2015 / Japan Foundation: documentary film about poetry readings and shows inspired by the 2011 disaster of Japan, May 16

©Eisuke Asaoka

©Eisuke Asaoka

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles

Special Saturday Screening / Q&A with Poet Cast Member
Saturday, May 16, 2:00PM

Q&A Session after Screening with Keijiro Suga
The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, 5700 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036

*Street parking is available near JFLA.    >>Click Here for Parking Info
Admission: Free / *RSVP not required

TRUE SONGS ― Dedicated to the dramatic reading of “Night on the Milky Way Train” ―  (100 mins, 2014)

Directed by Hiroki Kawai

This movie is in Japanese with English subtitles.

After the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, novelist Hideo Furukawa leaned on the writings of famous children’s author and poet Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933), who was from the region of Japan affected by the disaster in 2011, for emotional support and inspiration.

Furukawa, along with poet Keijiro Suga, musician Keitany Love Kojima, and translator Motoyuki Shibata, decided to create a traveling show combining song, oral narrative, and spoken word performances based on Miyazawa’s classic short novel Night on the Milky Way Train.

Since its creation, the show has been performed all over Japan, from Fukushima (site of the nuclear disaster) to a railroad car in Kyoto.

This documentary film titled True Songs (Original Title: Hontou no Uta) follows the artists over the course of two years as they tour Japan bringing their emotionally charged and imaginative show to the people of Japan who are still grappling with the fallout from the disaster.

Official Movie Site (Japanese): http://milkyway-railway.com/movie/

Keijiro Suga (b. 1958) is a poet and professor in critical theory at Meiji University, Tokyo.

About author of classic short novel Night on the Milky Way Train: Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933) is one of Japan’s most read and best loved authors. Born in Iwate Prefecture, he was only 37 at the time of his death.

Miyazawa’s literary works received little attention during his lifetime and only two books were published before his passing.

The remainder of the great number of children’s stories and poems that he left behind were edited and published posthumously, after which the richness and depth of his art finally gained wide recognition making him one of Japan’s most read and best loved authors.