September 9, 2016

Media contacts:

Scott Whelden
Tel: 808-532-8719

Taylour Chang

Tel: (808) 532-3033


The festival opens with the one-night-only Hawai‘i premiere of Miss Hokusai    

WHAT: Japanese Cinema / 日本映画祭
WHEN: Oct. 1-27, 2016
TICKETS: Regular screenings: $10 general admission, $8 museum members. Admission is free for kids 17 and under. Opening-night reception: $25 general admission, $20 museum members
INFO: 532-6097,, (publishable)
High-res images available on request

HONOLULU, HAWAI‘IJapanese Cinema takes the Doris Duke Theatre screen in October and is bringing audiences everything from nostalgic samurai epics, to contemporary tear-jerkers, to thrilling anime films and insightful documentaries. The film series is sponsored by LIST Sotheby’s International Realty.

The festival opens Oct. 1 with a reception featuring live koto music by Darin Miyashiro, and pūpū by EAT Honolulu. A bar—which will include shochu from iichiko—will have drinks available for purchase. In addition, local artists Michael Cannon, Kaci Horimoto, Jon J. Murakami, and Tara Tamayori pay homage to Katsushika Hokusai by recreating iconic Hokusai paintings live in their own styles. The works will go on sale upon completion. After the reception the theater presents the Hawai‘i premiere of the animated film Miss Hokusai, which tells the story of O-Ei, who worked in the shadow of her father Hokusai.

The festival takes a nostalgic look at the golden age of Japanese cinema with a selection of samurai classics. One of the most famed actors of his generation Toshiro Mifune takes on the role of the greatest Japanese swordsman in history Miyamoto Musashi in The Samurai Trilogy.

This year the French laboratory Éclair digitally restored to stunning 4k Akira Kurosawa’s Shakespearean epic Ran under the supervision of the film’s original distributor StudioCanal, with the film’s director of photography Masaharu Ueda approving the restoration’s color grading.

The museum honors the work of the late renowned anime filmmaker Satoshi Kon by screening three of his career-defining films—Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika.

Two of the series’ films—Sweet Bean, and Our Little Sister—are New York Times Critics’ Picks that offer sometimes heart-warming sometimes heart-wrenching experiences that span multiple generations but are relatable to everyone.

Opening-night reception: Oct. 1, 6-7:30 p.m.
$25 general Admission | $20 museum members.
Japanese Cinema kicks off Oct. 1 with live Koto music by Darin Miyashiro, pūpū by EAT Honolulu, and drinks for purchase. Four local artists—Jon Murakami, Kaci Horimoto, Michael Cannon, and Tara Tamayori—pay homage to Katsushika Hokusai by recreating iconic Hokusai paintings in their own styles live at the reception. The reception is followed by a screening of Miss Hokusai at 7:30 p.m.

Miss Hokusai (百日)
Directed by Keiichi Hara. Japan. 2015. 90 min. Japanese with English subtitles.
Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Katsushika Hokusai was the greatest ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of his age during Japan’s Edo period, most famous for The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. At the height of his career, Hokusai was famous not only in Japan, but throughout Europe as well. However, very few today are even aware of the woman who assisted him all her life, and greatly contributed to his art while remaining uncredited. Based off the manga, Sarusuberi, by Hinako Sugiura, and directed by Keiichi Hara (Colorful), this is the untold story of O-Ei, Master Hokusai's daughter: a lively portrayal of a free-spirited woman overshadowed by her larger-than-life father, unfolding through the changing seasons.

Setoutsumi (セトウツミ)
Directed by Tatsushi Omori. Japan. 2016. 75 min. Japanese with English subtitles.
Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
Based on the manga series by Kazuya Konomoto, this film follows the life of two Kansai-area high school boys. Seto (Masaki Suda) and Utsumi (Sosuke Ikematsu) have a ritual of walking home together and stopping to have deeply hilarious conversations about the important things in life.

Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides
Directed by Lucy Craft, Karen Kasmauski, and Kathryn Tolbert. USA. 2016. 26 min.
Oct. 2 at 4 p.m.
Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
Despite lingering wartime enmity, tens of thousands of Japanese wives—the biggest influx of Asian women in U.S. history—crossed the Pacific. They began new lives in difficult and to them mysterious circumstances, scattered across the country in places where they were often the first Japanese ever seen. What was it like to abandon family, friends and country, and marry a former enemy? Even for those whose choice of spouse proved to be a tragic mistake, there was no turning back. Many in Japan viewed them as social outcasts and even today the words "war bride" in Japanese carry such a stigma—of bar girls, even prostitution—that people don't like to say them. Now these women are in their 80s. This is their story, of lives shaped by one irrevocable decision.

Screens with

Directed by Christopher Makoto Yogi. USA. 2013. 13 min. Japanese with English subtitles.
Living out his last days in the north shore of Hawaii, an old Japanese man is visited by the ghosts of his past.

Tekkonkinkreet (鉄コン筋クリート)
Directed by Michael Arias. Japan. 2006. 110 min. Japanese with English subtitles.
Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, we dedicate a day of screenings for this iconic anime film, based on a popular Japanese manga written by Taiyo Matsumoto. In Treasure Town, where the moon smiles and young boys can fly, life can be both gentle and brutal. This is never truer than for our heroes, Black and White, two street urchins who watch over the city, doing battle with an array of old-world Yakuza and alien assassins vying to rule the decaying metropolis.

Ran ()
Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Japan. 1985. 162 min. Japanese with English subtitles.
Oct. 6 at 1 p.m.
Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear and considered to be one of his greatest achievements, Ran was the last great epic from legendary director Akira Kurosawa. The aging Lord Hidetora (Tatsuya Nakadai) entrusts his domain to his three. A power struggle ensues when Hidetora is betrayed by his eldest sons, spurred on by the scheming machinations of Lady Kaede (Mieko Harada). With color-coded troops and a Gustav Mahler-inspired film score by Toru Takemitsu, the battle sequences are magnificent sights to behold. Recently restored, this is a rare chance to see one of the world’s cinematic masterpieces on the big screen.


The Samurai Trilogy
Oct. 7-11
The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune, was one of Japan’s most successful exports of the 1950s, a rousing, emotionally gripping tale of combat and self-discovery. Based on a novel that’s often called Japan’s Gone with the Wind, this sweeping saga fictionalizes the life of the legendary seventeenth-century swordsman (and writer and artist) Musashi Miyamoto, following him on his path from unruly youth to enlightened warrior. With these three films—1954’s Oscar-winning Musashi Miyamoto, 1955’s Duel at Ichijoji Temple, and 1956’s Duel at Ganryu Island—Inagaki created a passionate epic that’s equal parts tender love story and bloody action.

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (宮本武蔵)
Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki. Japan. 1954. 93 min. Japanese with English subtitles.
Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.
Oct. 8 at 1 p.m.
Oct. 9 at 1 p.m.
In the first part of the epic Samurai Trilogy, Toshiro Mifune thunders onto the screen as the iconic title character. When we meet him, Miyamoto is a wide-eyed romantic, dreaming of military glory in the civil war that is ravaging the seventeenth-century countryside. Twists of fate, however, turn him into a fugitive, but he is saved by a woman who loves him and a cunning priest who guides him to the samurai path.

Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (続宮本武蔵: 一乗寺の決闘)
Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki. Japan. 1955. 103 min. Japanese with English subtitles.
Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 8 at 4 p.m.
Oct. 11 at 1 p.m.
Toshiro Mifune furiously embodies swordsman Musashi Miyamoto as he comes into his own in the action-packed middle section of the Samurai Trilogy. Duel at Ichijoji Temple furthers Miyamoto along his path to spiritual enlightenment, as well as further from the arms of the two women who love him: loyal Otsu (Kaoru Yachigusa) and conniving yet tragic Akemi (Mariko Okada). The film also brings him face to face with hordes of rivals intent on cutting him down, especially his legendary rival Kojiro (Koji Tsuruta). The titular climax is one of Japanese cinema’s most rousingly choreographed conflicts, intensified by Jun Yasumoto’s color cinematography and Ikuma Dan’s triumphant score.

Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (
宮本武蔵完結編: 決闘巌流島)
Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki. Japan. 1956. 104 min. Japanese with English subtitles.
Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
A disillusioned Musashi Miyamoto (Toshiro Mifune) has turned his back on the samurai life, becoming a farmer in a remote village, while his nemesis Kojiro (Koji Tsuruta) now works for the shogun. Circumstances bring them back together for one final face-off. Though it’s marked by a memorably intense final battle sequence, the rousing conclusion to the Samurai Trilogy is engaged with matters of the heart as well, as Miyamoto must ask himself what it is that makes a warrior and a man.


Sweet Bean (あん)
Directed by Naomi Kawase. Japan. 2015. 113 min. Japanese with English subtitles.
Oct. 16 at 4 p.m.
Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.
An is a delicious red bean paste, the sweet heart of the dorayaki pancakes that Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase) sells from his little bakery to a small but loyal clientele. Absorbed in sad memories and distant thoughts, Sentaro cooks with skill but without enthusiasm. When seventy-six-year-old Tokue (Kirin Kiki) responds to his ad for an assistant and cheerfully offers to work for a ridiculously low wage, Sentaro is skeptical about the eccentric old lady's ability to endure the long hours. But when she shows up early one morning and reveals to him the secret to the perfect sweet bean paste, Sentaro agrees to take her on. With Tokue's new home cooked sweet bean paste recipe, Sentaro's business begins to flourish, but Tokue is afflicted with an illness that, once revealed, drives her into isolation once again.

Our Little Sister (海街 Diary)
Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. Japan. 2015. 128 min. Japanese with English Subtitles.
Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 18 at 1 p.m.
Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.
Our Little Sister, directed by internationally acclaimed director Hirozaku Koreeda (Like Father, Like Son), is adapted from Yoshida Akimi's best-selling graphic novel Umimachi Diary. Three twenty-something sisters—Sachi, Yoshino and Chika—live together in a large old house in the seaside town of Kamakura. When they learn of their estranged father's death, they decide to travel to the countryside for his funeral. There they meet their shy teenage half-sister Suzu for the first time and, bonding quickly, invite her to live with them. Suzu eagerly agrees, and begins a new life with her older sisters.

Amidst the many and varied colors of Kamakura's four seasons, the four sisters cause each other emotional anguish, and support each other through life's trials, developing a very special bond in the process. Set against the summer ocean sparkling with sunlight, radiant autumn foliage, a tunnel of gorgeous yet impermanent cherry blossom trees, hydrangeas damp from the rainy season, and brilliant fireworks heralding the arrival of another summer, their moving and deeply relatable story depicts the irreplaceable moments that form a true family.


Satoshi Kon Tribute
Oct. 23-27
The works of acclaimed filmmaker Satoshi Kon greatly impacted the world of animation worldwide. His visionary style, along with complex explorations of the human psyche in his stories, created a legacy that continues to inspire the next generation of filmmakers. We honor his life with three films that define his career.

Millennium Actress (千年女優)
Directed by Satoshi Kon. Japan. 2001. 87 min. Japanese with English subtitles. 
Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.
Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
Chiyoko Fujiwara was at the height of her career as an actress before she suddenly quit. Decades later, a filmmaker meets the elderly women to produce a documentary about her life. Together, they go through the history of Chiyoko’s life in the real world and well as the different characters that she portrayed in the movie world and the difference between reality and cinema slowly becomes blurred.

Tokyo Godfathers (東京ゴッドファーザーズ)
Directed by Satoshi Kon. Japan. 2003. 97 min. Japanese with English subtitles.
Oct. 23 at 4 p.m.
Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
In modern-day Tokyo, three homeless people's lives are changed forever when they discover a baby girl at a garbage dump on Christmas Eve. As the New Year fast approaches, these three forgotten members of society band together to solve the mystery of the abandoned child and the fate of her parents. Along the way, encounters with seemingly unrelated events and people force them to confront their own haunted pasts, as they learn to face their future, together.

Paprika (パプリカ)
Directed by Satoshi Kon. Japan. 2005. 90 min. Japanese with English subtitles. 
Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. + 7:30 p.m.
In the near future, a revolutionary new psychotherapy treatment called PT has been invented. Through a device called the “DC Mini” it is able to act as a “dream detective” to enter into people’s dreams and explore their unconscious thoughts. Before the government can pass a bill authorizing the use of such advanced psychiatric technology, one of the prototypes is stolen, sending the research facility into an uproar. In the wrong hands, the potential misuse of the devise could be devastating, allowing the user to completely annihilate a dreamer’s personality while they are asleep. Renowned scientist, Dr. Atsuko Chiba, enters the dream world under her exotic alter-ego, code name “PAPRIKA,” in an attempt to discover who is behind the plot to undermine the new invention.


Also in October
The Scratch Paper Sketch Comedy Show: A Night of Sketch Comedy
Oct. 15 at 8 p.m.
$15 general admission, $12 museum members
A comedy “test kitchen” where local comedians, writers and artists try out their original sketches. The event also features live music and improv comedy.

Family Film Sunday
NYICFF Best of the Fest 1
Oct. 16 at 11:10 a.m. + 1 p.m.
See the best in kid-friendly shorts from the New York International Children’s film Festival. Recommended for ages 3-7.

Directed by Yulia Aronova. France. 2015. 7 min.
The story of a tree, a tree like any other. One day, it jumps into a pair of boots and goes off for a walk, inviting everyone to follow.

Directed by Julia Ocker. Germany. 2015. 3.5 min,
Baking a cake should be much easier with eight arms, but that’s only if all arms agree on what cake they’re going to make!

Directed by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger. USA. 2014. 9min.
Jane Goodall is renowned for her work with apes in the jungle, but as Patrick McDonnell’s heartwarming tale shows, her curiosity, spirit and sense of adventure started long ago with a toy chimpanzee named Jubliee.

Directed by Andy Martin. UK. 2015. 3 min.
Our new favorite band performs a pocket-sized poem about our all-time favorite subject: food!

Directed by Susann Hoffmann. Germany. 2014. 3 min.
A grey lynx doesn’t quite fit into the colorful world around him, and resorts to dark behavior in order to blend in.

Directed by Thais Drassinower. Brazil/USA. 2015. 9 min.
Fidel is six years old and has a lot of opinions, but doesn't quite understand the changes happening within his family.

Directed by Veronika Zacharova. Czech Republic. 2015. 4 min.
What happens when a little girl who is bored at the zoo suddenly notices a big gorilla?

Directed by Pete List. USA. 2015. 7.5 min.
A devious spin on a classic tale of a hungry fox and plump goose, complete with a chorus of concerned little chicks!

Directed by Ru Kuwuhata & Mac Porter. USA. 2015. 1.5 min.
A house is visited by a clean, organized, well-mannered guest.

Directed by Seth Boyden. USA 2015. 5.5 min.
A stone will encounter lots of obstacles over the course of a millennium, but is there any greater disruption than that of human civilization?

Directed by Philip Watts. Australia. 2014. 1 min.
A man's home is his castle. But not for long...

Directed by Dotty Kuttys. UK / Poland. 2014. 6 min.
A curious girl wants to add some color into her predictable, organized world where there’s a proper way of walking, looking — even eating soup!

Music of Hawai’i: Mango Season
Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
$25 general admission, $20 museum members
Mango Season began as the love story of two wide-eyed musicians, Curtis and Annie Kamiya. With no label, no manager, or booking agent, Annie and Curtis are the definition of independent. In addition to making the rounds at local venues, the couple is committed to helping fellow professional musicians succeed through coaching programs.

Mango Season’s musical style is a mix of retro pop, soul and jazz infused with island grooves and lush harmonies they call “island soul jazz.”

Haunted Hawaiian Nights 2016: Hawai‘i's Ghosts and More!
Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
$15 general admission, $12 museum members
Hawai'i, and O‘ahu especially, is a fusion of different cultures with customs rooted in the values and traditions of their native lands combined with that of the Native Hawaiian people and the land on which they live. Such a remarkable mix of people in this island environment has created an abundance of unique stories from all walks of life. Beyond the cool, blue waters and balmy trade winds of our idealistic paradise is the thin veil that separates our world from the place where shadows talk back.

Pokémon Double Feature
Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. + 4:30 p.m.
$15 General Admission, $12 Museum Members
A special double feature of films that will inspire audiences to go out and catch ‘em all!

Pokémon: The First Movie
Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. 1999. Japan. 75 min.
Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket, had ambitious plans to take over the world, involving his latest experiment, a powerful clone of Mew—Mewtwo. Mewtwo is very powerful, and also very smart—smart enough to not want to be controlled by Giovanni. It escaped from the lab, and now Mewtwo begins to concoct its own scheme, clandestinely inviting a number of Pokémon Trainers to the ultimate test. Of course, if it's an event for talented Trainers, Ash Ketchum will be right in the front row!

Ash's excitement turns to fear and anger when Mewtwo reveals its plan for domination, creating powerful clones of all of the kids' Pokémon so it can even the "imbalance" between Pokémon and their Trainers. Despite Ash's protests, Mewtwo refuses to believe that Pokémon and people can be friends. But faced with the determination of a young Trainer and the love of his Pokémon, Mewtwo just might have to reconsider, especially when pitted against the power of the mysterious Mew!

Pokémon: The Movie 2000
Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. 1999. Japan. 80 min.
An evil genius schemes to collect three highly-coveted pokemon—Moltres, Zapdos, and Articuno—in order to awaken the mystical sea legend, Lugia. Ash and his friends get thrown into the midst of this evil plan and will have to work together in order to save the world from catastrophe.


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Doris Duke Theatre information:
The Doris Duke Theatre opens its doors on Kina‘u Street one half-hour before each film screening and concert.

Film tickets: Available at the theater door on the day of screening, beginning one half-hour before each showing, or online in advance.

Film admission: $10 general admission; $8 museum members; free for children 17 and under

Matinee Rewards Card: Pick one up at the theater box office. When theatergoers attend three matinees, they receive free admission to a fourth screening. Or they can bring three friends to a single matinee and receive free admission to a future screening. The free screening pass is valid for three months.

Concession stand: In the lobby, visitors can purchase bags of glazed pecans, coconut ginger, chocolate- and Kona coffee–coated macadamia nuts, and butter crunch vanilla macadamia nuts, for $6 per bag. Also on the menu are handmade desserts and baked goods from Yummy Tummy, including peanut butter-oats-and-cranberry energy balls, green tea rice crispy treats and mini cookies ($3-$7). Drinks: coffee, hot tea, Arizona Green Tea, Vitamin Water, and bottled water ($2-$3).    

About the Honolulu Museum of Art

One of the world’s premier art museums, the Honolulu Museum of Art presents international caliber special exhibitions and features a collection that includes Hokusai, van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso and Warhol, as well as traditional Asian and Hawaiian art.

Located in two of Honolulu’s most beautiful buildings, visitors enjoy two cafés, gardens, and films and concerts at the theater. The museum is dedicated to bringing together great art and people to create a more harmonious, adaptable, and enjoyable society in Hawai’i.


Honolulu Museum of Art: 900 S. Beretania Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House: 2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu Museum of Art School: 1111 Victoria Street
Honolulu Museum of Art at First Hawaiian Center: 999 Bishop Street
Honolulu Museum of Art Doris Duke Theatre: 901 Kinau Street (at rear of museum)


Honolulu Museum of Art: Tues–Sat 10 am–4:30pm; Sun 1–5 pm; closed Monday.

Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House: Tues–Sat 10am–4pm; Sun noon–4pm

Admission (permits entry to both museums on the same day):

$10 general admission; children 17 and under are free.

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