Spring Explorers: Japan Foundation Shows Four Free Films in London

Spring Explorers Header Image

Spring is all about new beginnings and the Japan Foundation has programmed four films for its Spring Explorers screenings. They stretch from 1954 to 2013 and feature characters forced to enter new stages in their lives and even new worlds. Protags range from a little girl who walks on ceilings to a middle-aged man who hasn’t left his family home in years.

Here are the details:

Friday 20 April 2018: Courthouse Cinema, 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7HL

Patema Inverted                             Patema Inverted Film Poster

サカサマ の パテマ 「Sakasama no Patema」

Running Time: 99 mins.

Release Date: November 09th, 2013

Director: Yasuhiro Yoshiura

Writer: Yasuhiro Yoshiura (Screenplay/Original Creator)

Starring: Yukiyo Fujii (Patema), Nobuhiko Okamoto (Age), Shintarou Oohata (Porta), Shinya Fukumatsu (G), Masayuki Katou (Lagos),

Website   ANN MAL

Yasuhiro Yoshiura is the director/creator of the wonderful Time of Eve, a futuristic drama about androids in a café and the humans that visit them. It was a whimsical show full of great details and gorgeous animation and do you know what was best of all? The characters were relatable and funny. This is his latest film and it is just as good as my review points out.

Synopsis: The story takes place in an underground world where the inhabitants exist in tunnels and confined spaces and must wear protective clothing. Despite this, these underground people still enjoy life, especially Patema, the princess of her underground village who loves to explore. Her fascination with exploration leads her to a forbidden area where she meets a boy named Age who operates under different gravitational circumstances. The two may come from very different societies but will face strange situations together! 

Saturday 21 April 2018: Screening Room 1, The Soho hotel, 4 Richmond Mews London, W1D 3DH

Thermae Romae

テルマエ・ロマエ 「Terumai Romai」

Release Date:  April 28th, 2012 (Japan)テルマエ&スパワールド

Running Time: 108 mins.

Director: Hideki Takeuchi

Writer: Mari Yamazaki (manga), Shogo Muto

Starring: Hiroshi Abe, Aya Ueto, Masachika Ichimura, Kai Shishido, Kazuki Kitamura


The live-action adaptation of Mari Yamazaki’s fun manga of the same name has time travel, culture clash comedy and a great set of actors. It was partly filmed in Cinecitta in Rome but features Japanese actors who don’t look too Japanese playing Roman characters. This looks like a lot of fun and the anime adaptation wasn’t too bad.

Synopsis: Roman bath house architect Lucius (Hiroshi Abe) is a perfectionist and traditionalist who gets fired from his architectural practice. In order to cheer him up, a friend takes him to a bathhouse but Lucius slips through a time portal and ends up in modern day Japan. Although initially bewildered Lucius takes inspiration from modern day Japanese baths and implements the designs in his Roman bathhouses. This sees him become favoured by Emperor Hadrian (Ichimura) but clash with emperor-in-waiting Antoninus (Kazuki Kitamura). Lucius soon finds himself caught up in political intrigue in between his time travel adventures but it is not all bad as he has met a beautiful aspiring manga artist named Mami (Ueto) who loves to sketch him.

Yuji Mameshiba    Mameshiba Film Poster

幼獣マメシバ Yuji mameshiba

Running Time: 106 mins.

Release Date: June 13th, 2009

Director: Toru Kamei

Writer: Yuji Nagamori (Screenplay/Story),

Starring: Jiro Sato, Yumi Adachi, Yumiko Fujita, Kanji Furutachi, Koji Nishida, Masato Noda, Hitomi Sato, Shun Sugata, Ayano Tachibana,


Synopsis: Jiro (Jiro Sato) is a 32-year-old hikikomori who lives at his parents’ house but all that changes after the death of his father because Jiro’s mother runs away and leaves behind a 6 month dog named Ichiro and some clues for Jiro to track her down. Can he find her? He will have to venture out into the world.

Sunday 22 April 2018: Courthouse Cinema, 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7HL

Twenty-Four Eyes   24 Eyes Film Poster

二十四の瞳 Nijuu-shi no Hitomi

Running Time: 156 mins.

Release Date: September 15th, 1954

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita

Writer: Keisuke Kinoshita (Screenplay), Sakae Tsuboi (Original Novel)

Starring: Hideko Takamine, Hideyo Amamoto, Toyo Takahashi, Chieko Naniwa, Chishu Ryu, Kuniko Igawa, Takahiro Tamura, Sadako Kusano, Setsuko Kusano,


Synopsis: The story follows the relationship between bright young teacher Hisaki Oishi (Takamine) and her first class of twelve children, charmingly played by local children and young adults, at different stages in their lives. Although recognised by the school master for her talent, city girl Hisaki is mistrusted by this remote island community. However, soon both adults and children alike fall for her charms only to see the impending war irreversibly change their lives.

Here are the all-important booking details:

These films screenings are free to attend but seats must be booked in advance. You are able to book a maximum of two tickets for only one screening. If you would like to book for more than one film, please e-mail info@jpf.org.uk detailing which films you would like to attend.

To book your place via Google Forms, please click here

4 thoughts on “Spring Explorers: Japan Foundation Shows Four Free Films in London

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.