Saturday, October 30, 2010

November 13, 14, 2010 - CJS Co-Sponsors "TOILET" and "DEAR DOCTOR" at the REEL ASIAN Film Festival!

The Canada Japan Society is proud, once again, to be a community co-sponsor for the 14th Annual REEL ASIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, running from November 9-15th.

We are sponsoring TWO films again this year, and CJS members save 25% on regular screening ticket prices! Just enter promotional code CPORG when you buy tickets online at Valid to Nov 8 2010.

TOILET (トイレット)
Dir. Naoko Ogigami | Japan 2010 | 109:00 | 35mm | English | Rated: PG

Japanese director Naoko Ogigami’s most recent international cinematic offering, filmed in Toronto in 2009 and featuring a mostly Canadian cast and production team, is an off-the-wall comedy about three siblings — a nerdy engineer, a brilliant pianist and an aspiring air guitarist, who collectively struggle to relate to their estranged Japanese grandmother after the death of their mother.

Known for her poignant humour and the charming sensibility in her body of work — Kamome Diner (2006) and Megane (2007) — Ogigami delights in placing her characters in situations that force them to deal with the peculiarities and problems of everyday life. Nerdy thirty-something Ray (Alex House) is just fine, doing his own thing. Balancing his life somewhere in between peacefulness and boredom, he is content with his lab job, predictable work clothes and his obsession with plastic toys. But after his mother’s death, he reluctantly finds himself back home with his eccentric brother Maury (David Rendall), who suffers from severe anxiety, and their bossy sister Lisa (Tatiana Mazurani), who demands that Ray take more of an active role in the family. Still coping with the loss of their mother, the siblings must also care for their baa-chan, or grandmother (Masako Motai), who just arrived from Japan and doesn’t speak a word of English.

Frustrated by this disruption to his daily routine, Ray becomes increasingly obsessed with the bathroom rituals of his baa-chan and questions whether or not she is “really” part of their family. Through a series of hysterically comedic events, he discovers that she really isn’t who he’d expected. Of course, neither is he.

DEAR DOCTOR (ディア ドクター)

Dir. Miwa Nishikawa | Japan 2009 | 127:00 | 35mm | Japanese w/ Eng. sub. | Rated: PG

In a remote Japanese rural village of 1,500 aged residents, the sole and much-beloved physician, Osamu Ino (Tsurube Shofukutei), has gone missing. During the police investigation into his disappearance, Ino’s reputation is questioned, with emerging discrepancies in his credentials pointing to fraud and willful endangerment of the health of local residents.

In spite of these revelations, the town and even the mayor comes to the defence of Ino, who is also deeply admired and considered a cherished mentor by his colleagues — nurse Akemi Otake (Kimiko Yo, Departures) and a young medical intern, Keisuke Soma (Eita).

The film’s humorous vignettes of the trio visiting elderly patients show Ino’s wonderful bedside manner and sensitive approach to medicine. And after he miraculously brings a man back from the dead, Ino’s standing in the community approaches a godlike stature.

But then he encounters the case of an elderly widow — Torikai-san (Kaoru Yachigusa) — complaining of a stomach ache that appears to be more serious than Ino’s initial diagnosis. Complicating the issue, he has developed an ambiguous relationship with Mrs. Torikai, who is neglected by her grown daughters, one of whom is a doctor in Tokyo.

Based on her own novel, Kino no kamisama, director Miwa Nishikawa’s Dear Doctor is an endearing and artful comedy about how patients sometimes suffer more from loneliness than from physical illness. Posing a philosophical dilemma, the storyline asks: what qualifies someone to care for others — credentials or life experiences? This charming and nostalgic film, with gorgeous cinematography and a popular cast, has won more than 21 awards in Japan.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

November 4th: the LAST ICHIMOKUKAI of 2010

Yes, that's is the LAST Ichimokukai of 2010!

Ichimoku-kai literally means the "First Thursday Meeting" and since 1995 it has been the Canada Japan Society’s monthly social event...It’s a great place to informally network, make new friends, practice your English and/or Japanese, learn more about life in Canada and Japan, and most of all…have fun!

You'll get special pricing on already inexpensive Japanese food and drinks, enjoy a great atmoshpere, and get a chance to win some door prizes!

PLUS...the first details of our Legendary BONENKAI event will be released! Don't miss it!

Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Doors open at 6:00
105 McCaul Street (Unit 29-31, in the Village by the Grange building, past the food court)
CJS Members FREE, Non-Members $5

Hope to see you there!

Community Event: Free Lunchtime Video Screenings at the Japan Information Centre

Every month, the Japan Information Centre (JIC) screens short video features on modern Japanese culture, society and other subjects in the JIC Event Room.
These screenings are FREE and wonderful opportunities to discover many things about Japan.

This month's videos are: Japanology: The Past in the Present, Sho (Bamboo flute), Funadansu Sea Chests, Sweet Accessories, Yamaga Lantern Festival, Wagakki – Ancient Japanese Music Instruments, Unfolding the story of the kyo-sensu fan, Highly polished skills, Matsuri-zushi – festival sushi, and Iriomote’s Shichi Festival

November 5th (Fri) 12:10 -12:55pm.
November 17th(Wed) 1:10 -1:55pm.

Feel free to drop in with your lunch!

For additional information, contact the Japan Information Centre, Consulate General of Japan at 416-363-5488.

Japan Information Centre, Consulate General of Japan
Suite 110, 6 Garamond Court, Don Mills, ON M3C 1Z5
Phone: 416-363-5488

Community Event: Koki Tanaka Artist Talk and Video Screening

KOKI TANAKA: Artist talk and video screening: "A Haircut by 9 Hairdressers at Once (second attempt)"

Drawing from his experience as artist-in-residence at Toronto’s YYZ gallery earlier this year, video artist Koki Tanaka continues to develop ideas inspired by his stay here. While in Toronto, Tanaka noted how the wide variety of international hair salons—Chinese, Portuguese, Indian, Jamaican, Japanese, old-style, hip-style, etc.—reflects the multicultural character of the city. During a recent stay in San Francisco, Tanaka observed the same thing, and created the video "A Haircut by 9 Hairdressers at Once (second attempt)" (duration 30 minutes). On Tuesday, November 2, at the Japan Foundation, he will show this new video and discuss his works and influences.

Tuesday, November 2, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. (doors 6:00)
The Japan Foundation, Toronto
131 Bloor St. W., 2nd floor of the Colonnade Building
Admission: free
This event is in English.

RSVP Required: or (416) 966-1600 x102

Tanaka’s work is currently on display at the Japan Foundation, Toronto as part of the exhibition “Winter Garden: The Exploration of the Micropop Imagination in Contemporary Japanese Art.” “Winter Garden” curator Midori Matsui describes his videos as documents of “transformations of banal everyday objects, motivated by his playful interactions with them.”