Film Lineup

Click below to read details on each Japanese feature film.

The God of Ramen

There used to be a ramen shop called “Daishoken” in Ikebukuro, near central Tokyo. Every day, there were long lines of people waiting to get in, and in four hours they would serve up ramen to 200 people. The number of regulars who became captivated by the taste of Daishoken were countless and even other ramen shop owners came to learn at the eatery. This documentary depicts the life of Kazuo Yamagishi, the founder of Daishoken who had an immense influence on the Japanese ramen industry. Yamagishi’s passion for making ramen went uninterrupted for 40 years. He readily accepted many apprentices and generously taught them his techniques while also delighting his customers. The source of Yamagishi’s passion was his wife, who passed away at an early age, and the film tells the story of his love for her as well as his love for delicious ramen. This uniquely moving film is a record of Yamagishi’s uncompromising attitude expressed to its fullest.

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SUMODO-The Successsors of Samurai-

Sumo wrestling is said to have already existed in Japan over a thousand years ago and is still a nationally popular event today. Sumo wrestlers (a.k.a. rikishi), who boast huge physiques, not only compete in physical matches, but also serve in Shinto rituals. This film closely follows famous sumo wrestlers to show how they live, train, and how they feel when they step onto the ring. There is no other sport in the world where two wrestlers weighing 200 kilograms collide head-on without protective gear. Sumo wrestlers are always at risk of injury, but no matter the amount of pain, it is is never used as an excuse in the stoic “way of sumo” and “way of the samurai”. This is an invaluable record of the lives of these modern-day samurai up close and personal. The excitement of live sumo tournaments are also palpable.

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Patema Inverted

A catastrophic event occurs and all the buildings in the world get sucked up into the sky. A few years later, Patema, a vivacious girl who lives in a base camp, falls into a hole while exploring a dangerous area in the premises. Patema “falls” from the undergound of the base to above ground and continues to almost fall into the sky. She is saved when she manages to cling on to a boy named Age who is above ground. The two children with opposite gravitational forces, support each other upside-down and learn about each other’s worlds in the post-catastrophe era. In doing so, they learn hidden terrible truths that they begin to confront.

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Time of EVE the Movie

Set in a time where humanoids have practical applications, many households are using androids/robots to do the housework. Most of the androids are treated poorly. High-schooler Rikuo also treats his female android at home very coldly. One day, while he surveills her actions, he ends up at a cafe. The rule at this cafe was that no distinctions are made between humans and androids. Rikuo cannot help but wonder what the customers hope to get out of being there. Eventually, through the people and robots he meets in the cafe, he begins to understand what having a real soul might look like.

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Ito

Ito, a high school student living with her father and grandmother in Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan, is very introverted and has few friends. She has not touched her shamisen, an instrument, which has been handed down to her after her mother’s death after being passed down from generation to generation. It is then, on the spur of the moment, that she applies for a part-time job at a “maid cafe” and is successfully hired. The senior employees there are all full of character and individuality, including an older single mother and an aspiring manga artist. As Ito is surrounded by the strange yet charming regular customers, she gradually opens herself up to them. Then, one day, an opportunity arises to perform the shamisen, which she had kept locked up…

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Aristocrats

For Hanako, who was raised in a prestigious and wealthy family, it was her duty to marry a man of high social standing. Now in her late twenties, she has finally met her ideal suitor after continued arranged meetings with potential men. She was supposed to have a happy marriage to look forward to until she learns that her future partner was involved with a different woman. That woman was Miki, who hails from a regular family from rural Japan, working hard to survive in Tokyo. The lives of Hanako and Miki who inhabit very different social environments eventually begin to intersect.

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AWAKE

The year 2015 marked the first time that a shogi game software played against a professional human player. Riku, a talented young professional, was not afraid of the risk of losing to the computer and offered to play against it. What he didn’t know was that the developer of the software was Eiichi, who had once been a fellow student at an institute for boys training to become professionals. Why did young Eiichi give up on his dream of becoming a professional and become passionate about developing shogi software?

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Masked Ward

Hayami, a doctor, takes a midnight shift at a hospital he works at for the first time. Suddenly, a supermarket robber brings in a woman he shot during his getaway. The robber holes himself up in the hospital and prowls inside the building. Hayami tries to find out what the robber wants, but there’s something suspicious about the hospital itself and the director and nurses do not feel trustworthy—it is as if everybody is operating behind a mask. Hiding from the robber, Hayami begins to investigate the hospital and discovers patients that are not on the records and an operating room that should not exist. The revelations eventually lead him to a surprising truth.

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Mio’s Cookbook

After a catastrophic flood, a young girl Miho, leaves her hometown of Osaka to work in a restaurant in Edo. She is blessed with great talent, but is troubled by the difference in taste between Osaka and Edo, and toils to find a solution. Meanwhile, she learns that her best friend, Noe, is in Edo but she is rarely allowed to see her because of her lowly status.

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