Japanese movies to break cultural barriers

Film festival at Japan cultural centre aims to promote cultural exchange with Pakistan


Photo: Aysha Saleem/Yasal Munim September 10, 2015
A student is dressed as Princess Kaguya for the cosplay segment at the inauguration of Japanese Film Festival 2015 on Thursday. The event aims to serve as a platform to allow Pakistanis to gain more knowledge about the Japanese culture and strengthen the relationship between the two countries. PHOTO: AYSHA SALEEM/EXPRESS

KARACHI: If you are a fan of Japanese films, 'The Yellow Handkerchief' or 'The Tale of Princess Kaguya' and others, you are in for a treat. The Japanese cultural centre is screening these films for the next two days.

The three-day Japanese Film Festival, which kicked off at the Japanese Information and Cultural Centre on Thursday, aims to serve as a platform to allow Pakistanis to gain more knowledge about the Japanese culture and strengthen the relationship between the two countries. The festival kicked off with a screening of 'The Tale of Princess Kaguya', which will be showed again on Saturday.

"Through this film festival, I hope that the audience will be able to discover various aspects of Japanese culture," said Japanese consul-general Akira Ouchi, as he addressed the inauguration ceremony. "[I hope] that the people in Karachi will learn more about Japan and feel much closer to it," he added.

"We have primarily organised this event to promote the friendship between Pakistan and Japan," said culture and public affairs consul Mitsuaki Tosa. "There are so many people who want to learn more about the Japanese culture, their language and visit the country," he claimed. People have time and again expressed their affinity towards Japan, so as its representatives, it is our duty to provide people with such platforms, he added.

Viewers will be able to view several Japanese films in various genres, such as animation, comedy and drama. "We intend to show traditional stories and let the people in Pakistan experience Japanese folklore," said a Japanese culture centre official. "We have at times organised cultural programmes or movie programmes but at a smaller scale," said Tosa. "But this initiative includes a mixture of both." This is the first time such an initiative has been launched, he claimed. "We hope that with each passing year it will get bigger and bigger."

Youth initiatives

On the occasion, Ouchi introduced two youth initiatives, Metal Seinen and Shonen Infinity, which are actively engaged in promoting Japanese pop culture in Pakistan. The members from both the groups displayed a cosplay of famous figures from Japanese pop culture.

"I work for Shonen Infinity because Japanese culture has influenced me a lot," said Omar, an Aga Khan College student, who was dressed as Porco Rosso (a character from a 1992 Japanese movie). "I am a huge gaming, anime and manga fan," he claimed. In Pakistan there is dearth of knowledge about the rich Japanese culture, he said. "I want to play my part in making that information accessible to others."

Student Umer Choudhary felt the need for such platforms in Pakistan. "We should use Japan as an example of rising from the ashes and succeeding economically, socially and financially," he said.

"We will continue to conduct various cultural activities for the people of Pakistan to deepen their understanding about Japan," said Ouchi. It will enable us to promote mutual understanding and strengthening the relationship between the two countries, he added.


Event schedule: Catch a show this weekend


September 11

6pm-8pm                 Screening of 'The Yellow Handkerchief'

September 12

2pm-4:15pm           Screening of 'The Tale of Princess Kaguya'

4:45pm-6:45pm     Screening of 'Three for the Road'

Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2015.

COMMENTS (2)

Taichou | 6 years ago | Reply +1 Sonia. Please edit the caption to; A student is dressed as Princess Kaguya from 'A Tale of the Princess Kaguya' for the cosplay segment at the inauguration of Japanese Film Festival 2015 on Thursday...
Sonia | 6 years ago | Reply Please rename the photo. She was dressed as princess Kaguya. I mean the movie screening was on Princess Kaguya and you just called her a Geisha and that's rather wrong...
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