In addition to directing “Kubi,” Takeshi Kitano (second from left) plays Oda Nobunaga’s successor, Hashiba (later Toyotomi) Hideyoshi, in the blood-soaked period film.
CULTURE / Film
Nov 23, 2023
Takeshi Kitano still has a head for provocation
The “Kubi” director doesn’t shy away from causing a commotion, whether it’s in public or in his latest film about a pivotal moment in Japan’s history.
After losing her eyesight in a car accident, a woman goes to the home of an eye doctor and his son to receive a miracle device to restore her sight in “My Mother’s Eyes.”
CULTURE / Film
Nov 23, 2023
‘My Mother’s Eyes’: Psychodrama pushes to mad extremes
Takeshi Kushida’s atmospheric horror film about toxic parent-child relationships unfolds in a fantasy world that strains credulity.
“Blue Giant,” a feature-length anime movie that centers on young men in Tokyo who aspire to become jazz stars, was so successful in Japan and overseas that director Yuzuru Tachikawa was given an even bigger budget to re-edit the film for a second screening in theaters across Japan.
CULTURE / Film / CULTURE SMASH
Nov 23, 2023
Sleeper hit anime 'Blue Giant' gets an encore
The surprise success of the big-budget feature about jazz warranted a re-edited version and a second life in theaters.
Filmmaker Takeshi Kitano speaks at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo on Wednesday.
CULTURE / Film
Nov 16, 2023
'Bad treatment happens' in Japan's showbiz world: Takeshi Kitano
The country's entertainment industry has always tended to treat performers as commodities, the iconic Japanese filmmaker and comedian said.
A young news editor (voiced by Kensho Ono) is assigned to cover a distillery helmed by a rising star of the Japanese whisky scene (Saori Hayami) in “Komada: A Whisky Family.”
CULTURE / Film
Nov 16, 2023
‘Komada: A Whisky Family’ has the complexity of a bottom-shelf bottle
Anime studio P.A. Works’ film centered on whisky production takes the fun out of delving into what unfolds behind the scenes in a workplace.
The Saitama leader of a rebellion (Gackt, center) decides to unite the citizens of his home prefecture by creating a sea and beach for the area in “Fly Me to the Saitama II.”
CULTURE / Film
Nov 16, 2023
‘Fly Me to the Saitama II’: Silliness abounds but the laughs do not
Hideki Takeuchi’s sequel to his award-winning hit comedy treads familiar and ridiculous ground, but it’s just not as funny as the first film.
Director Wim Wenders served as president of the competition jury at this year's Tokyo International Film Festival. Wenders' "Perfect Days," which opened the festival and features Koji Yakusho as a toilet cleaner in Tokyo, is Japan’s nominee for the Academy Awards’ best international feature film category.
CULTURE / Film
Nov 11, 2023
'Perfect Days' and '(Ab)normal Desire' turn heads at Tokyo International Film Festival
Wim Wenders' film opened the event, while Yoshiyuki Kishi’s multilayered drama made a splash, taking both the Audience Award and the best director prize.

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Yoshiko Koide sits in a classroom at Nagoya College where she teaches a Japanese-language observation seminar.
How a dictionary came to spark outrage among the web’s otaku