1 - 7, 2018
ORGANISED BY THE AUSTRIAN-JAPANESE SOCIETY (ÖJG)
MARGARETENSTRASSE 78, 1050 VIENNA
Wednesday, October 4, 7:45 p.m
Japan 2017, 150 min.
Masato HARADA, based on the novel by Ryotaro SHIBA
This is one of the biggest productions of the current cinema season in Japan, in September still on top of the Japanese box office charts. We are proud to present this as the European premiere.
Few events in Japanese history had such lasting effects on the country’s development as the battle of Sekigahara. This fierce conflict took place in October of the year 1600 between the armies of the East and West, and eventually resulted in the unification of Japan. Tokugawa Ieyasu was the victorious leader who went on to found the Tokugawa shogunate, which lasted for more than 260 years. It is therefore astonishing that Sekigahara has played only a minor role in Japan’s cinematic history. While the historical figures involved have been featured in numerous films, the battle itself has enjoyed very little cinematic attention.
For that reason, it is all the more wonderful that Masato Harada has taken on the difficult task of creating this impressive portrayal of the battle, on the basis of the three-volume novel by Ryotaro Shiba. Harada sticks to the historical facts for the most part, and doesn’t shy away from depicting the complex political turmoil of the times.
At a tearing pace with rapid-fire editing, we dash through intertwined set pieces where we witness the struggles between power and justice. The supporting cast is outstanding and at the forefront shines the name of the great Koji Yakusho, who plays the triumphant Tokugawa. However, the film also focuses on Mitsunari Ishida, the defeated commander of the Western army, who is portrayed as a man of principle, as well as on the Ninja spy Hatsume, who unexpectedly falls in love with her victim.