News Sushi #75: Morsels of News from Japan and Beyond

News Sushi #75 And we (Hamish) keep serving the best News Sushi!

Editor Note:It is Friday and that means it is time for the World Famous, soon to be Intergalactic Famous, News Sushi from our very own, Hamish Downie. Hamish brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan.

Thank you (ありがとうございました) Hamish, for your insights.

こんにちは!Which means “Hello”!

I’ve taken a break from work for the Obon (an annual Japanese holiday which commemorates and remembers deceased ancestors) period, which means that I’m on my own for the week. My partner has a lot of duties during this period, so I’m on my own. I’ve caught up on some films, like “Baby Driver” (too many men – too few women over 20 – surprisingly dry for an Edgar Wright film), and “Paddington 2” (delightful – fantasy England). I’ve got books that need reading, but at least I’ve finished Pete Buttigieg’s (first out man trying to be nominated for the Presidency) book (it’s a tough read for an outsider – I know more about South Bend than I ever needed to know…). I’m up to movie six in the Harry Potter series (my partner and I are playing catch up with this series), but I still feel like I need to read the books as the movies seem to skip out on a lot of important information. Season three of “Glow” is out, which is a pleasure. I’ve got caught into watching some really guilty pleasures – “100% Hotter” and “My Hotter Half” – two very mean makeover shows from the UK, which have the same formula. Someone takes a selfie, members of the British Public rate them in terms of hotness, said someone gets a makeover (or a “make-under”), finally members of the British Public give said someone a higher rating. It’s so hypocritical, because the hosts have more pancake makeup on than the people they are “making under” and faces pumped with toxic waste, yet these are the people who are in charge of telling these people that they need to lose their personalities and look like everyone else if they want to be “hot”. Still, it’s very watchable trash TV.

Oh yes, and my film has reached picture lock (i.e. finished editing – now we can work on the sound/colour/etc). And I was able to read two scripts. One by Adrian Austin, which is going to be a masterpiece when it’s finished. And another by Chris Watt (we’ve interviewed him before for “5 Questions”), which was also a very easy read and should become a nice little film.

I’ve talked about this horror manga series written by my former tranning buddy, Rotem Shuval, a few times before, but here it is – available to purchase!

From the website: “Out of Service is my first graphic novel. It is a light horror story following two women as they make their way through a rather strange train. They learn a little about each other and themselves as they do so. This story was first published as a webcomic on tumblr, and all 68 pages were collected and bound into this volume to be made available at Kaigai Manga Festa 2018. And now, they are available to you!”

Japan is a famously hard place to work, especially if you are Japanese and Female. The difficulties facing working women in Japan who want to have children are highlighted here in the following post:

And those who have children, this tweet is an interesting one (although I think this is a universal problem):

Joe Morris is another person I’ve interviewed for the “five questions” series. The following is a still from his latest short film, “We are Dancers”, which is a new short film set in Berlin in 1933 about an #AntiNazi Drag Queen. Set to be released in 2019.

Follow him here @Joemoism

Temple puts naked イケメン (Ikemen, which means handsome/cool) men to attract more people

The Foreign Correspondants Club of Japan is having a Film Screening next month, which is a Sneak Preview Screening of “They Say Nothing Stays the Same (Aru Sendou no Hanashi)” – Joe Odagiri’s new film.

From the website: “Once upon a time, a young Japanese man applied to study film directing in California, intending to make it his career. But fate intervened. Soon, he became a big movie star instead, and his dream faded into the background of his success…until he gathered a few equally famous friends and created a completely unexpected film.
That film, “They Say Nothing Stays the Same,” is a deceptively simple story about a lonely old boatman, Toichi (Emoto, in his first leading role in over a decade), who ferries villagers and visitors to a town on the other side of the river. His only real relationship is with Genzo (Murakami), a young neighbor who may or may not be a simpleton. Upstream, a large bridge is being constructed and Toichi will be able to retire. He has mixed feelings about that.”

For more information:

In Japanese:

Because I’ve been a part of a number of film festivals, I get a lot of spam promotional mail from different film related bodies. So, I thought I might share some with you today from Katadrom Art Colony in Turkey.

From the Press Release:

Katadrom Art Colony will mainly be a residency, training and creating ground for visual artists, film makers, volunteers and social workers of arts, culture and social politics. The Art Colony is an art center where art projects, artist residency programs, master classes, summer camps, training and courses for film production and post production will run. The center aims to attract female artists with children and artists with disabilities as the complex is designed for their needs.

It is located in Eskişehir. Being one of the safest cities of Europe, Eskişehir is a well planned college city where a great mix of modern and traditional Turkish way of life could be found. The city known for its cultural life, big parks, the bridges and the hot springs and Turkish baths where some date back to the Ottomans.

For more information:

Finally, we’ve been having some volcanic activity here in Japan, so here’s some caught on film by actress Christine Brew!

View this post on Instagram

@mountaso Just erupted. #kumamoto #tokyogirl

A post shared by Christiane Brew (@christianelbr) on

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また来週ね!Which means, see you next week!


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