From April 10 to April 25 2020 Japan Society will present its new series which follows the topic of sports within the landscape of Japanese cinema.

“Like cinema, sports have been integral to the development of modern Japan since the late 19th century when the country opened its borders to the West. Intersecting these two major cultural forces is the multifaceted and ubiquitous sports film, a fluid genre that offers fascinating insight into issues related to Japanese national identity, gender roles and the clash between tradition and modernity. Organized in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, this series celebrates the Japanese sports film in its myriad iterations—covering a wide range of athletic disciplines and filmmaking styles, from wartime Japan to the present—including classics, documentaries, anime and commercial crowd-pleasers.”

“Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t” by Masayuki Suo
“Sanshiro Sugata” by Akira Kurosawa
“I Will Buy You” by Masaki Kobayashi
“The Sword” by Kenji Misumi
“Waterboys” by Shinobu Yaguchi
The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine” by Takahisa Zeze
“A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness” by Seijun Suzuki
“Aim for the Best”
“Koshien: Japan’s Field of Dreams” by Ema Ryan Yamazaki
“Nowhere Man” by Yoshiharu Tsuge
“Gentle Motions: Atsushi Wada’s Short Animaton”

Apart from the screenings mentioned above there will also be a screening of two documentaries regarding the Tokyo Paralympics 1964 (“Tokyo Paralympics: Festival of Love and Glory”) and Kon Ichikawa’s “Youth: The 50th National High School Baseball Tournament”.

Ever since I watched Takeshi Kitano's "Hana-Bi" for the first time (and many times after that) I have been a cinephile. While much can be said about the technical aspects of film, coming from a small town in Germany, I cherish the notion of art showing its audience something which one does normally avoid, neglect or is unable to see for many different reasons. Often the stories told in films have helped me understand, discover and connect to something new which is a concept I would like to convey in the way I talk and write about films. Thus, I try to include some info on the background of each film as well as a short analysis (without spoilers, of course), an approach which should reflect the context of a work of art no matter what genre, director or cast. In the end, I hope to pass on my joy of watching film and talking about it.