Japanese Currents

  • December 4, 2015 — December 13, 2015

Like Japanese fashion and pop culture, Japanese film remains in the international vanguard, blending traditional genres and classical forms with cutting-edge technology and dazzling imagery. This year’s 9th annual Japanese Currents series highlights recent noteworthy Nipponese films, ranging from anime to jidaigeki, documentary to comedy, all while exploring issues important to contemporary Japanese society. Collectively, these selections offer a fresh take on Japanese culture and showcase the wealth of creative invention at work in Japan today.

Special thanks to the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles with additional support from the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association, Lane Powell PC, and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland.

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Round Trip Heart

Directed by Yuki Tanada

Hachiko Hojo (Yuko Oshima, formerly of pop idol group AKB48) is an unassuming, hard-working attendant on the Romance Car—so named

Sapporo Shorts

Sapporo Shorts Program

Directed by Various

Our Portland Sister City colleagues at the Sapporo International Short Film Festival in Sapporo, Japan, return with a new program

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Neko Samurai 2: A Tropical Adventure

Directed by Takeshi Watanabe

The beloved cat/samurai duo that charmed audiences in Samurai Cat are back in an adventure which finds our heroes Tamanojo


I Alone

Directed by Sho Tsukikawa

Buddy comedies come in many flavors, but few are quite as charming as Tsukikawa’s latest, which pits a mild-mannered corporate


Haruko’s Paranormal Laboratory

Directed by Lisa Takeba

Reminiscent of the early work of Michel Gondry but carving a path uniquely its own thanks to a decidedly rough-hewn


Ecotherapy Getaway Holiday

Directed by Shûichi Okita

Seven women of varying ages and backgrounds sign up for a chartered trip to a remote waterfall. Expecting relaxation and

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Sanchu Uprising: Voices at Dawn

Directed by Juichiro Yamasaki

Yamasaki’s highly inventive take on the jidaigeki (historical drama) concerns a group of rural farmers treated poorly by tax authorities



Directed by Yohei Suzuki

An aimless young man still living with his parents well into his twenties spies a mysterious black orb floating in


When Marnie Was There

Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi

As the swan song of Studio Ghibli, one of the foremost animation studios in the world, When Marnie Was There


Wonderful World End

Directed by Daigo Matsui

Incorporating live video feed-style footage, text message overlays, and more than its fair share of on-screen emoji, Matsui’s film is

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Nuclear Nation II

Directed by Atsushi Funahashi

Funahashi’s initial film, NUCLEAR NATION (2012), movingly followed a year in the life of refugees from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear