Justin’s Japan: Week Two of JAPAN CUTS 2012 Spotlights Late Film Legend Yoshio Harada

‘Shall We Dance?’ returns to the big screen July 21 as part of this week’s JAPAN CUTS offerings at New York’s Japan Society. (Daiei Co., Ltd )

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02) for Examiner.com. Visit his Japanese culture page here for related stories.

This week, Japan Society’s annual JAPAN CUTS film festival pays tribute to the late actor Yoshio Harada, screening his final film Someday and 9 Souls, (both July 19). The festival also highlights the career of living legend Koji Yakusho, presenting five of his most inconic films over July 20-21: Chronicle of My Mother, Cure, Shall We Dance?, Toad’s Oil (which Yakusho also directed), 13 Assassins, and The Woodsman and the Rain.

Yakusho will be on hand for the Woodsman’s sold-out July 20 screening for an introduction, Q&A and reception. On that occasion, the festival will award the star the first ever JAPAN CUTS prize, the Cut Above Award for Excellence in Film. Yakusho will also appear for the July 21 screening of Takashi Miike’s hit samurai action movie 13 Assassins. Other highlights include Toshi Fujiwara’s provocative and poetic documentary on post-tsunami Japan No Man’s Zone (July 22, includes an introduction and Q&A with director Toshi Fujiwara).

Also, fans can enjoy encore screening of the irresistible blockbuster love comedy Love Strikes! (July 22). The film’s debut on July 17 welcomed a very special guest, Japanese Academy Award-winning actress Masami Nagasawa, who appeared following a live taiko performance by the legendary group Cobu.

For this week’s list of films, click here.