Due to my moving away to Japan this blog is on hiatus for the time being. Thank you all for visiting and hopefully you can make use of the the archived posts.
Due to my moving away to Japan this blog is on hiatus for the time being. Thank you all for visiting and hopefully you can make use of the the archived posts.
Film Event: Once Upon a Time in Japan- Reinventing the Past Through the Eyes of Japanese Contemporary Filmmakers
When: Sun 3 March – Sun 24 March
Where: Tyneside Cinema (Directions)
Extra Info: Buy tickets for four films in the programme and get the fifth FREE! (Only at the Tyneside Box Office in person)
Website: Please click on the film titles below
We are very pleased to announce that Geordie Japan is working closely with The Tyneside Cinema to promote this exciting touring film festival! Once Upon A Time In Japan aims to explore the past through the eyes of modern Japanese film makers and includes some gems that have never been screened in the UK before! We can’t wait for this event, it’s been hard to keep it under wraps until now! But we will be providing you will all the information you will need leading up to and during the programme. See you there!
The films are as follows;
(Please find synopsis of the films further down the page)
Bubble Fiction: Boom Or Bust (Tasuo Baba) – Sun 3 March, 3.30pm
Please note, Bubble Fiction is listed in the Tyneside brochure as SAT 3 MARCH, but it is Sun 3 March
Castle Under Fiery Skies (Mitsutoshi Tanaka) – Wed 6 March, 5.45pm
Kaidan Horror Classics (Various) – Sun 10 March, 3.30pm
Rebirth (Izuru Narushima) – Wed 13 March, 5.45pm
Mai Mai Miracle (Sunao Katabuchi) – Sun 17 March, 3.30pm
Zero Focus (Isshin Inudo) – Wed 20 March, 5.45pm
Ninja Kids!!! (Takashi Miike) -Sun 24 March. 3.30pm
“Since 2004, the Japan Foundation, London has organised a Japanese film programme in close partnership with distinguished film venues and programme advisors in the UK. Each year, a programme of six to seven, largely contemporary, Japanese titles are put together under a carefully chosen theme to highlight trends in Japanese cinema and showcase the versatility and uniqueness displayed by Japanese filmmakers. The programme also showcases directors and works which, while being worthwhile, may have slipped under the radar of other film festivals or programmes.” – Japan Foundation
Bubble Fiction: Boom or Bust (Baburu e go!: Taimu mashin wa doramu-shiki)
Dir. Yasuo Baba
Cast: Ryoko Hirosue, Hiroshi Abe, Hiroko Yakushimaru
2007 / 116min / Colour / English Subtitles
With the Japanese economy on the blink of collapse with 80 trillion yen in debt, government bureaucrat Shimokawaji (Hiroshi Abe) conjures the crazy idea of going back in time to 1990 in an attempt to prevent Japan’s financial collapse. Luckily, Shimokawaji’s ex-lover Mariko (Hiroko Yakushimaru) has a created one of the most unusual time machines; a DeLorean-esque washing machine, transporting anyone who dons a wetsuit and climbs into the drum some twenty years back in time. Having lost Mariko somewhere in the past, Mariko’s daughter (Ryoko Hirosue), a ditzy bar hostess, spins back to 1990 to the height of the bubble economy, teaming up with a 17 years younger Shimokawaji to look for her mother and prevent Japan’s ‘bubble’ economy from bursting. Yasuo Baba’s 2007 time-travel comedy is a hilarious satire of bubble-era Japan, filled with nostalgic gags, retro fashion and music, guaranteed to lift your spirits and cast away any recession blues!
Castle under Fiery Skies (Katen no shiro)
Dir. Mitsutoshi Tanaka
Cast: Toshiyuki Nishida, Shinobu Otake, Saki Fukuda, Isao Natsuyagi, Renji Ishibashi
2009 / 139min / Colour / English Subtitles
In the Age of the Country at War, peasant carpenter Motaemon Okabe (Toshiyuki Nishida) renowned for his ‘divine hands’ is summoned by Lord Nobunaga to oversee the mammoth task of the construction of the fabled 7 story fortress Azuchi Castle, a huge castle to be built on Mount Azuchi overseeing and guarding the then-capital Kyoto. However Motaemon must overcome some persistent obstacles on the path towards its completion. This film introduces a fascinating insight into the world of traditional Japanese architecture. Mitsutoshi Tanaka’s well-crafted spin on the period drama genre is a heart-warming tale of one ordinary man’s skill and determination, and journey towards success beyond his normal capabilities.
Kaidan Horror Classics (Ayashiki bungo kaidan)
Dir. Shinya Tsukamoto, Sang-il Lee, Hirokazu Kore-eda
2010 / 121min / Colour / English Subtitles
Three haunting stories written by Japanese literary masters, reinterpreted and revived by some of Japan’s greatest directors, Kaidan Horror Classics is a collection of beautiful yet terrifying tales of the darkness of the human heart.
The Whistler (Hazakura to mateki)
Dir. Shinya Tsukamoto
2010 / 36min / Colour / English Subtitles
Yuko (Aoba Kawai) spends her days caring for her terminally ill younger sister Itsue (Eri Tokunaga), however upon finding a bundle of anonymous letters addressed to Itsue, Yuko is determine to find out from whom and why have they been sent. Based on the original story by Dazai Osamu, Shinya Tsukamoto’s distinctive cinematic style portrays the inner rage of adolescents towards those dear to them.
The Nose (Hana)
Dir. Sang-il Lee
2010 / 34min / Colour / English Subtitles
A monk named Zenchi (Yutaka Matsushige) attempts to save a child from drowning in a river, but when the child sees the enormous nose he was concealing the monk impulsively pushes him away. Racked with guilt, Zenchi becomes fearful of silently watching eyes. Inspired by an early short story by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, this loose interpretation retains the protagonist’s predicament, and includes elegant cinematography, reminiscent of classic period films.
The Days After (Nochi no hi)
Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda
2010 / 51min / Colour / English Subtitles
A child appears before a young couple who lost their beloved son at an early age. Is he the reincarnation of their son, or a ghost? This strange and serene story of a family’s days spent with the son who seems to have come back to life, is adapted from the fantasy stories by Murou Saisei.
Rebirth (Yokame no semi)
Dir. Izuru Narushima
Cast: Mao Inoue, Hiromi Nagasaku, Konomi Watanabe, Eiko Koike, Hitori Gekidan
2011 / 147min / Colour / English Subtitles
Kiwako (Hiromi Nagasaku) runs away with her married lover’s baby, spending four years on the run and bringing up the child as her own until one day she is arrested. The child abductee Erina (Mao Inoue) is returned to her birth parents, but is never able to come to terms with what happened in her childhood. Now grown up, Erina travels to the town where she grew up to discover the truth about her past. Based on the popular novel by Mitsuyo Kakuta, Izuru Narushima’s acclaimed drama questioning nature over nurture scooped an astounding 11 awards at the 2012 Japanese Academy Awards 2012, including best film and best director. A huge hit both critically and commercially, the film also ranked first in the Readers’ Choice awards in Kinema Junpo 2011.
Mai Mai Miracle (Maimai shinko to sennen no maho)
Dir. Sunao Katabuchi
Cast (voice): Mayuko Fukuda, Nako Mizusawa, Ei Morisako, Manami Honjo
2009 / 93min / Colour / English Subtitles
Inspired by her grandfather’s stories, nine-year-old Shinko journeys into the past through her magical method of time travel, conjured entirely by her vivid imaginings of the past. Upon making a new friend with the upper class Kiiko, they quickly discover they both have a fascination with history and what happened in the past, and transport back to the town a thousand years before, almost as if their dreams could become a reality. Adapted from Nobuko Takagi’s famous novel, Mai Mai Miracle is a beautifully animated nostalgic tale of friendship in post-war Japan. A former assistant of the great Hayao Miyazaki, director Sunao Katabuchi recreates 1950s south western Japan in its full-animated glory, inviting the audience to embark on a miraculous journey into the past with young Shinko.
Zero Focus (Zero no shoten)
Dir. Isshin Inudo
Cast: Tae Kimura, Ryoko Hirosue, Miki Nakatani
2009 / 131min / Colour / English Subtitles
Teiko (Ryoko Hirosue) has her life thrown into turmoil when her newly wed husband of only a week leaves on a business trip and never returns. Brought together by an arranged marriage and knowing little of her husband’s past, Teiko embarks on a journey to discover the dark truth of her husband’s sudden disappearance. Uncovering evidence to suggest her husband was not who she had thought, Teiko learns that her husband was close to two women: elegant aristocrat Sachiko (Miki Nakatani) and receptionist Hisako (Tae Kimura); two mysterious women who may know more than they protest. Isshin Inudo’s gripping Hitchcockian murder-mystery set in the beautiful location of post war Kanazawa features an all-star female cast in an adaptation of the celebrated crime novel by Seicho Matsumoto and revival of the classic 1961 Yoshitaro Nomura film.
Ninja Kids!!! (Nintama rantaro)
Dir. Takashi Miike
Cast: Shindo Nakamura, Naoto Takenaka, Susumu Terajima, Hiroki Matsukata, Mikijiro Hira
2011 / 100min / Colour / English Subtitles
Set in the early 16thcentury, the story follows little Rantaro (Seishiro Kato), a young aspiring ninja born into a family of farmers in disguise. Blessed with opportunity to leave his family’s farm and enrol into a Ninja Academy run by Denzo Yamada (Susumu Terajima), Rantaro plunges into a crazy school packed full of explosive and dangerous tasks and madcap teachers. However, when a rival clan arrives, the school’s future is thrown in jeopardy and it’s down to Rantaro and his loveable classmates to save the day. This wacky live-action adaptation of the long-running children’s cartoon Nintama Rantaro is full of slapstick gags and comic schemes from the warped mind of the ever prolific director Takashi Miike, guaranteed to entertain kids and big kids alike!
Synopsis courtesy of The Japan Foundation
Wow what a year, since launching on the 13th of March 2012 Geordie Japan has exploded far beyond what was ever expected of it. 2013 is set to be an exciting year for us but before we look to the future we should look back at the year that was 2012. In this review article you will find some interesting stats about the site and handily, for those of you who are new to the site, links to every article across the past year.
December is Christmas extravaganza month on Geordie Japan, expect lots of Christmas Related articles in the run up to Christmas, starting today!
Ho Ho Ho! ‘Tis the season to be Jolly! But what’s that? You’re not feeling jolly and in the Christmas spirit yet? Well Geordie Japan has just the remedy for you! What you need is some lovely Christmas tunes to get you in the mood, but forget Maria Carey or Bing Crosby, you need some Japanese Christmas music! But where would you find such a thing? Right here on Geordie Japan of course!
Click on the youtube video below for a playlist of 16 Japanese Christmas songs complete with music videos. Under the video you can find a track listing and individual links to all the songs! If you enjoy it, please share the link with your friends.
We are very proud to announce that Geordie Japan is featured in ‘Wor Diary’ this year! Wor Diary is a yearly, collectively drawn, not for profit DIY diary. Each week is drawn by a different person in their own unique style, and the diary also features other things such as recipes, drawing pages, political info, how-to guides, useful info and resources for the local area.
There are plenty of helpful, interesting and unique things within the diary. Not least May 20th – 26th which features a hand drawn week by Geordie Japan! The week contains a guide to doing something Japanese in Newcastle for seven days straight. It’s great to have been included in the production of the diary and we are very proud to have our own page in it. We would encourage anyone looking for a diary to pick one up!
So how can you get your hands on one? Well there are two ways, firstly you can go in person to Travelling Man Newcastle (43 Grainger Street, NE1 5JE) and find one in the small press section for just £4. Alternatively you can buy one from the Wor Diary Etsy online store for the same price plus £1.50 p&p.
So why not pick one up if you are in the need for a unique diary? Numbers are strictly limited so if you want one, grab one as soon as you can!
A little over a month ago we posted an article in honour of 7000 visitors to Geordie Japan, a little over a month later and we are proud to announce that last week we hit 10,000 visitors! We’re truly overwhelmed by how the site has taken off and we’d like to say thank you to every single one of you that visits the site for supporting us. It’s so great to see that there is such a community interested is so many different aspects of Japanese culture. We are working on some behind the scenes things in an attempt to make the site as user friendly as we can, working within wordpress can be a little slow, but they are coming!
A little bit of a site update for you now, Geordie Japan is run by a very small team that for the most part consists of one person. So occasionally real life (i.e. work) gets in the way and that’s why the site has been a little quiet over the last week or so. But stay tuned, this week will see some articles posted later on.
While we’ve got you here, have you ever wondered if you could contribute to the site? Well there are several ways that you can
So thanks again to you all, we’ll leave you with this beautiful giant cookie adorned with the Japanese flag that arrived to commemorate 10,000 visitors!
***This Event Has Now Passed***
Event: Sunnycon 2013
When: Saturday & Sunday 23rd-24th March 2013
Where: Seaburn Center (Directions)
Price: £30 VIP, £25 13+, £10 Under 12’s
Tickets: available online here
Returning to Sunderland for it’s second year SunnyCon looks to take over the city once again, a must for anyone in the region interested in Anime, Manga or Japan in general.
“After the roaring success from last year’s SunnyCon, on Saturday & Sunday 23rd-24th March 2013 we will be back and bigger than ever hosting SunnyCon2. Our guest list so far includes Vic Mignogna, Ginny McQueen & Colleen Clinkenbeard.
Over the two days there will be new and exciting demonstrations, panels, Martials arts, shows & more as well as retail stalls, artist stands & a gaming area. We will have some delicious Japanese cuisine, so go on spoil yourself! Keep an eye on the events page to see what will be happening.
The event will be taking place in the Seaburn Centre situated on Sunderland’s coast line. Nearby we have a large Morrison’s supermarket. The event is from 9am for V.I.P ticket holders and from 10am for everyone else until 6pm. Keep it here and on our social networks for the latest updates including guests, events and other convention announcements.
Treat yourself! Come a long and immerse yourself in fascinating Japanese tradition.” – SunnyCon
Shonen Knife played a fantastic set at the cluny last night and we were on hand to take a few photos stage side.
Here at Geordie Japan we are always looking for ways to make it easier for you to visit Japanese establishments and events in and around Newcastle. So after a bit of testing and hard work we are proud to announce the Geordie Japan interactive map!
You can click here to see the map or the link will always appear on the right hand side of this page.
So far there are 30 markers on there covering 5 different categories 1) Asian Supermarkets 2) Japanese Restaurants* 3) Specialised Japanese Stores 4) Japanese Cinema 5) Japanese Attractions and History.
*Sometimes this is a bit of a grey area, I have included on this first version of the map explicitly Japanese restaurants and Asian fusion restaurants with a large Japanese menu selection.
But here’s what we want from you! Firstly feedback on the map itself, but also on additional venues that we may have missed (the map is very much a work in progress) or in the future, venues that have opened or closed. Are there any other categories you would like to see on there? Would you like to see all the Asian restaurants in Newcastle included on the map? Please let us know by either leaving a comment here or tweeting us!
So we hope you enjoy it and find it useful!
***THIS EVENT HAS NOW PASSED
Event: Gateshead Central Library Japanese Festival
When: October 1st – 8th
Where: Gateshead Central Library (Directions)
Price: Varying (See Events Below)
Gateshead Central Library is holding an in house festival celebrating Japan consisting of art, cultural, language, and film events. To book tickets for any event please call 0191 433 8420 or email the library over at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1/10/12 – 2-4pm – Beginners Japanese Taster Session [£4 Per Ticket]
Get a flavour of Japan with these basic, beginner Japanese language taster sessions, anyone is welcome!
1/10/12 – 7-9pm – Japanese Beer and Whisky Tasting (18+) [£4 Per Ticket]
Take a journey through Japan with a tour of beer and whisky, and enjoy an authentic sushi buffet.
2/10/12 – 6-10pm – Anime Attacks Autumn Social (11+) [£3 Per Ticket]
Join us for Anime Attacks’ special Autumn get together with renowned manga artist Yishan Li. There will also be cosplay, art competitions, Japanese video game tournaments and more! From 8.30pm to 10pm there will also be a club night with live DJing from Peff, presenter of the award-winning ’We Must Warn Tokyo’ on Newcastle Student Radio.
3/10/12 – 6.30pm – Film: Adrift in Tokyo (15+) [£3 Per Ticket]
Offbeat Japanese comedy. The film follows the unusual bond that develops between a demotivated student and a debt collector for the loan shark to whom he owes money. Directed by Satoshi Miki (Turtles Swim Faster Than Expected, Instant Numa).
4/10/12 – 6.30pm – Film: Kamikaze Girls (12+) [£3 Per Ticket]
The film is based on the novel by Novala Takemoto and is about the friendship between 2 very different girls. There is sweet, frilly-dress-loving Rococo fan Momoko (Kyoko Fukada) and spitting, head butting biker chick Ichiko (Anna Tsuchiya). Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima (Confessions, Memories of Matsuko).
6/10/12 – 10am-12noon – Origami Session [£2.50 Per Ticket]
Make origami birds, boats and animals and create your own designs with visual artist Kate Eccles. Kate will teach you how to decorate your origami with Japanese symbols.
8/10/12 – 6.30-8pm – Talk: Japan, Geishas and Courtesans [£5 Per Ticket]
Enter the world of the geisha with this talk by bestselling author, Lesley Downer. In order to carry out research for her book “Geisha: The Remarkable Truth Behind The Fiction”, Lesley spent 6 months living among the geisha and gradually found herself being transformed into one of them. Consequently, she is able to give us a unique insight into this aspect of Japanese culture. Lesley is also the author of a number of fiction titles including “The Last Concubine” and her latest novel, “Across A Bridge of Dreams”. Pre-booking essential!
Stay tuned to Geordie Japan for more details in the coming weeks.