In the World Now

55th Anniversary of the Nagasaki Kenjinkai of Brazil

29Mar 2018 堤セリナ 広子

Hiroko Celina Tsutsumi

Capao Bonito, Sau Paulo, Brazil

2016 Nagasaki Overseas Technical Trainee

 

 

 

Hello everyone! Long time no see!

My name is Hiroko Celina Tsutsumi and I was a Nagasaki Overseas Technical Trainee in 2016. It feels like we’ve just stepped into 2018 but it’s actually already March! Time goes by so quickly!

 

 

Being on the other side of the earth, it’s summer here and we’re experiencing a long string of hot days. Unlike Japan, our summer break happens from December until the end of January, so I’ve been going to the beach with my family a lot lately. I even recently went to a resort called Maragogi and you can see a picture of the sea there below. Isn’t it pretty? ^^

 

 

 

 

This is a bit late but I want to tell you about the Anniversary Ceremony of the 55th Nagasaki Kenjinkai of Brazil. I attended this celebration on November 12th last year which featured an anniversary ceremony, a peace Bon-odori, and other celebratory attractions.

 

 

 

 

 

It began with a greeting from Mr. Hiroshi Kawazoe, President of the Nagasaki Kenjinkai of Brazil. We also received a video message from Governor Houdou Nakamura of Nagasaki Prefecture, and a recording of the peace proclamation by Mayor Tomihisa Taue of Nagasaki City.

Politicians from Sao Paulo as well as other important people were invited. Even the Japanese Consul General from the Sao Paulo Consulate of Japan, Mr. Yasushi Noguchi, was in attendance.

 

 

 

The ceremony was begun in the morning, and for lunch we all had some delicious bentos. From the afternoon we enjoyed the Peace Bon dance and many other fun attractions. The Bon dance wooden stage (yagura) was set up, and the dragon from the Nagasaki Kunchi Dragon Dance was on display and attracted the attention of many fans.

 

 

 

The program included activities like picture story shows (kamishibai), exercise (taiso), games, sara-odori, and yosakoi, among other dances that the people of Nagasaki would be familiar with. But the most popular attraction was, without a doubt, the Dragon Dance! The entire event swelled with excitement when it was finally time. All the performers practiced very hard in preparation and enjoyed a gigantic round of applause from an appreciative crowd when they finished ^^

 

 

 

In Brazil, the popularity of the Bon dance is not limited to Japanese people and their relatives. This year I dressed up in a yukata and joined in ^^ There were many Bon dance first timers in our group, but Brazilians are positive people who love to dance, so people got used to it very quickly and everyone had a great time. People of all ages joined in and it made for a great atmosphere ^^

 

 

 

 

 

 

The theme of this year’s ceremony was “peace,” and so there were posters, DVDs, paper story shows, books, and magazines that have to do with peace and the tragedy of war all on display. We, the members of a kenjinkai of a prefecture that has been attacked with an atomic bomb, want as many people as possible to remember the history of Nagasaki and live in peace.

 

 

Thanks to all the work of the Kenjinkai, the ladies section, and the youth section, this year’s celebration is truly one to remember. I will continue to do my best for Nagasaki, and the Nagasaki Kenjinkai of Brazil.

 

 

Also, this year marks the 110th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil, so there will also be a ceremony for that. I’ll write a report on that too, so get excited!

Obrigada! ^^ (Thank you!)

 

 

 

 

Back in Korea for the First Time in Seven Years

05Mar 2018 韓進

Han Jin (韓 進)

Seoul, South Korea

Lived in Nagasaki from September 2011 to April 2017

 

 

 

Hello! My name is Han Jin and I lived in Nagasaki for seven years.

 

 

I graduated from the Nagasaki Wesleyan University in Isahaya city and afterward worked in a ryokan in Unzen and at the Shimabara Peninsula Tourism Association. Since the time I was a student I have been connected to the Dejima Network and created content on the prefecture’s tourism resources as a special correspondent.

 

 

I want to keep writing and posting about things in Nagasaki but since I’ve gotten back to Korea it’s quite difficult to get fresh information about what’s going on over there.

So instead, as someone who is connected to the tourism industry, I’ll take this opportunity to tell you about some of my favorite tourism spots and foods from my home country. Of course, what I tell you all here will be subjective, so some Korea connoisseurs may disagree with my favorites (lol).

 

 

 

First, since I’m living in Seoul, I’ll tell you a bit about some of the nearby tourist destinations.

 

I enjoy trekking and it has become immensely popular in Korea over the past few years. Lots of new trekking courses have popped up as tourism resources. There are two famous courses in Seoul. One is the Hanyang (漢陽) Castle Patrol Route and the other is the Seoul Trail (Seoul Dullegil).

 

 

 

 

 

Hanyang Castle Patrol Route

 

The Hanyang Castle Patrol Route course circles the capital of the Joseon Dynasty: Hanyang (present-day Seoul). The course connects Seoul’s four large gates: Dondaemun (East), Seodaemun (West), Namdaemun (South), and Bukdaemun (North). It also ties in four smaller gates as well as other tourism spots and the center of the city to the mountain.

 

 

Through walking this course, I learned about the meaning of the gates and the history of the area, which I never had much interest in before, despite living here. It’s also a very gentle course with signs and maps, so even first-timers can enjoy it safely. The entire course is 20 km in length, but is easily divided into 6 different routes so you can adjust the length according to your ability.

 

Here’s the homepage:

http://seoulcitywall.seoul.go.kr/front/jp/index.do

 

I recommend the Naksan (駱山) portion because you can see both the shape of old Seoul as well as the liveliness of the present-day city. That particular course is also rather short, so it’s probably perfect for ladies.

 

Next, I’ll tell you about the Seoul Trail, which was created after Olle on Jeju Island became famous. It may be easier than mountain climbing, but not by much. This course made of eight parts is 157km long in total. Each individual course is quite long, so I recommend breaking them down further and walking a course over a few sessions, rather than doing it all at once. This course makes one big lap around the city of Seoul and is full of natural beauty that can be felt in any season of the year. I recommend the course around the Goguryeo Castle that takes you through Korean graveyards. I also recommend the Yongmasan (龍馬山) course and the Achasan (峨嵯山) course which have a great view of the eastern part of Seoul.

 

 

 

 

Seoul Trail

 

The Seoul Trail Homepage:

http://japanese.seoul.go.kr/%E7%94%9F%E6%B4%BB%E6%83%85%E5%A0%B1/%E8%87%AA%E7%84%B6%E5%90%8D%E6%89%80%E5%85%AC%E5%9C%92/%E3%82%BD%E3%82%A6%E3%83%AB%E3%83%BB%E3%83%88%E3%82%A5%E3%83%AB%E3%83%AC%E3%82%AE%E3%83%AB/%E3%83%88%E3%82%A5%E3%83%AB%E3%83%AC%E3%82%AE%E3%83%AB%E3%81%A8%E3%81%AF%EF%BC%9F/

 

 

 

I’ll leave my destination recommendations at that and move on to some culinary ones.

 

Let’s start with alcohol.

 

 

Just like Japan, Korean culture also embraces alcohol.

Also, just like in Japan, you can buy alcohol at supermarkets and convenience stores. The legal drinking age is 19. Beer, soju (shochu), and makgeolli are widely popular and quite cheap to buy.

 

 

The kinds of alcohol you find in Korea will be quite similar to those in Japan. The most popular alcohols in Japan are beer and Japanese sake, but the most popular ones in Korea are soju, beer, and makgeolli. Korean soju is different from the shochu of Japan. Korean soju is diluted with water down to about 18% alcohol and contains sweeteners so I think it’s quite easy to drink. Unfortunately, because it’s so easy to drink it’s also quite easy to get hangovers from. We do have soju made in the more traditional way, like it’s done in Japan, but it’s on the expensive side and therefore not at popular.

 

 

One of the characteristics of Korean beer is that it’s lighter than Japanese beer and lacks a strong flavor, which makes it perfect for Korea’s spicy cuisine.

Also, it’s very common to mix beer with soju. This would be unimaginable with relatively high-priced Japanese alcohols, but with Korea’s cheap booze this has become part of our drinking culture. I’ve drank these alcohol “bomb” drinks many times before and blacked out more times than I care to count (lol).

 

 

There’s been a recent surge in popularity among imported beers. They’re quite inexpensive. You can get a four-pack of 500mL cans for around 1,000 yen. You can also find Japanese beers like Asahi, Kirin, Suntory, and Yebisu in Korea. Japanese beers have a robust flavor and are quite popular since during sales you can buy them for cheaper than you can get them in Japan.

However, imported beers are still quite expensive in pubs so not many people go for them there.

 

 

 

Look at all this imported beer in the supermarket!

Lastly, let me tell you about Korea’s own liquor: makgeolli. I’m a big fan of makgeolli so I taste-tested a few different kinds. Here are my findings ^^

 

 

Makgeolli is a liquor made in the same fashion as Japanese sake, and it is comparable to Japanese “doburoku” in that it’s white and cloudy. This alcohol is said to have been drunk since the Goryeo Period (918 – 1392 CE). The word “makgeolli” is a compound of the word “mak” meaning “roughly, vaguely, or adequately”, and the word “geolli” which means “strain or filter”, thus becoming something like “roughly filtered alcohol”. Alcohol distilleries in Korea are fewer than in Japan, but recently makgeolli distilleries seem to be popping up all over. These distilleries make distinct kinds of makgeolli according to where they’re located.

 

 

The most popular makgeolli brands in Japan are Pocheon (抱川) and Idong (二東), but please allow me to introduce to you four brands of makgeolli you’re likely to come across in Seoul.

 

 

The brands in the photo on top from left to right are: Seoul Jangsu Makgeolli, Jipyeong Makgeolli from Yangpyeong in Gyeonggi-do, Neurinmaeul Makgeolli from Pocheon also in Gyeonggi-do. The one in the bottom picture is Yennal Makgeolli from Kooksoondang. (I like these four^^)

 

From the left: Seoul Jangsu Makgeolli, Jipyeong Makgeolli, and Neurinmaeul Makgeolli

 

Yennal Makgeolli

 

 

Seoul Jangsu Makgeolli is conveniently priced and can be bought just about anywhere in Seoul. It’s a little acidic compared to the others.

 

Here’s their homepage:

http://www.koreawine.co.kr/japanese/index.php

 

 

Most makgeolli needs to be shaken up a bit to spread out the particles that settle at the bottom of the bottle. However, Seoul Makgeolli is lighter than others and doesn’t need to be stirred. Give it a try! (Please make sure to stir your other makgeollis before drinking though!)

 

 

Seoul Makgeolli is made by an association of seven distilleries called the Seoul Takju Manufacturers Association. The seven distilleries have made their recipe uniform, but I have heard that the original recipe from Dobong (道峰) was especially delicious. (That distillery used the delicious spring water from the feet of the Bukhansan (北漢山) and Dobonsan (道峰山) mountains located in the North of Seoul.)

 

 

Jipyeong Makgeolli is made in a small distillery in Gyeonggi-do, and is known for its refreshing taste. (According to my friends, it has a minty taste.)

The Jipyeong Distillery was established in 1925 and the building itself has been designated as a Cultural Heritage Site of Korea’s Modernization. The design on the bottle includes that building. They produce a rice makgeolli and two kinds of wheat flour makgeolli.

Wheat flour makgeolli is hard to find in most stores. It’s heavy with a characteristic thickness.

 

 

 

Homepage: http://www.jpjujo.com/ (Korean only)

 

Next, let’s talk about the expensive but recently popular Neurinmaeul (which means “slow village”) Makgeolli from the Bae Sangmyeon alcohol dealer. It’s made by the company of the second son of the late Bae Sangmyeon, who created the Kooksoondang company which is a powerhouse in the alcohol business. This makgeolli is said to have shifted the paradigm of makgeolli with its deep flavor. It has an attractive label and is very popular with younger crowds. It is made without sweeteners, and therefore it has a short shelf-life and is expensive, but the deep flavor will leave an impression on anyone who drinks it. The depth and fruitiness of the flavor is what sets Neurinmaeul apart.

 

 

The last makgeolli we’ll look at will be Yennal Makgeolli from Kooksoondang (The company of the first son of Bae Sangmyeong). This one is also made in the traditional way of not adding any sweeteners. Since it’s made in with an old-fashioned method, it contains wheat flour and has a deep flavor. Since makgeolli is a fermented product, you can enjoy sweet and acidic flavors at the same time. I am of the opinion that Geumjeong-sanseong Makgeolli (金井山城) from Busan has the strongest flavor of all makgeollis, but this one comes close to besting it. Makgeolli connoisseurs should definitely try these old makgeollis.

 

 

 

Although the same in name, makgeolli varies widely. So, on your next trip to Korea please try a bunch and find your favorite ^^

 

 

Next, I’d like to tell you about a Korean food that is also part of Nagasaki’s culture: champon.

“Wait, what? They got champon in Korea too?” is what I imagine several of you are thinking right now. Surprisingly enough, champon is quite commonplace in Korea and enjoyed by the masses. You can find it in just about any Chinese restaurant, recently champon-only specialty restaurants have opened up, and you can even find it in “instant-noodle” form. My hometown of Incheon (仁川) has a famous Chinatown and, of course, its champon is well known.

 

Incheon’s Chinatown

 

Korean instant champon

 

Korean-style champon you can eat in a Chinese restaurant in Korea.

 The difference between Nagasaki champon and Korean champon is that ours is very spicy and the soup is red. Four or five years ago, a spicy instant champon with white soup called “Nagasaki Champon” became popular. Even though there are restaurants where the champon is called “Nagasaki Champon”, there is no place in korea that serves actual, authentic Nagasaki Champon. But, the word and culture of champon have reached Korea.

 

I hope there’s an opportunity in the future to tell Korean people that in the birthplace of champon, Nagasaki, there are different popular kinds of champon in places like Nagasaki city, and places with fishing industries like Obama and Hirado.

 

I heard a rumor that in the beginning of 2018, Obama champon will come to Korea and rent space in a store to do PR. I always hope that these sorts of events will get Korean folks to visit Nagasaki.

 

 

Now that I’m back in Korea, I miss Nagasaki. I spent nearly a third of my life there. I know that many people in Nagasaki consider Korea to be “close, but far”, but I hope that for you it feels more on the close-side. And please come for a visit! I’ll be here waiting for you.

Welcome to Charming Da Nang City

12Dec 2017 Nguyen Thi Cam Nhung

Nguyen Thi Cam Nhung

Da Nang City, Vietnam

2016 Nagasaki Prefectural Overseas Technical Trainee

Lived in Nagasaki from August 2016 to March 2017

 

 

 

Hello everyone!

 

Do you remember me? I trained for six months at the Nagasaki International Association as part of the 2016 Nagasaki Overseas Technical Trainee Program. My name is Nhung.

I’m from Da Nang, which is on the coast in the middle of Vietnam. Da Nang has come to be known as one of Vietnam’s most popular cities for tourism and is capturing the hearts of people from all over the world, not least of which are Japanese people. Magazines, websites, news organizations, mass media, and the Dejima Network have all covered Da Nang in the past, and if you check out those resources you’ll be able to get the gist of Da Nang pretty quickly, I think.

 

 

Da Nang City (C)

 

 

That’s why I want to take this opportunity to write about Da Nang in a bit more depth than what you can find in the places above. I’ll tell you all about the character and charms of Da Nang and I bet you’ll be surprised by the similarities it holds with Nagasaki!

 

 

 

A view of Da Nang City (C)

 

 

“City of the Ocean”

Da Nang, a city blessed by surrounding nature, is widely known as an “City of the Ocean”. The beaches here will take your breath away. Public awareness of the beaches exploded overnight when it was recently recognized by Forbes Magazine as “One of the most charming beaches in the world.”

 

The ocean surrounding the Goto Islands in Nagasaki is beautiful, but the ocean around Da Nang is the prettiest!

 

 

A beach in Da Nang (C)

 

 

Making the most of this beautiful scenery, investors from all over the world, including Japan, have worked with Da Nang City and now resorts, hotels, and more have been popping up one after another in this area. Guests of these venues get to enjoy these superb views of the beaches.

 

 

 

Fresh fish city (Photograph: winhuynh)

 

 

You would be shocked by the number of fresh fish shops and restaurants around the beach areas. At many of these establishments guests can enjoy fish, shrimp, and shellfish caught fresh and cooked with the owners own preferred flavors. Come and enjoy some delicious bounty of the sea at unbelievably reasonable prices. It’s because of this that Da Nang is often referred to as “fresh fish city”. Nagasaki also has a name for itself for the fresh seafood.

 

 

 

Fresh seafood  (C)

 

 

Cooked ray, a very popular item (Photograph: Nhungella)

 

 

 

Oysters with onion (Photograph: Nhungella)

 

 

Another thing that Da Nang has come to be known for is the bridges over the Han River. There are now six in place. The bridges names are Quay, Song Han, Thuan Phuoc, Nguyen Van Troi, Dragon, and Tran Thi Ly. Not only are these bridges important for people’s everyday lives, but they are also symbols of Da Nang’s history and are important tourist locations. They have won awards related to their construction.

For example, the Quay Bridge is the only bridge in Vietnam that can turn at a 90 degree angle, and is recognized as the symbol of the city, and is also used in its logo.

 

 

 

 

The Quay Bridge (C)

 

The Dragon Bridge has been called the most beautiful long iron bridge in the world. On the weekends, this bridge shoots out fire and sprays water in a unique display. No other place in the world will you find a bridge like this. It has won a number of international construction contests and has come to be the leading tourist attraction in the city.

Megami Bridge over the Nagasaki Bay is also quite beautiful when lit up at night ^^

 

 

 

The Dragon Bridge blowing fire! (Photograph: Nhungella)

 

Da Nang also has many more unique buildings. For example, there is the Ba Na Hills theme park that looks like a medieval French town. There is also the statue of a carp climbing a waterfall where the head is a dragon’s but the body is that of a carp. There’s the Wharf of Love, which is popular with couples. Of course, I must include the Dragon Bridge as well. Da Nang has also been called “the city of new buildings.”

 

 

 

Ba Na Hills (C)

 

In addition to construction projects, the city government has also been putting effort into implementing amusement space, events, cultural tours, and boat rides for night views for residents as well as tourists. Among those events is the Vietnam-Japan Cultural Exchange Festival which is held at the end of July every year. Representatives from Nagasaki, as well as many other areas of Japan along with Japanese companies join the festival every year to deepen the friendly relationship between our two countries.

 

 

 

The 3rd Da Nang City Vietnam-Japan Cultural Festival, 2016 (C)

 

Behind all the developments in the economy and tourism of Da Nang are a few things. There are five “NO” principles: no poor households, no quitting school in elementary or junior-high school, no begging, no drug addicts, no murder. There are three things that everyone should have: a home, a job, and a civilized lifestyle. They are also implementing these four things relating to safety: social safety, motoring safety, food hygiene safety, and law and order. For these reasons, Da Nang has been called the best city in Vietnam to live. Not only the residents, but the foreign visitors too, are able to enjoy an environment of public safety to take advantage of the abundant nature and the local gourmet selections.

 

 

 

A night view of Da Nang (C)

 

Da Nang is not only a tourist city, but is also working to establish international exchange. The city is actively pursuing friendship and cooperation with cities in Japan such as Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture, Kawasaki City, Mitsuke City in Niigata Prefecture, Kushiro City in Hokkaido, and Nagasaki Prefecture.

 

 

The People’s Committee Chair of Da Nang City meeting with a visiting group from Nagasaki Prefecture (C)

 

 

Da Nang City is the perfect place to find pleasure for all five senses and leave feeling refreshed. Please come and visit sometime! I’ll be here.

 

 

 

 

Sanfang Qixiang: Fujian’s Famous Historical Street

10Nov 2017 鄭航

Zheng Hang

Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China

2016 Nagasaki Overseas Technical Trainee

Lived in Nagasaki from Aug. 2016 to Mar. 2017

 

 

 

 

Hello! My name is Zheng Hang and I was a Nagasaki Overseas Technical Trainee from August 2016 to March 2017. Since I’ve returned to Fujian, I’ve thought back fondly many times about my life in Nagasaki, the calmness and beauty of the city, as well as the many people I got to know while I was there. I hope I get to go back someday.

 

 

I now live in Fuzhou City in Fujian Province, which is at about the same latitude as Okinawa. So, when summer comes it gets really hot. At the beginning of July this year it was already reaching temperatures of 38 degrees. Fuzhou is a city on the sea, just like Nagasaki, but it is much hotter here.

 

Fujian Province and Nagasaki Prefecture, as well as Fuzhou City and Nagasaki City, are sister-cities, and the two regions have had friendly relations since long ago. Last year I only lived in Nagasaki for the space of six months, but during that time I felt quite at home in Nagasaki.

For example, in Nagasaki’s China Town, there is a street called “Fuken-doori”. Also, the famous Nagasaki food “champon” tastes like and is made just like Fuzhou’s seafood noodle dish. Certain words in Fuzhou’s local dialect have a pronunciation similar to Japanese. I think that if people from Nagasaki visited Fuzhou, I believe they would have experiences similar to mine.

 

 

Fuzhou’s Seafood Noodle Dish

http://pic71.nipic.com/file/20150629/20578453_142751770000_2.jpg

 

Nagasaki Champon

http://qcloud.dpfile.com/pc/jhLbemD1krNfIqvvmSfEmnYBzKAysHwC1TiEmE2c5JqcMigAUegRLPuVOFE1h-49TYGVDmosZWTLal1WbWRW3A.jpg

 

 

I would like to tell you all about one of the most famous tourist spots in Fuzhou.

This famous place is called 三坊七巷 (Sanfang Qixiang), and it’s a very old part of the province. The name is derived by the three (三) streets (坊), and seven (七) alleys (巷). Actually, one of the streets and two of the alleys have been rebuilt, so only two streets and five alleys remain (二坊五巷). In this area there are many roads that have remained since the Tang and Song Dynasties and they retain the same looks they had way back then. This historical section of the city has over 200 very old buildings. It is an important testament to the historical and cultural heritage of Fuzhou. Projects began in 2006 to restore and maintain this historical area of the city, and many buildings have been repaired.

 

 

 

Sanfang Qixiang at night

http://resources.51camel.com/WechatArticle/News/2017/07-12/636354691826083994.jpeg

The night view is also beautiful.

 

http://goss1.vcg.com/creative/vcg/800/version23/VCG21gic16703190.jpg

 

http://goss1.vcg.com/creative/vcg/800/version23/VCG21gic19415669.jpg

 

Sanfang Qixiang in the evening.

This area’s claim to fame is that it contains the former residences of many famous people as well as having many old buildings that date from the Qing Dynasty. My favorite of all these old buildings is 二梅書屋 (Ermei Shuwu).

 

The name of this building comes from the two plum trees (二梅 – “two plums”) that grew outside its gate. The plum is known as one of the Three Friends of Winter (the other two are pines and bamboo), because it is resilient against the cold, and blooms modest but beautiful flowers. The plum has been loved by Chinese writers and artists since long ago and have been commonly used in writing, painting, and porcelain works. Plum trees can be used to represent people who can overcome any obstacle. I’ve heard that plum trees have also been popular in Japan for a long time. You can even see plums in the patters on porcelain in Hasami Wares. This past February at Yushima Tenmangu in Tokyo there was held the 60th Plum Festival and it was very beautiful.

 

Hasami ceramic tea cup with a plum flower pattern

http://image.rakuten.co.jp/tousyou-kaientai/cabinet/a/96631_1.jpg

 

 The Ermei Shuwu was originally built 600 years ago in the Ming Dynasty, then rebuilt 100 years later during the Qing Dynasty. This was the residence of Lin Xingzhang, who in addition to being an official of the Imperial Court, was also the director of the Fengchi Shuyuan, which was the biggest of the four great private schools of Fuzhou, which contributed greatly to the development of human resources in the area. There are many residences of prominent people from the Ming and Qing Dynasties in this area but this one has been preserved the best.

 

http://s6.sinaimg.cn/middle/61eb2adfx9e055407a3e5&690

 

http://s11.sinaimg.cn/middle/5fccef7fx99a7f53e6cda&690

Ermei Shuwu

Just by walking around the Sanfang Qixiang you can catch a glimpse of the Ming and Qing Dynasty Eras of China and learn a lot about Chinese history. If you ever get the chance I hope you come by for a visit! I would love to show you around!

 

 

Japan Film Week in Shanghai 2017

31Aug 2017 周小慶

Zhou Xiaoqing

Shanghai, China

2016 Nagasaki Prefecture Coordinator for International Relations

Lived in Nagasaki from April 2016 to April 2017

 

 

 

In the space of time the roadside plane trees have gone from new green leaves to dark fully green leaves, we’ve now entered the second half of 2017. It’s been more than three months since I returned to Shanghai from Nagasaki in April. When I think back on my time in Nagasaki it feels like a dream. A beautiful, short dream.

 

 

Anyhow, from June 17th to the 26th, the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival was held. This film festival began in 1993, and it held every August. It doesn’t yet have a very long history, but it is still the biggest film festival in Asia.

 

 

And held along with that was the Japan Film Week in Shanghai which garnered the attention of many fans of Japanese movies. Many people in Shanghai look forward to this event since they get to enjoy the newest movies from Japan.

 

This year marks the 12th Japan Film Week in Shanghai. It is put on by the Shanghai International Film Center with the help of the Japan-China Friendship Film Festival Executive Committee. Since it began, it has been held every year, even in times when political relations between the two countries were stressed. This dedication reminds me of the importance of international exchange.

 

 

By the way, that same Japan-China Friendship Film Festival Executive Committee put on a “Chinese Film Week in Nagasaki” in 2014. I think they provided a very fun and valuable experience to the people of Nagasaki with this event. They have quite a connection to Nagasaki :)

 

 

Here’s the article about the event:

http://www.cjiff.net/2013_10/index_nagasaki.html

http://www.cjiff.net/2013_10/20140209nagasaki_newspaper.pdf

 

 

 

 

Japan Film Week in Shanghai 2017 Opening Ceremony

http://www.sh.xinhuanet.com/2017-06/19/c_136375926.htm

 

 

This year’s Japan Film Week in Shanghai featured eight films. They were Dear Etranger, Hirugao, Battle of Supreme High, Her Love Boils Bathwater, Kanon, Daytime Shooting Star, Death Note: Light up the New World, and Sanada 10 Braves.

 

 

Among those featured films, the most well-known is surely “Hirugao” which was originally a TV Drama. The drama debuted in 2014 and made a huge splash. Perhaps this is because infidelity, one of the main themes in the show, is something that all people can relate to regardless of living in the developed or the developing world (lol).

 

Not only did the stars of the movie, Saito Takumi and Ueto Aya, come to the film festival, but they also went on stage before Hirugao was shown to interact with the audience. I wanted to go and see the movie too, but I couldn’t get tickets :’( The line to get tickets was over 100m long in front of the venue, and the tickets that were supposed to cost 60 yuan (about 1,000 yen) were being sold for 2,000 yuan (about 32,000 yen)…

 

 

Nishitani Hiroshi (director or Hirugao), Mishima Yukiko (director of Dear Etranger), and Tanaka Rena (director of Kanon) were also invited to the Opening Ceremony. Tanaka Rena not only gave a greeting but even answered some questions from the audience in Chinese and astonished the audience. I had no idea that she could speak Chinese… Even if someone isn’t as skilled as her, even just a phrase or two in your fan’s native language can bring about a sense of closeness ^^

 

 

 

Tanaka Rena, Saito Takumi, and Ueto Aya and other guests at the Opening Ceremony

http://www.cqtimes.cn/newsdetail/index/id/2005532.html

 

 

In addition to the eight films I listed earlier, “Midnight Diner 2” was also shown. The star of the movie, Kobayashi Kaoru, also came to Shanghai to meet his fans. Just like Hirugao, Midnight Diner was also originally a TV drama that had quite a few fans in China. I am also a fan of this series that makes you feel the emotions of a downtown area and depicts heartwarming scenes of the characters interacting. I also love the opening theme song “Omohide”.

 

 

 

 

This is a bit of a digression but this year in China and Taiwan the Chinese remake of the Midnight Diner series began running. But no sooner than it started it began to be harshly criticized on the internet with phrases like “the characters, lines, and set are too much like the Japanese version,” “it has no elements of China at all,” and “there’s too much product placement”.

 

 

I watched the first episode of the remake, but I felt really uncomfortable when one of the actors produced a brand of cup noodlea that is commonly seen in commercials in China. I hope they never try to remake another popular Japanese drama like this again…

 

 

On the bright side of these criticisms, I heard that many people who had never heard of the original show became aware of it from its remake and got to see it on online streaming services.

 

Japanese movies and dramas will continue to make their way into China, and sooner or later perhaps they’ll cause another uproar similar to the one with Midnight Diner. But, I think that these chances to see everyday life in Japan as well as to see examples of the Japanese way of thinking, are very important to Chinese people who have never been to Japan, and the more we have of them the better.

 

 

 

The harshly criticized Chinese remake of Midnight Diner

http://www.9ku.com/yule/zt/208.htm

 

 

And with that I’ll bring this “In the World Now” to a close. I’ll look forward to writing again about China. Take care.