ONLINE EVENT - Japan Society Film Club: Kwaidan directed by Masaki Kobayashi


ONLINE EVENT - Japan Society Film Club: Kwaidan directed by Masaki Kobayashi

Do you love Japanese film classics, anime or contemporary cinema stories? Do you miss Japan and want to see it at least on screen? Would you like to learn and discuss about Japanese culture and society? Join us for the new Japan Society Film Club where we will chat online about films and Japan in an informal atmosphere.

In preparation for the Obon festival which honors the spirit of the dead ancestors every summer in Japan, the Film Club in August will discuss Kwaidan directed by Masaki Kobayashi in 1964.

Kwaidan (『怪談』) is a classic horror film anthology based on Japanese folk tales and ghost stories written by Lafcadio Hearn. Combining a ravishing visual style, beautiful cinematography and a soundtrack by Toru Takemitsu, each of the four ghost stories presents a distinctive and eerie atmosphere, perfect for a summer evening of scary storytelling. Kwaidan won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival in 1965 and was nominated as Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

Masaki Kobayashi (1916-1996) is a celebrated film director in postwar Japanese cinema. He started his career at the Shochiku studios as assistant to director Kinoshita Keisuke and made his debut behind the camera in 1952 with My Son's Youth. He is mostly known for anti-war melodramas, such as Thick-walled Rooms (a film adaptaion of a story by Kobo Abe) and the trilogy of The Human Condition (1959–1961), and for his samurai film Harakiri (1962). Kwaidan is his first film in colour.

Japan Society Film Clubs will take place on the first Wednesday of the month. We will recommend a film to watch in advance and meet online to discuss. Films are often available online for free, on DVD or on BFI player(*) which this year is celebrating Japan 2020, a special season on Japanese cinema. When possible, we will invite film experts to introduce and lead the discussion, but the event is open to all and we encourage participants to freely express their opinions and feelings about the films.

If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email

* Films on BFI player are available with a monthly subscription (£4.99/month after 14 day free trial). As a charity organisation, BFI helps to support films and the film industry in the UK.

Booking Details
Free - Booking essential
Priority for Japan Society Members

Booking Info
Please remember to watch the film in advance. Kwaidan is available on BFI player with subscription and free on Internet Archive



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