‘Mikoshi Guy’. Film Premiere and Discussion with Nobuya Miyata
VMU Centre for Asian Studies together with Asitaski and Embassy of Japan in Lithuania invites everyone to the premiere of the movie “Mikoshi Guy” in Lithuania. The screening of the movie will take place on 17th of June, 6 p.m., at VMU Centre for Research and Studies (V. Putvinskio st. 23, Kaunas, Room 103). The event will be held in English and is free and open to all. The movie will be screened in original language with English subtitles.
ABOUT THE MOVIE
As a result of ongoing demographic changes in Japan, the younger generation is moving out of smaller habitats into the big cities. Because of this, many of the local celebrations (matsuri) are not taking place. In order to preserve the matsuri culture, the main character of the movie, Nobuya Miyata, participates in 50 local celebrations every year. The documentary “Mikoshi Guy” shows the ways that matsuri unites people. This bonding power is currently traveling around Europe. Nobuya has also started participating in the “Karneval der Kulturen” festival in Berlin (Germany) and introducing the Japanese matsuri culture.
The film was directed by Toshi Inomata, whose previous work includes “OYAKO”, a film nominated for the best documentary in Berlinale 2015.
On 23 March 2019, the premiere of Mikoshi Guy was held in Japan.
Nobuya’s grandfather was a maker and restorer of the mikoshi shrines. He also oversaw a local shrine in Kamakura, where the district community celebrations are held every year. As a result, when he was little he started helping his grandfather to organize mikoshi carrying out rituals. Following the grandfather’s death, Nobuya took over the traditions of restoration and together with the local community has been organizing events dedicated to the promotion of mikoshi culture around the world.
In 2014, in order to spread mikoshi culture abroad, Nobuya Miyata donated a mikoshi shrine crafted by his grandfather to an organization in France. Since then, this shrine has been traveling around several European countries (France, Germany, Slovenia) every summer. Thanks to Nobuya and local Japanese enthusiasts, it has been bringing joy to the locals during various festivals. The great enthusiasm and desire to preserve this element of Japanese culture are an inspiration to everyone who come into contact with it. Nobuya has been successfully gathering an ever-growing group of like-minded people.
Mikoshi is a transportable shrine. It is part of Shinto, one of the two major Japanese religions, and 30-40 participants carry the mikoshi together. During local festivals, the mikoshi is carried out in the streets and, as a result, the gods inside of it exhilarate the surrounding people.
Participants of the event will be able to see the mikoshi: throughout the day, it will be available at the VMU Centre for Research and Studies (V. Putvinskio str. 23), near the Room 103.