Screenings of ‘Waltz in Starlight,’ ‘True Songs’


Upcoming screenings sponsored by the Japan Foundation Los Angeles include the following:

waltz in starlight• “Waltz in Starlight” (2007), directed by Shingo Wakagi. Friday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. at UCLA Fowler Museum’s Lenart Auditorium, 308 Charles E Young Dr. North, Los Angeles.

Photography student Nobuto has just finished his studies and returned to the village of Hamamatsu to be with his family. Nobuto’s grandfather is a once-popular manzai performer known by the stage name of Takuji who is enjoying his twilight years in the company of his family.

As Takuji reaches the end of his life’s journey and Nobuto prepares to carve his own path, the affectionate interactions between grandfather and grandson provides the young shutterbug with memories that will last a lifetime.

The film will be introduced by UC San Diego professor Daisuke Miyao.

Organized by Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies; sponsored by JFLA, Fowler Museum at UCLA, and The Yanai Initiative.

For more information, visit

true songs• “True Songs” (2014), directed by Hiroki Kawai. Saturday, May 16, at 2 p.m. at JFLA, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100, Los Angeles.

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 follows the artists over the course of two years as they tour Japan, bringing their emotionally charged and imaginative show to the people who are still grappling with the fallout from the disaster.

In Japanese with English subtitles. Official movie site (Japanese only):

Q&A with Suga will follow the screening. Born in 1958, Suga he is a poet and professor in critical theory at Meiji University in Tokyo. He has written nine books of essays and was awarded the Yomiuri Prize for Literature for his book of travel writing, “Transversal Journeys,” in 2011. His poetry project “Agend’Ars” was completed in 2013 with 256 pieces of 16-line poems.

His translations from French, English and Spanish include the works by Jean-François Lyotard, Edouard Glissant, Maryse Condé, Jamaica Kincaid, Aimee Bender, and Francisco Varela, among others.

Born in Iwate Prefecture, Miyazawa was only 37 at the time of his death in 1933. His 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.

Admission free; no RSVP required. Street parking is available near JFLA. No parking validations provided.

For more information on these and other Japan Foundation programs, visit



Leave A Reply