Justin’s Japan: Nippon in New York — Hot Films, Magic Gardens and Cool Jazz

Catch the 2013 New York Japan CineFest at Asia Society June 7-8. (Courtesy of Mar Creation, Inc.)

Catch the 2013 New York Japan CineFest at Asia Society June 7-8. (Courtesy of Mar Creation, Inc.)

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

After an unusually chilly spring, it’s finally starting to feel like summer. Enjoy some seasonal events this month that celebrate both the sunny and the dark side of life and nature.

This month’s highlights include:

June 8

New York Japan CineFest

Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue

$7 members, $9 students/seniors, $11 nonmembers

Returning for its second annual event at Asia Society and co-presented with Mar Creation, Inc, The New York Japan CineFest (NYJCF) will screen more than a dozen independent films in two days, kicking off Friday (June 7) with eight short films by U.S. based filmmakers with a reception to follow sponsored by Sapporo Beer. “New York Japan CineFest is the first independent Japan-themed film festival in New York,” says Hiroshi Kono, owner of Mar Creation. “It’ll soon be a trend that non-Japanese film directors make films with Japanese cast in Japanese language just like sushi and ramen became the world nations’ daily meals.”

June 10-11

Hold These Truths

Culture Project, 45 Bleecker Street

$30 (use promo code TNCHTT25 for $25 tickets while supplies last)

Following a sold-out run produced by the Epic Theatre Ensemble in November, writer Jeanne Sakata and director Lisa Rothe’s one-man show returns to close out 10th annual soloNOVA Arts Festival. 2013 Drama Desk nominee Joel de la Fuente stars in the real-life story of first-generation Japanese American Gordon Hirabayashi, who posthumously received a Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in May 2012. During World War II in Seattle, University of Washington student Hirabayashi agonizes over U.S. government orders to forcibly remove and imprison all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast.

For the complete story, click here.