Millennium Post

Delhi makes a reel life Tokyo visit

With the Indo-Japanese bilateral relations marking its 60th year, the regular screening of Japanese movies has brought about a new cultural invasion in India. This time around the two movies to be screened takes on two different eras to show the lives of women, in the Japanese society. One set during the time of the Geishas and the other based on the life of Japanese women in the modern times shown with a tone of irony.

directed by Jun Ichikawa tells the story of a young girl Mugiko Morishita. She is brought up in a remote village, unhappy and disagreeable. She goes to her aunt, Kocho in a bid to improve herself. While attending high school, she also serves as an apprenticed geisha, Suzume. Still unable to communicate with people around her, Mugiko retreats into her shell.

She falls in love with the school boxing-club hero Kunihiko Tsuda, who already has a girlfriend, the pretty and popular Kyoko. At the annual autumn school festival, when she gets injured. In agony of disappointment, she refuses to move. Kunihiko takes her out to the school grounds where Suzume begins dancing, truly happy for the first time in her life.

In Tokyo Heaven, the setting is the present day Tokyo and Kawagoe Here Yu, a model, whose face adorns all hoardings and covers, is troubled by the managing director of the advertising agent, Shirayuki, whose sexual advances offend her. During a campaign he starts harassing her. In an attempt to escape his advances, she jumps out of the car and is unfortunately, run over by another car. After Yu's death, her spirit haunts in all the posters, billboards, photographs and jingles all across the city. Fumio, who is in charge of the advertising business attempts to continue the campaign. Yu's spirit bravely tries to go on living. Fumio slowly finds Yu lovely in her latest incarnation and can't bear the fact that Yu is dead. He takes her to Shirayuki, who is stupefied and blackmail's him to continue Yu's campaign. That night, Yu feels herself returning to heaven, as she dances over the skies of Tokyo.

This story centers around a kyanpein gaaru [campaign girl], a particularly Japaneseconcept in advertising. While this film seems to criticise sexual harassment, it implicates the problem of glamorising the role of campaign girls, a system that truly objectifies women.


At: The Japan Foundation, 5A Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar IV, Near Moolchand Metro station
When:1,13, 19 and 27 October
Timings: 2 am onwards
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