When Anshul Chauhan was a child, his family started to wonder if he was someone else. His grandfather had passed away just before he was born, and he showed an unusual attachment to the dead man’s belongings, even insisting on wearing his old clothes.

“Everybody in my family started to say I am the rebirth of my grandfather,” Chauhan recalls. “I was living his memories.”

The experience would provide the Indian director with one of the inspirations for his new Japanese-language film, “Kontora.” Opening in Tokyo this month, after winning multiple awards on the festival circuit, the film is a sumptuous, dreamlike fable that offers a strikingly original perspective on the legacy of Japan’s wartime past.