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Kiyoshi Kurosawa won the best director prize in the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section on Sunday, but he also deserves a prize from the Japanese film industry for single-handedly turning its presence at the world’s most prestigious film festival from a vague embarrassment to a cause for celebration — at least among the Japanese media.

Kurosawa’s supernatural drama “Kishibe no Tabi” (“Journey to the Shore”) — about a dead man who haunts his still-grieving wife — was not the only local film to win plaudits. In the competition section, Hirokazu Koreeda’s family drama “Umimachi Diary” (“Our Little Sister”) got glowing reviews, but faded into the pack as the week progressed and left the festival with no awards.

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