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Japan

Asia Rising, 1951. (People's Century, 1997.)

Japan began the slow painful process of reconstruction after World War II, while Korea, after the Korean War, was one of the poorest countries in the world. This program documents how Japan and Korea managed to rise above the strife of war to develop into world economic powers, setting the global pace for competition in the late 20th century.

Aspects of the Kabuki Theater of Japan.

Introduces viewer to Kabuki, the popular traditional theater of Japan. Shows the application of makeup and several classic Kabuki performances. 1980. 12 min.

atoichi

Based on characters created by Shimozawa Kan. Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (Zatoichi to Yojinbo)(1965)Directed by Okamoto Kihachi. Cast: Katsu Shintaro, Wakao Ayako, Takisawa Osamu, Mifune Toshiro. Two of Japan's legendary actors star in this classic tale of greed and misfortune. Zatoichi the Blind Masseur revisits a village he has fond memories of, only to find it has fallen prey to Boss Masagoro, the son of a merchant rumored to have stolen gold from the shogunate. 116 min.

Atomic Rulers of the World (Japan, 1964)

Directors: Koreyoshi Akasaka, Teruo Ishii, and others. Cast: Nakayama, Kan Hayashi, Minoru Takada, Utako Mitsuya. A hero from the deepest reaches of space arrives on planet Earth to save mankind from atomic destruction in this feature film comprised of episodes of the popular Japanese sci-fi series Super Giant. As the citizens of the distant planet Emerald watch over Earth, they are shocked to discover that the rouge nation of Mirapolia has distributed atomic weapons all over the planet.

Autumn Afternoon (Sanma no aji) (1962)

Directed by Yasujiro Ozu. Cast: Ryu Chishu, Iwashita Shima, Sada Keiji, Okada Mariko, Yoshida Teruo. After living alone with his daughter for years, a widower must learn how to let her go, letting her be free to move on with her life, by arranging a marriage for her. Special features: Audio commentary featuring David Bordwell; excerpts from 1978 French television program, "Yasujiro Ozu and the taste of sake"; theatrical trailer ; new, restored high-definition digital transfer. 113 min.

Battle Royale (Batoru rowaiaru) (2000)

Directed by Kinji Fukasaku. Cast: Takeshi Kitano, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Yamamoto, Masanobu Ando. Sometime in the near future, near anarchy has broken out in Japan. The government responds by passing the Battle Royale Act, a piece of legislation mandating that a group of young people - and only young people - are forcibly marooned together on an island, and forced to kill each other until one survivor is left. If more than one is still alive after three days, every survivor will be killed.

Black Rain (Kuroi Ame) (1989)

Director: Shohei Imamura. Cast: Tanaka Yoshiko, Kitamura Kazuo, Ichihara Etsuko, Hara Hisako, Ishida Keisuke, Sawa Tamaki, Ozawa Shoichi. This is an unforgettable movie about humanity and survival after the 1945 atomic catastrophe that changed the world forever. Stunning photography vividly details the horror of ravaged Hiroshima, while its shocked survivors struggle with radiation sickness as they rebuild their shattered lives. 123 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Black Sun (Aru kyouhaku) (Japan, 1964)

Directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara. Cast: Kawaji Tamio, Chico Roland, Chishiro Yu-ko, Nitta Sho-gen, Yamada Zenji, O-taki Hideji. A manic, oddball, anti-buddy story about a young, jazz-obsessed Japanese drifter and a black American GI on the lam in Tokyo. Based on the story, Kusatta ori-bu, by Tensei Kono. 95 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Blue Spring (Aoi haru) (2001)

Director: Toshiaki Toyoda. Cast: Ryuhei Matsuda, Hirofumi Arai, Sousuke Takaoka, Yusuke Oshiba. In this bleak portrait of life at perhaps the worst high school in Japan, brutal Kujo is crowned the king of the school and his gang -- including his thuggish childhood pal Aoki -- rule the place with an iron fist. Based on a comic by Tayou Matsumoto. Special features: Commentary by Tom Mes; interview with director Toshiaki Toyoda; artwork; biographies & filmographies; scene selection. 83 min.

Boiling Point (3-4x jugatsu) (1990)

Director, 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano. Two members of a Japanese junior baseball team get mixed up with the local yakuza. After their coach is severely injured by the gangsters, the two boys set off to Okinawa to purchase a gun in order to get revenge. While in Okinawa they get befriended by a psychotic yakuza outcast who is planning a revenge of his own. 98 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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