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Discover Beauty Program
FY 2021 Japan Cultural Expo
Project Presented and Co-presented
by Agency for Cultural Affairs,
Government of Japan, and Japan Arts Council

Last year, the "Discover Beauty Program" selected short films that explored the “Beauty of Japan" as seen from the beauty of the world and held an online symposium on this theme. This year, we focus on women's enpowerment as a social issue and gathered films by female directors who play an active role in the film industry. Look forward to the short films depicting the “Beauty of Japan" from the perspective of female directors along with the Discover Beauty Symposium related to the above topics.

6/11 fri – 6/21 mon
Online Grand Theater
People of Prayer
People of Prayer
Dance Movie
Miyuki Matsuda and Taichi Saotome / 29:00 /Japan/Dance Movie / 2021
In ancient Japan, dolls were made as a token for people to bring happiness. The etymology of "inori" comes from “i” for breathing, and "nori" for life. In other words, prayer is about breathing and living. Breath that pumps the heart, to breathe, to struggle with oneself, and to proclaim your conduct to heaven. Beautiful dolls materialize from the repugnant side of human beings. This doll is both a symbol of God and of one's wishes. Dolls dance fervently in the beauty of nature in the four seasons, and through the life of flowers in the breeze, the life in water, the life in fire, and in payer, expresses the ancient Japanese people who dedicate themselves to traditional festivals.
Wheels of Fate: The Story of the Rickshaw Man
Wheels of Fate: The Story of the Rickshaw Man
Ema Ryan Yamazaki / 19:00 /USA Japan/Documentary / 2020
An emotional journey into the fateful history of The Rickshaw Man, which despite being chopped down by two governments, remains an irreplaceable work of humanist cinema from Japan's darkest period. Narrated by Lily Franky
The Fox of Shichigorosawa
The Fox of Shichigorosawa
Tune SUGIHARA / 13:45 /Japan/Animation / 2014
Higashiyama, the home of the foxes, has become an illegal dumping ground. This results in the decrease of small animals, which the mother fox relied on as prey to feed her children. The fox comes down from the mountains in search of food to feed her children, and comes upon a human village. This story is told in the Ainu language, which has been deemed a critically endangered language by UNESCO.
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossoms
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossoms
Lucy Walker / 39:00 /USA/Documentary / 2011
Survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan's recent tsunami find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins. This Academy Award-nominated short documentary explores the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the cultural significance of Japan's famous sakura, or cherry blossoms.
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