Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2019 (June 6 – 27, 2019) – TOP PICKS


Love’s Twisting Path – Actress Mikado Tabe in Attendance

Saturday June 8 @ 7pm

Runtime: 93 min / 2019

Director: Sadao Nakajima

Starring: Kengo Kora, Mikako Tabe, Ryo Kimura

North American Premiere

After a 20-year hiatus, master jidaigeki director Sadao Nakajima returns with an action-packed throwback to the days of classic “chambara” films.

Kyoto in the final years of the Edo Period. Tajuro, a masterless samurai, can barely making ends meet. His neighbour, the beautiful izakaya owner Otoyo has fallen in love with him. When Tajuro’s brother Kazuma arrives in Kyoto, there is suspicion he is there to overthrow the Shogunate. The authorities pounce and Tajuro, with Otoyo’s help, must fight to protect his brother.

A loving throwback to the action, romance and intensity of the golden years of samurai films.

Official Website and Trailer (In Japanese):

You may purchase at Ticketweb, or at JCCC Reception, 416-441-2345


Born Bone Born – Director Toshiyuki Teruya in Attendance

Monday June 24 @ 7pm

Runtime: 111 min / 2018

Director: Toshiyuki Teruya

Starring: Ayame Misaki, Eiji Okuda, Michitaka Tsutsui, Yoko Oshima

Canadian Premiere

Four years after their mother’s death, the estranged children of the Shinjo family return to their home on Aguni Island, near Okinawa, to perform the traditional ritual of ‘senkotsu’ or ‘bone-washing,’ a kind of final farewell to a loved one. To everyone’s surprise daughter Yuko arrives alone and heavily pregnant, and son Tsuyoshi minus his wife and children. They arrive to discover father Nobutsuna has been drowning his sorrows in alcohol. But just perhaps an ancient burial ritual is what the Shinjo family needs to heal their wounds and unite once again…

Heartwarming meditation on love, family, and the power of tradition won the Audience Choice Award at Japan Cuts 2018.

Official Website and Trailer (In Japanese) :

You may purchase ticket(s) at Ticketweb, or at JCCC Reception, 416-441-2345.


When My Mom Died, I Wanted to Eat Her Ashes and Every Day a Good Day – Director Tatsushi Omori in Attendance

Wednesday June 26 @ 7pm

Runtime: 108 min / 2019

Director: Tatsushi Omori

Starring: Ken Yasuda, Mitsuko Baisho, Nao Matsushita, Jun Murakami, Renji Ishibashi

North American Premiere

Based on Satoshi Miyagawa’s popular manga. Morbid title aside, this film is a tender, quirky and heart-breaking ode to the love of a son for his mother.

Akiko was always a kind, supportive mother to Satoshi when he was growing up, helping him through tough times saying, “It’s okay, because I am with you. You will survive.”   Satoshi is now in his thirties and remains devoted to his Mom. When she is diagnosed with terminal cancer, it is Satoshi’s turn to say, “It’s okay, because I am with you.” Bring your handkerchiefs!

Official Website and Trailer (In Japanese):

You may purchase ticket(s) at Ticketweb, or at JCCC Reception, 416-441-2345.


The Gambler’s Odyssey 2020 – Actor Takumi Saitoh in Attendance

Sunday June 16 @ 7pm

Runtime: 120 min / 2019

Director: Kazuya Shiraishi

Starring: Saitoh Takumi, Momo, Becky, Naoto Takenaka

North American Premiere



Boyatetsu, a skilled mahong player, slips through time from the ruins of post-war Japan to Tokyo in the year 2020. He finds a ruined city plagued by a decreasing population, increasing unemployment and social unrest. The 2020 Olympics have been cancelled and an evil organization plans to restage the event as a massive human versus artificial intelligence mahjong competition. Boyatetsu must step forward to represent the human race.

A wildly imaginative and quite out-of-control roller-coaster ride of bizarre characters, surreal transgression and action based on Takehiro Irokawa’s novel and Yozo Shimizu’s manga.

Official Website and Trailer (In Japanese):

You may purchase ticket(s) at Ticketweb, or at JCCC Reception, 416-441-2345

Enjoy!  🙂


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