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Japanese Film Festival 2004: Tokyo Stories

What Our focus this year centers on contemporary filmmakers and their own "Tokyo Stories".
When 24 September 2004 (Friday) - 3 October 2004 (Sunday)
Where GV Plaza and The Japanese Association Auditorium

24th September - 30th September
The Japanese Association Auditorium

Free Admission.
Queue numbers for current day sessions only, are available on a first-come, first-served basis, from 7.30pm on weekdays and from 10.30am on weekends, at the SFS counter outside the auditorium.

1st October - 3rd October
GV Plaza
Tickets at S$9.50 per session are available from 16th September at the GV Plaza box-office, on-line at, and at AXS stations islandwide. SFS members may purchase tickets at S$7.50 per session on production of a valid SFS membership card only at the GV Plaza box-office. (One discounted ticket per member per session).



Embassy of Japan,
The Japanese Association,
Singapore & Singapore Film Society

Tokyo Stories

Japanese Film Festival 2004

24th September > 3rd October

Message from the Organisers:

Over a period of 10 days in the months of September and October,  Embassy of Japan, The Japanese Association, (Singapore) and Singapore  Film Society, with the support of Japan Foundation, present

Japanese Film Festival 2004
Every city has a story.
Every story has a life of its own.
Every life is linked by stories.
Find the link and you will find life.

Our focus this year centers on contemporary filmmakers and their own  "Tokyo Stories":

One such director is Ichikawa Jun.  Earlier regarded by some as the  successor to the Ozu-esque school of simple, unobtrusive, quiet and  deeply emotional filmmaking, his later films reflect his attempt to  creatively deconstruct the established style. In the FOCUS ON ICHIKAWA  JUN segment, we will be featuring four of his films, including the  Singapore Premiere of his 1998 work, "TADON AND CHIKUWA".

Screening Schedule

Fri 24 Sept
8.00pm           Tora-San #1: It's Tough Being A Man -PG

Sat 25 Sept
11.00am         Yellow Handkerchief - PG
2.00pm           Bu.Su -PG
4.15pm           Tsugumi -PG
8.00pm           Osaka Story -PG

Sun 26 Sept
11.00am         Tora-San #1: It's Tough Being A Man -PG
2.00pm           Tora-San #17: Tora-San's Sunrise And Sunset -PG
4.15pm           My Sons -PG
8.00pm           Bu.Su -PG

Mon 27 Sept
8.00pm           Tokyo Drifter -PG

Tue 28 Sept
8.00pm           Osaka Story -PG

Wed 29 Sept
8.00pm           Yellow Handkerchief -PG

Thur 30 Sept
8.00pm           Tora-San #17: Tora-San's Sunrise And Sunset -PG

Screening schedule at GV Plaza

Sessions start punctually at the stated times (i.e. there will be no trailers, unlike commercial screenings).

Fri 1 Oct
7.00pm           Tadon And Chikuwa -M18 (Mature Content)
9.15pm           The Taste of Tea -PG

Sat 2 Oct
4.15pm           Scoutman -RA
7.00pm           Edo Porn -RA

Sun 3 Oct
2.00pm           Tadon And Chikuwa  -M18 (Mature Content)
4.15pm           The Taste of Tea -PG



1966, 89 minutes, 16mm, colour

Directed by: Suzuki Seijun
Main Cast: Watari Tetsuya, Matsubara Chieko, Kita Ryuji, Yoshida Tsuyoshi

After his boss disbands the gang, "Phoenix" Tetsu is pulled back in by his boss in order to protect the "status quo" of the remnants of their yakuza. With pressure from a rival gang, they have a hard time playing it straight and have their honour tested to the fullest degree. (Source:


1969, 91 minutes,16mm, colour

Directed by: Yamada Yoji
Main Cast: Atsumi Kiyoshi, Baisho Chieko, Mitsumoto Sachiko, Ryu Chishu

First feature in the TORA-SAN series.  Tora-San, an itinerant peddler, returns to Shibamata, Tokyo, after twenty years to find that his parents have passed away and his only sister, Sakura, is planning to marry a painter.  He unwittingly falls in love with the daughter of a Buddhist priest but upon learning that she is already preparing for her own marriage, he decides to leave home again... (Source:

1969 Kinema Junpo Awards: Best Actor
1969 Mainichi Film Concours: Best Director, Best Actor


1976, 109 minutes, 16mm, colour

Directed by: Yamada Yoji
Main Cast: Atsumi Kiyoshi, Baisho Chieko, Taichi Kiwako, Uno Jukichi

The 17th film in the series.  Tora-San returns to Shibamata, Tokyo, and befriends Seikan, an elderly painter, through whom he meets a geisha girl named Botan.  He immediately falls for her and so begins another futile pursuit.

Best Supporting actress awards at:
1976 Kinema Junpo Awards
1976 Hochi Film Awards


1977, 109 minutes, 16mm, colour

Directed by: Yamada Yoji
Main Cast: Takakura Ken, Baisho Chieko, Takeda Tetsuya, Momoi Kaori

Adapted from a short story by American writer Peter Hamill. Heart-broken Hanada decides to make a trip by driving to Hokkaido after separating from his girlfriend.  His journey begins in Kushiro, Tokyo, and along the way he picks up an ex-murderer on parole and a cheerful girl. As they approach their destination, the story of yellow handkerchief unfolds...

Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting
Actress awards at:
1978 Japanese Academy Awards
1977 Kinema Junpo Awards


1991, 121 minutes, 16mm, colour

Directed by: Yamada Yoji
Main Cast: Mikuni Rentaro, Nagase Masatoshi, Wakui Emi, Harada Mieko

An elderly widower decides to visit Tokyo where his two sons live. Their relationship has been strained over the years due to the sons' decision to move from the country to the big city.  But when the father learns of the younger son's plan to marry a hearing-impaired co-worker, the family rift begins to heal.

Best Film, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress awards at:
1992 Japanese Academy Awards
1991 Kinema Junpo Awards (Also Best Director)


1987, 95 minutes, 16mm, colour

Directed by: Ichikawa Jun
Main Cast: Tomita Yasuko, Okusu Michiyo, Fujishiro Minako, Oka Mitsuko

Ichikawa's first feature film.  Mugiko is a shy girl brought up in a remote country village.  One day, she is told that her mother used to dance very well. She tries to dance as her mother did in the school festival and finds true happiness for the first time in her life.


1990, 105 minutes, 16mm, colour

Directed by: Ichikawa Jun
Main Cast: Makise Riho, Nakajima Tomoko, Shiroshima Yasuyo, Sanada

Adapted from Yoshimoto Banana's novel.  Tsugumi has been in delicate health from birth and her parents have been providing much care when she was growing up.

In the summer, Tsugumi meets and falls in love with Kyoichi. Out of jealousy, one of Tsugumi's old boyfriends attacks Kyoichi and kills Tsugumi's pet dog. Tsugumi decides to take revenge... (Source:


1998. 102 minutes, 35mm, colour

Directed by: Ichikawa Jun
Main Cast: Yakusho Koji, Sanada Hiroyuki, Nezu Jinpachi

A film based on two short stories by Shiina Makoto. Tadon is the story of a cab-driver who spends his days listening to his passengers' conversations. Chikuwa is about a writer who faces a creativity bottleneck.


1999, 119 minutes, 16mm, colour

Directed by: Ichikawa Jun
Main Cast: Ikewaki Chizuru, Nano Kosuke, Sawada Kenji, Tanaka Yuko

The film is Ichikawa's homage to Ozu.  Wakana, aged 14, is the daughter of a standup comedy couple. The parents continue to work together after their divorce.  The father begins to see his career slipping away and one day, he disappears.  Wakana then decides to look for him...


2000, 114 minutes, 35mm, colour

Directed by: Ishioka Masato
Main Cast: Matsumoto Miku, Nakaizumi Hideo, Fujumoto Yuka, Yoshiie

Mari and Atsushi elope to Tokyo in search of a better life.  They loiter around the streets of downtown Ikebukuro District looking for a living.  Soon, Atushi is introduced to the world of scoutmen - flashy, dashing men who recruit young women off the streets for adult videos (AV).  They begin to realise reality is a lot more complex than dreams.

Web reference:

2001 Fantasporto Film Festival: Special Jury Award


1981, 119 minutes, 35mm, colour

Directed by: Shindo Kaneto
Main Cast: Ogata Ken, Nishida Toshiyuki, Tanaka Yuko, Higuchi Kanako

Based on the biography of maverick Japanese Ukiyo-e master, Hokusai Katsushika, the film takes on an erotic narration of the painter's life in 18th-Century Edo (former name of Tokyo).

Hokusai (1760-1849) is often considered as one of the most important Japanese artists and his works are most representative of Japan, particularly the Seascape with Mt. Fuji. Ukiyo-e means painting of the floating world.

Web reference:

Best Supporting Actress Awards at:
1982 Japanese Academy Awards
1982 Blue Ribbon Awards
1981 Hochi Film Awards


2004, 143 minutes, 35mm, colour

Directed by: Ishii Katsuhito
Main Cast: Banno Maya, Asano Tadanobu, Tezuka Satomi, Fashuin Tatsuya

Opening film in the Directors' Fortnight section of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.  The Haruno family lives in a countryside town. One day, a city-slicker relative pays a visit and decides to stay for a while.  Life will never be the same again...

Web reference:



About Ichikawa Jun (Born 1948)

As a successful TV-Commercials producer with a slew of industry honors to his credit, he left the production company in 1981 and became a freelance director.  Ichikawa Ju has, since his 1987 feature debut BU.SU, embarked on a parallel career as a maker of movies that recall, in their intimate scale, understated humanism, elegant compositions and deliberate pace, the work of Ozu Yasujiro.  The Jimi (quiet, unremarkable) style of directing continued into his next few films but saw a change in pace in TADON AND CHIKUWA.

As a director who is capable of finding a niche in both mainstream and art-house cinemas, Ichikawa Jun is one of Japan's most anticipated directors.

Web Reference:

About Yamada Yoji (Born 1931)

Yamada Yoji graduated Tokyo University in 1954 and joined Shochiku as an assistant director. In 1969 he launched the popular TORA-SAN series, which eventually ran to 48 films.

Known for his highly sentimental style, at the age of 73, he is currently making his 78th feature film, THE HIDDEN BLADE.  Four of his films have won the Best Picture awards including THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF, MY SONS and TWILIGHT SAMURAI which was featured in JFF 2003.

Web Reference: