Tokyo Festival Opens With Heightened Sense of Japanese Tradition, Purpose

Unfolding while Japan simultaneously hosts the Rugby World Cup, recovers from the recent Typhoon Hagibis, and prepares for the upcoming Olympic Games, the 32nd edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival got under way Monday, with a strong sense of Japanese tradition and heightened conservatism compared with previous years.

That feeling was reinforced by last week’s enthronement of a new Emperor, which launched the beginning of the new Reiwa Era, and by the five-woman, kimono-clad ensemble that welcomed guests at Roppongi’s Grand Hyatt Hotel with traditional shamisen, flutes and drums.

The Reiwa Era means: “A new era for Japan and Japanese films,” said festival director Takeo Hisamatsu from the stage. “We have built the program to present the best of Japanese films to the world.”

This year the festival debuts a new section on Japanese animation, as well as a focus on Nobuhiko Obayashi, a pioneering experimental filmmaker

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