by Chris MaGee
With Matt Hardstaff already weighing in on Raizo Ichikawa and his film "Shinobi No Mono 3: Resurrection" I thought it was only right to briefly touch on an event taking place in Tokyo in honour of the late star. Today, July 17th, marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Ichikawa. The much-loved film and kabuki actor who starred in 100 films in his 14 year career succumbed to cancer in 1969 at the age of 37.
To commemorate this screen legend from the golden age of jidaigeki and ninja films a monumental film festival will be taking place this October in Shinjuku. Titled "Botsugo 40 nen tokubetsu kikaku dai raizou sai", (roughly translated to "The great 40 year Raizo death memorial festival") will not just feature one or two dozen of the actor's films. It's going to feature all of them! That's right, all 100 of Raizo Ichikawa's films will be screening including Kon Ichikawa's "Enjo (Conflagration)", his "Sleepy Eyes of Death", the "Nakano Spy School" series and of course the "Shinobi no Mono" films.
How long this will take, I'd hate to guess... 100 days I suppose. Details are a bit sketchy on this as my dismal Japanese isn't really up to the task of translating the entire article on the fest that was posted this morning at Japanese film website CinemaToday.jp. For those of you with a good grasp of written Japanese you can get more details here.