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Friday, June 6, 2003


Films offer peek at prewar Japan

The National Film Center in Tokyo is showing rare pre-1945 documentary films, including some made in prewar Korea and Japan's puppet state of Manchukuo, until July 13.

The titles include "Manshu Kiroku Eigashu (A Collection of Manchukuo Record Films)," a series of six films made between 1933 and 1938 (7 p.m., June 10; 3 p.m., June 26; and 4 p.m., July 12).

Five other movies (3 p.m. on June 11; 7 p.m., June 26; and 4 p.m., July 13) record the 1929 visit of the Graf Zeppelin airship, a tour of the Battleship Nagato, the visit by the last crown prince of Korea's Yi Dynasty to his son's elementary school in 1940 (partly in color), the 1943 visit by Emperor Showa to the junior military academy in Asaka, Saitama Prefecture, and the lives of the cadets at an unknown military academy toward the end of World War II.

"Nippon," a 39-minute film made in the mid-1930s, contains footage of various parts of Tokyo, sightseeing spots in other parts of Japan, its various industries, and the activities of its navy.

Another film shows the construction of a large dam on the Yalu River in northern Korea begun in 1937.

These two films will be shown at 3 p.m. on June 10; 7 p.m., June 27; and 1 p.m., July 13.

A 1925 film in English on the life of the Ainu people will be shown at 7 p.m. June 11, 3 p.m. June 27 and 1 p.m. July 12.

Other movies, including one marking the 50th anniversary of the daily Asahi Shimbun (1929) and a feature on sheep-herding in northern Korea (1934), as well as "Movie Making in Japan" (1934) and "Japan Day at San Francisco World's Fair" (1939, color) will be shown at 4 p.m., June 8, 3 p.m., June 25 and 7 p.m., July 11.

Tickets for each movie are 500 yen. The National Film Center is near Kyobashi subway station. Details are available on its Web site (in Japanese only) at www.momat.go.jp/

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