) 2015 “Rolling” Production Committee
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: Hustling in the countryside for cinematic success
Editor’s note: This is a column on Japanese movies written by New Zealander Don Brown, a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. It runs on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW.
A Chinese poster for the film "Stand By Me Doraemon" (Provided by Huaxia Film Distribution Co.)
'Doraemon' film sets box office record in China
BEIJING--Diplomatic hurdles were no match for the beloved Japanese anime character "Doraemon," with the film featuring the futuristic robotic cat becoming the highest-grossing animated film in China just days after opening in theaters.
Filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa delivers a speech after winning the Best Director award in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival on May 23. The jury president, Isabella Rossellini, is standing to his left. (Noriki Ishitobi)
Japanese filmmaker takes home best director award in Un Certain Regard at Cannes
CANNES, France--Japanese filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa won the Best Director award for his new film "Kishibe No Tabi" (Journey to the Shore) in the Un Certain Regard section at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival here on May 23.
A scene from "Cesium to Shojo" (Provided by Ryo Saitani)
Theater owner makes directorial debut with anti-nuclear fantasy/adventure offering
Ryo Saitani, owner-operator of a small theater, made his directorial debut when he was past the age of 60 to deliver an anti-nuclear message in fantasy/adventure format.
Mao (Ayumu Nakajima) and Midori (Akiko Kikuchi): the happy couple? (c)2015 "Good Stripes" Film Partners
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: No romance please, we're pregnant
Editor’s note: This is a column on Japanese movies written by New Zealander Don Brown, a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. It will run on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW.
From left, Suzu Hirose, Masami Nagasawa, Haruka Ayase and Kaho pose with filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda at the 2015 Cannes International Film Festival on May 14. (Noriki Ishitobi)
Japanese stars shine at Cannes film festival
CANNES, France--Four Japanese actresses stole the media spotlight here May 14 with the screening of Hirokazu Koreeda’s “Umimachi Diary” (Our Little Sister) at the 2015 Cannes International Film Festival.
Shinjiro (Yo Oizumi) strikes a typically startled pose.((c) 2015 KAKEKOMI Film Partners)
ONE TAKE ON JAPANESE CINEMA: Wordplay beats swordplay in throwback entertainment
Editor’s note: This is a column on Japanese movies written by New Zealander Don Brown, a longtime resident of Japan who specializes in creating English subtitles for Japanese films, as well as other cinema-related translation. It will run on the second and fourth Fridays of the month in AJW.
A scene from "Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F'" ((c) Bird Studio, Shueisha Inc. Provided by Toei)
Vile villain Freeza warmed up for latest 'Dragon Ball Z' film
"Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F,'" the latest animated feature-film adaptation of the long-running manga and anime series, opened in theaters April 18 amid much fanfare.

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