VMU CAS Completed Filming Important Locations in Japan

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On November 28 – December 9, VMU Centre for Asian Studies (CAS) organized filming in various locations of Japan as part of an ongoing project. During the intensive program, the Head of the CAS Dr. Aurelijus Zykas and lecturer from VMU Dept. of Public Communication Kristijonas Jakubsonas visited 10 cities in Japan, where they met with scholars and public figures of the country and filmed important locations, objects and documents. The resulting film, Kaunas, the City of Japan and Sugihara, is to be screened in March.

“Ten days, ten cities, fourteen interviews and countless exciting moments. We heard numerous interesting stories and touched documents important to both countries. Everywhere we went, we met sincere and hospitable people devoted to this idea”, the project was shortly described by its director Dr Aurelijus Zykas.

The result of the project will be a documentary introducing the ties between Kaunas and Japan through four different individuals who acted as bridges between the two countries before the Second World War. They are Jukichi Fukuzawa, the first Japanese individual who visited Lithuania, Steponas Kairys, the author of the first Lithuanian books about Japan, Matas Šalčius, a journalist who visited Japan several times, and finally, the diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who united the two countries by issuing “Visas for Life”.

The filming team attracted a lot of interest in Japan. The shooting team was kindly received by municipalities of several cities, where it met with city mayors and representatives. Local press and television outlets also covered the filming process.

The project, which was launched in the summer, is supported by the Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO). Its main participants are Dr. Aurelijus Zykas, Dr. Linas Didvalis and Mr. Kristijonas Jakubsonas. The movie “Kaunas, the City of Japan and Sugihara” is scheduled to be screened in March.

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