The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2024


Unforgettable - Memories, Times and Reflections in Japanese Cinema
2 February to 31 March 2024, Nationwide

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme (JFTFP24) returns - starting off on 2 February, the programme visits 30 cities in the UK, including Oxford, Lancaster, Chichester, Liverpool and as far as Orkney, as new stopovers!

The theme for this year is "Unforgettable - Memories, Times and Reflections in Japanese Cinema". Memories play a powerful role in the mind. Shaped fluidly by individuals or time, they have been a source of inspiration for many filmmakers, fuelling their creativity to craft colourful stories. The JFTFP24 delves into Japanese cinema to explore how memories are employed in the cinematic voices of Japanese filmmakers, from films where memories are a focal point to works where they play a subliminal role in driving or affecting people’s minds and behaviour.

The tour features guest appearances at select screenings from MAEDA Tetsu, director of Do Unto Others, CHIHARA Tetsuya, director of Ice Cream Fever, and Serena Motola, featured in Ice Cream Fever and Voices in the Wind. For further details visit the official website.

Film Line-up

The Inerasable
残穢 -住んではいけない部屋- (Zan’e: Sunde wa ikenai heya)
Directed by NAKAMURA Yoshihiro
2016, 107 min.
Short synopsis: A novelist specialising in ghost stories (TAKEUCHI Yuko) receives a letter from Ms. KUBO (HASHIMOTO Ai), who explains that she often hears strange noises in her room. Together, the two of them investigate the horrifying truth behind KUBO’s room and its past inhabitants in this highly-praised horror mystery. 

Hit Me Anyone One More Time!
記憶にございません! (Kioku ni gozaimasen!)
Directed by MITANI Koki
2019, 127 min.
Starring: NAKAI Kiichi, Dean Fujioka, ISHIDA Yuriko, KUSAKARI Masao
Short synopsis: One day, the widely-despised Prime Minister of Japan, KURODA Keisuke (NAKAI Kiichi), wakes up in a hospital, unable to recall any details of his life thus far. Now filled with a desire to do good, can KURODA balance the conspiracy and corruption of politics with his newfound sense of morality? 

A Man
ある男 (Aru otoko)
Directed by ISHIKAWA Kei
2022, 121 min.
Starring: TSUMABUKI Satoshi, ANDO Sakura, KUBOTA Masataka, MASHIMA Hidekazu
Short synopsis: Divorcee Rie (ANDO Sakura) returns to her hometown, where she remarries Daisuke (KUBOTA Masataka). They live together happily until Daisuke is killed and Rie is told that Daisuke is not who he claimed to be. She enlists lawyer KIDO (TSUMABUKI Satoshi) to uncover the truth behind the man she loved in this identity-focused social drama. 

Thousand and One Nights
千夜、一夜 (Senya, ichiya)
Directed by KUBOTA Nao
2022, 126 min.
Starring: TANAKA Yuko, ONO Machiko, ANDO Masanobu, Duncan
Short synopsis: Ever since Tomiko’s (TANAKA Yuko) husband disappeared without a trace, she has drifted aimlessly through life, until she meets Nami (ONO Machiko), whose husband also vanished. The encounter changes Tomiko’s life, but can she make peace with the memories of her lost husband? 

手 (Te)
Directed by MATSUI Daigo
2022, 99 min.
Starring: FUKUNAGA Akari, KANEKO Daichi, KANEDA Akio, OBUCHI Natsuko
Short synopsis: Sawako (FUKUNAGA Akari) is a 25-year-old office worker whose relationship with her father has long remained uneasy. She has a passion for older men, often dating and collecting photos of their hands, but as she grows close to her young co-worker (KANEKO Daichi), her feelings begin to transform. 

サバカン (Sabakan)
Directed by KANAZAWA Tomoki
2022, 96 min.
Starring: BANKA Ichiro, HARADA Konosuke, ONO Machiko, KUSANAGI Tsuyoshi
Short synopsis: HISADA’s (KUSANAGI Tsuyoshi) memories of his childhood are bittersweet: in the summer of 1986, he befriended TAKEMOTO Kenji (HARADA Konosuke) from a shanty house, and the two embarked on a mini-adventure together, unaware that their childhood innocence was soon to be shattered. 

The Fish Tale
さかなのこ (Sakana no ko)
Directed by OKITA Shuichi
2022, 139 min.
Starring: Non, YAGIRA Yuya, Kaho, ISOMURA Hayato
Short synopsis: Follow Meebo (Non), whose eccentric yet endearing passion for fish quite often leaves him out of touch with society, on a journey through childhood and into adulthood in this humorously quirky and heartfelt coming-of-age story. 

The Zen Diary
土を喰らう十二カ月 (Tsuchi o kurau junika getsu)
Directed by NAKAE Yuji
2022, 111 min.
Starring: SAWADA Kenji, MATSU Takako, NARAOKA Tomoko, DAN Fumi
Short synopsis: Tsutomu (SAWADA Kenji) is a writer living in a secluded mountain cabin. Unable to confront the loss of his wife, he has instead devoted himself to farming and cooking, skills he learned as a young monk, until a series of incidents awaken new emotions inside him. Filled with cooking scenes for audiences to enjoy! 

Twilight Cinema Blues
銀平町シネマブルース (Ginpei-cho Cinema Blues)
Directed by JOJO Hideo
2022, 99 min.
Starring: KOIDE Keisuke, FUKIKOSHI Mitsuru, UNO Shohei, FUJIWARA Sakura
Short synopsis: Penniless KONDO’s (KOIDE Keisuke) encounter with homeless movie enthusiast SATO (UNO Shohei) leads the young KONDO to take a job at the Ginpei Scala Theatre, a small independent cinema on the verge of closure. As he interacts with his co-workers and staff, KONDO begins to reflect on his own past… 

Directed by MATSUMOTO Yusaku
2023, 127 min.
Starring: HIGASHIDE Masahiro, MIURA Takahiro
Short synopsis: KANEKO (HIGASHIDE Masahiro) is the genius programmer behind Winny, a revolutionary file-sharing program. However, he is arrested for enabling the copyright violations committed by Winny’s users, beginning a legal battle to save his life and his reputation in this cinematic retelling of a true story. 

波紋 (Hamon)
Directed by OGIGAMI Naoko
2023, 120 min.
Starring: TSUTSUI Mariko, MITSUISHI Ken, ISOMURA Hayato, ANDO Tamae
Short synopsis: Yoriko (TSUTSUI Mariko) leads a relatively ordinary life until her husband and son leave home for their own reasons. In order to fill the void, Yoriko devotes herself to a new religious cult, but the peace she regains is disrupted by the return of her estranged family members, driving her to breaking point. 

658km、陽子の旅 (658km, Yoko no tabi)
Directed by KUMAKIRI Kazuyoshi
2022, 113 min.
Short synopsis: Yoko (KIKUCHI Rinko) is a 42-year-old recluse living in Tokyo. Having held a grudge against her father for 20 years, she is one day notified of his passing. Reluctantly, she embarks on a journey to Hirosaki in order to attend his funeral, but is accidentally stranded along the way. 

The Lump in My Heart
あつい胸さわぎ (Atsui muna sawagi)
Directed by MATSUMURA Shingo
2023, 92 min.
Starring: YOSHIDA Mizuki, TOKIWA Takako, OKUDAIRA Daiken, MAEDA Atsuko
Short synopsis: As teenager Chinatsu (YOSHIDA Mizuki) works on an assignment about her first love, the bittersweet memories of her childhood crush play on her mind. Meanwhile, Chinatsu’s single mother Akiko (TOKIWA Takako) grows worried, as Chinatsu is to be retested for breast cancer. 

From the End of the World
世界の終わりから (Sekai no owari kara)
Directed by KIRIYA Kazuaki
2023, 135 min.
Starring: ITO Aoi, MAIGUMA Katsuya, ASAHINA Aya, NATSUKI Mari
Short synopsis: Hana (ITO Aoi), a high school girl engulfed in misery and devoid of hope, is one day approached by a special agent telling her she can save the world. With its effective use of CGI and overwhelmingly human performances, this time-travelling apocalyptic sci-fi film raises the bar for the genre. 

The Snow Flurry
Directed by KINOSHITA Keisuke
1959, 78 min.
Starring: KISHI Keiko, KUGA Yoshiko, KAWAZU Yusuke, KAWAKANE Masanao, ARIMA Ineko
Short synopsis: Haruko (KISHI Keiko) attempts a double suicide with a son of the respectable NAGURA family. Having survived and become an outcast, she has to raise their son, Suteo (KAWAZU Yusuke), alone. Grown-up Suteo develops feelings for his cousin (KUGA Yoshiko) from the NAGURA family, but his forbidden love echoes his mother’s tragic past…

Lonely Castle in the Mirror
かがみの孤城 (Kagami no kojo)
Directed by HARA Keiichi
2022, 116 min
Voice over: TOMA Ami, KITAMURA Takumi, KIRYU Sakura, ITAGAKI Rihito
Short synopsis: Kokoro (voiced by TOMA Ami), a bullied middle schooler, isolates herself in her room until her room’s mirror transports her to a mysterious castle. Alongside six other children with similar struggles in life, she faces a challenge from a wolf-masked girl who asks them to find a hidden key in order to fulfil any wish.

Directed by MATSUNAGA Daishi
2023, 120 min
Starring: SUZUKI Ryohei, MIYAZAWA Hio, AGAWA Sawako
Short synopsis: Kosuke (SUZUKI Ryohei), a fashion editor with an air of superiority, falls in love with Ryuta (MIYAZAWA Hio), his young and attractive personal trainer. They share moments together, sometimes including Ryuta’s single mother. However, their love is disrupted when Ryuta unexpectedly misses their planned date.

Shadow of Fire
ほかげ (Hokage)
Directed by TSUKAMOTO Shinya
2023, 95 min
Starring: Shuri, MORIYAMA Mirai, TSUKAO Oga, KONO Hiroki
Short synopsis: Immediately after the war, in Tokyo, where everything is in chaos and destitution, a war orphan (TSUKAO Oga) sneaks into a tavern where a woman (Shuri) sells her body to survive. Gradually, they form a bond, but their fragile peace is soon shattered…

Ice Cream Fever
アイスクリームフィーバー (Ice Cream Fever)
Directed by CHIHARA Tetsuya
2023, 104 min
Starring: YOSHIOKA Riho, Serena Motola, Utaha, MATSUMOTO Marika
Short synopsis: Four women from different generations have their lives intertwined at an ice cream shop in Tokyo. The shop assistant, Natsumi (YOSHIOKA Riho), is captivated by the mysterious customer Saho (Serena Motola), while Yu (MATSUMOTO Marika) takes in her estranged niece who is searching for her missing father. A stylish film with a vibrant and quirky love story where memories unfold.

Voices in the Wind
風の電話 (Kaze no denwa)
Directed by SUWA Nobuhiro
2020, 139 min
Starring: Serena Motola, NISHIJIMA Hidetoshi, NISHIDA Toshiyuki, MIURA Tomokazu, WATANABE Makiko
Short synopsis: Eight years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, emotionally scarred Haru (Serena Motola) silently embarks on a 1,300 km solo hitchhiking journey to her hometown of Otsuchi, where her family died. Guided by an unseen force, will the journey help heal her pain?

アンダーカレント (Undercurrent)
Directed by IMAIZUMI Rikiya
2023, 143 min
Starring: MAKI Yoko, NAGAYAMA Eita, IURA Arata, Lily Franky
Short synopsis: Kanae (MAKI Yoko) struggles to manage a bathhouse after her husband’s (NAGAYAMA Eita) disappearance, haunted by her childhood memories. Things take an interesting turn when HORI (IURA Arata) arrives, seeking work and shelter. In the quest to find Kanae’s missing husband, questions linger: why did HORI appear, and what do Kanae’s memories reveal?

Mondays: See You ‘This’ Week!
MONDAYS/このタイムループ、上司に気づかせないと終わらない (Mondays/Kono taimu ruupu, joshi ni kizukasenaito owaranai)
Directed by TAKEBAYASHI Ryo
2022, 82 min
Starring: MARUI Wan, MAKITA Sports, SHUHAMA Harumi, OSAMURA Koki
Short synopsis: Endless deadlines, sleepless nights – Akemi (MARUI Wan) and all her co-workers are trapped in a bizarre office time loop where the same week repeats over and over again! Only the department head (MAKITA Sports) is unaware, but he holds the key to breaking free. Can they persuade him and escape?

Hoarder On The Border
断捨離パラダイス (Danshari Paradise)
Directed by KAYANO Takayuki
2022, 101 min
Starring: SHINODA Ryo, IZUMIYA Shigeru, KITAYAMA Masayasu, MUTO Tomu
Short synopsis: The lives of extreme hoarders revolve around Ritsuki (SHINODA Ryo) as he takes on a new path with a specialised cleaning crew for hoarder houses. In this anthological comedy, he confronts not only cluttered spaces but also clients with diverse challenges, exploring the complexities in the lives of those on the fringes of Japanese society.

Do Unto Others
ロストケア (Lost Care)
Directed by MAEDA Tetsu
2023, 114 min
Starring: MATSUYAMA Kenichi, NAGASAWA Masami, SUZUKA Oji, SAKAI Maki
Short synopsis: A shocking mystery unfolds as bodies are discovered, implicating dedicated caregiver SHIBA Munenori (MATSUYAMA Kenichi) in the deaths of 42 elderly patients. Pursued by prosecutor OTOMO Hidemi (NAGASAWA Masami), SHIBA admits his crime but insists it was ‘salvation.’ Why did he take lives, and what is his true intent?