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Center for Japanese Studies pres.

LECTURE CANCELLED | CJS Noon Lecture Series | A History of the Benshi

Ichiro Kataoka

Ichiro Kataoka Ichiro Kataoka
Ichiro Kataoka
Unfortunately and due to unforeseen circumstances, this week's Noon Lecture has been cancelled. At this time there is no plan of rescheduling, but please stay tuned to our website and social media pages for the latest updates. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

The silent film benshi has attracted attention for being a unique aspect of Japanese film culture. With the release of Suo Masayuki’s new feature film, Katsuben!, interest in the benshi will no doubt increase. This lecture will examine the history of the benshi. Special attention will be paid to its role in the immigrant communities of America, as a point of cultural exchange in the Japan-America film relationship a century ago.

Ichiro Kataoka graduated from the Nihon University College of Art and began training under Midori Sawato, in 2002. He is the most well-known benshi of his generation, a rising star that is also the most internationally active benshi, having given performances in countries such as Croatia, Germany and Australia. Performing a broad repertoire of styles, Mr. Kataoka is known for not only performing with the more “traditional” benshi accompaniment of a small ensemble or select Japanese instruments, but also has been open to working with experimental or electronic music. He has appeared as a benshi in various films and also works as a voice actor for animation and video games.

You may also wish to attend the 7:30pm screening of "The Downfall of Osen (Orizuru Osen)." This silent film will be accompanied by a live benshi narration. More details, and information on how to purchase tickets is here: https://www.michtheater.org/cinematography/

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