Thursday 2nd March 2023

Dir. YOKOHAMA Satoko, Japan, 2021, 116 mins, subtitled. Cast. KOMAI Ren, TOYOKAWA Etsushi, KUROKAWA Mei.

Soma Ito (KOMAI Ren), a high school student in Aomori Prefecture, has a remarkable talent for playing the Tsugaru shamisen – a three-string instrument originating in Ito’s home prefecture. She picked up the skill from her late mother who was an accomplished shamisen player. However, Ito’s extreme shyness makes it hard for her to play in public, and together with her strong dialect, she finds human communication difficult and hardly has any friends or social life. To change this, she decides to start a part-time job at a maid café, much to the concern of her father (TOYOKAWA Etsushi).

Based on the novel by KOSHIGAYA Osamu, this charming coming-of-age film is set in the northern landscapes of Japan. The director YOKOHAMA Satoko, who herself grew up in Aomori prefecture, skilfully mixes hidden gems of the area and its heritage with cinematic human drama. Enjoy the sound of the shamisen and the unique dialect spoken by the characters.

Dates & Times

 Thursday 2nd Mar 2023  8:30pm
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The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2023

Hold Me Back – Thursday 16 February, 8.30pm
Blue Thermal – Thursday 23 February, 6pm
Ito – Thursday 2 March, 8.30pm
BL Metamorphosis – Thursday 9 March, 6pm

Experience Japan Through Cinema
The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme, the UK’s ever-evolving and largest festival of Japanese cinema, celebrates its 20th anniversary!
With an exciting lineup of films, most of which have only recently been released, but also featuring some masterpieces from the distant past, the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2023 explores the theme of “the evolution of Japanese cinema”. Audiences will be provided with food for thought: Where has Japanese cinema come from? What is its current position in the world of cinema? And where is it heading next?
Come and see some of Japan’s finest cinematic works, with films that showcase varied tones and styles, as well as the diverse skills of both experienced and emerging film talents.

Organised by: The Japan Foundation
Major Supporter: Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
Sponsor in Kind: SUQQU, Athletia, Clearspring

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