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Old Tokyo hits silver screen

by Eriko Arita

Three Japanese silent movies will be screened in Tokyo on June 25, giving audiences a taste of yore.

One of the movies is titled “Tokyo Koshinkyoku” (“Tokyo March”). This 1920s romance is about a boy, Yoshiki, who falls in love with a girl, Michiyo. But Michiyo, who was brought up by her uncle, becomes a geisha when her uncle losses his job. Several years later, Yoshiki and Michiyo happen to meet again at a party where Michiyo serves as a geisha. Yoshiki proposes to her but soon finds he has several rivals. The film will be screened with Korean subtitles.

“Norakuro Gocho” (“Corporal Norakuro”) is an animated movie produced in 1934. Norakuro is a popular canine character who serves in the Dog Army in the eponymous comic by Suihou Tagawa. While on leave he goes to a pub since he has nowhere else to go. After a drink, he takes a nap at a park and gets himself in trouble. The film will be screened with Chinese subtitles.

Finally, “Nishikie Edosugata Hatamoto to Machiyakko” (“A Color Print of Edo”) is from 1939. The drama, sprinkled with comic scenes, tells the story of a loyal and handsome servant who fights to help his brother marry the woman he loves. The movie stars Utaemon Ichikawa, who gained enormous popularity for his portrayal of the chivalrous hero.

“Nishikie Edosugata Hatamoto to Machiyakko” will be screened with English subtitles and accompanied by benshi (live narration) by Ichiro Kataoka.

The screenings will be held by the nonprofit organization Heart Connections and sponsored by Minato Ward. The Japan Times is one of the supporting companies of the event.

The event will be held from 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) at Akasaka Civic Hall on the third floor of the Akasaka Civic Center. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.digital-meme.com. For reservations, call Heart Connections at (03) 3472-2775.