Movies, literature, and martial arts in celebration of Phil-Japan friendship month

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JULY is Philippines-Japan Friendship Month and to mark the occasion, the Embassy of Japan and the Japan Foundation, Manila, in cooperation with various partner organizations, are co-presenting a variety of cultural events.

One of the most anticipated is the Japanese Film Festival EIGASAI, which runs from July 4 to Aug. 26. This will be the festival’s 21st edition, and this year is will have 15 full-feature films of diverse genres which will be shown in more than 100 screenings across five major cities nationwide. This year’s film festival is set to be unique as it collaborates with other Japan Foundation projects, and bringing three special guests from Japan. Visit the official EIGASAI Facebook page for the film lineup and screening and talk schedules.

The Japan Foundation in partnership with Ateneo de Naga University, will present a silent film screening of Yasujiro Ozu’s silent film comedy: A Straightforward Boy with a Filipino benshi (silent film narrator) and musical accompaniment. This will be held on July 25 at the Ateneo de Naga University. The Filipino benshi’s live interpretation of the Japanese silent film will be backed also by a Filipino band from Naga composing original music for the film.

Award-winning Japanese writer Yoko Tawada, who writes in both Japanese and German, and has published several novels, poems, plays, and essays will hold a talk on July 9, 2:30 p.m., at De La Salle University in Taft Ave., Manila. Admission to the talk is free. Priority is given to those who registered online (

while the exact duration of the exhibit is still to be determined, The Spirit of Budo: The History of Japan’s Martial Arts Exhibition will open in July at The National Museum of Fine Arts, Manila.

This traveling exhibition presents originals and reproductions of historical weapons such as arrows, suits of armor, etc. as well as materials and photo panels of popular sports and physical exercise such as Kendô, Judô and Sumô.

Those interested in traveling to Japan can go to the Travel Madness Expo 2018: “Visit Japan” Booth on July 5 to 8 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. The Japan National Tourism Organization’s booth is meant to introduce many attractions and travel deals to Japan. Participants can experience Japanese cultural activities, such as origami and calligraphy at the booth.

The Japanese Association in Northern Luzon (JANL) and Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon (Abong) will organize a series of events as part of the Baguio Tanabata Festival 2018 from July 7 to Sept. 16 in Baguio. These include a Philippines-Japan Friendship Day ceremony and cultural show, Japanese film screenings, a Kumamoto tourism poster exhibition, Tanabata (Japanese star festival) decoration workshop, and shamisen (a traditional Japanese musical instrument) performance. Admission is free.

Event dates and details are subject to change. Visit the Japan Foundation, Manila Facebook page (@jfmanila) and for updates.