All posts tagged: hidden history

Eye-On-Manga-Tanjo

The Manga Master

Updated 2018/10/08: Added new trailer in anticipation of its World Premiere at the Tokyo International Festival The proliferation of manga across the globe has been one of the pillars of the Japanese government’s economic soft power initiative, “Cool Japan” which also works to spread Japanese culture internationally. Many Japanese are often surprised by how knowledgeable foreigners can be regarding many popular manga titles as well as the increasing number of tourists who flock to Japan to consume and experience manga culture first hand. That being said, the roots of the medium itself is most likely unknown to both Japanese and international fans alike. Revealing the little known history of manga is the aim of The Manga Master which is directed by Oki Moe who is helming her second feature. Her debut work, Firecracker Ideals was a purely independent spin on the contemporary morose of young people as they grow to see the wide disparity between their life idealized through youthful ambitions versus unwelcome realities. It was hailed as a confident movie capturing some of the …

Kiku-to-Girochin-Still

Kiku and the Guillotine (unofficial)

Director Zeze Takahisa made waves with his 4-hour opus Heaven’s Story in 2010. Despite its running time, the independently produced movie took home the FIPRESCI Prize at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival among other praises & accolades at home and abroad. He has a completed shooting a new movie titled Kiku to Girochin – Onna Zumo to Anakisuto (lit. Kiku and Guillotine – a female sumo and an anarchist), the premise of which seems quite interesting. Set in the Taisho Era, just after the Great Kanto Earthquake, the story of two women sumo wrestlers who participated in an exhibition troupe of female sumo (think the women’s baseball league from WWII featured in A League of their Own) and their relationship with a group of anarchists calling themselves “Guillotine” promises stout-hearted entertainment that depicts “with romance, action, and social satire the rough and ragged power of the common people.” The existence of female sumo wrestlers in that period is sure to be a revelation to many, even in Japan, and the added element of the two female …