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The Tokyo neighborhood of Jinbocho is a favorite of mine. Mostly known for bookshops, it is a bastion of quaintness amid a metropolis that can be downright oppressive at times.

Right at the heart of Jinbocho, a few steps from the local subway station, is Iwanami Hall. It doesn’t have much of an impact at street level, but its presence has definitely been felt by the country’s film industry. The hall was one of the city’s first art-house cinemas and a pioneer in bringing foreign films to Japan beginning in the late-1960s. Next year it will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

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