Aim for the Best: Sports in Japanese Cinema

Globus Film Series

April 10–25, 2020

PLEASE NOTE: To ensure the safety of all in our community, this film series has been canceled and our building temporarily closed to the public. Please visit our COVID-19 page for information on ticket refunds, donations, and our virtual program initiatives.

Like cinema, sports have been integral to the development of modern Japan since the late 19th century when the country opened its borders to the West. Intersecting these two major cultural forces is the multifaceted and ubiquitous sports film, a fluid genre that offers fascinating insight into issues related to Japanese national identity, gender roles and the clash between tradition and modernity. Organized in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, this series celebrates the Japanese sports film in its myriad iterations—covering a wide range of athletic disciplines and filmmaking styles, from wartime Japan to the present—including classics, documentaries, anime and commercial crowd-pleasers.


$14/$11 seniors, students and persons with disabilities/$10 Japan Society members.
Screening of Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t + Sumo Party: $18/$15/$14

Special Offer: $2 off each ticket when you purchase three films in the same transaction.

All Access Pass: $77 ($7 per ticket for all 11 films in the series.)

Purchase All Access Pass →


On Saturdays, Japanese refreshments will be available for purchase by . A portion of the proceeds will benefit Japan Society.

Full Schedule

Japan Society’s Film Programs are generously supported by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund, Gaia Holistic Health Foundation/Dr. Kazuko Tatsumura-Hillyer, and the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, as part of the institution-wide Passing the Torch series.

Gaia Holistic Health Foundation

Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family, Masu Hiroshi Masuyama, Geoff and Fumi Matters, Laurel Gonsalves, James Read Levy, David Toberisky, Akiko Koide and Shohei Koide, Dr. Tatsuji Namba, George Gallagher, David S. Howe, Hiroshi Tsuyuki and Yasuko Tsuyuki, and an anonymous donor.

Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the exclusive Japanese airline sponsor and American Airlines, the exclusive U.S. airline sponsor of Film.

Aim for the Best: Sports in Japanese Cinema is made possible through the generous support of The Globus Family and an anonymous donor.


Special Thanks: Kazuhiko Kashiwagi (Asahi Shimbun); Jon Shibata (Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive); Momoko Nakamura (Free Stone); Dr. Dennis Frost; Brian Belovarac (Janus Films); Koji Nozaki, Rima Yamazaki (Japan Foundation, New York); Miki Zeze (Kadokawa); Dr. Robin Kietlinski; Kei Kurube, Mio Ietomi (NHK); Eric Nyari; Remi Yamashiro (Pony Canyon); Moeka Shida; Hitomi Hosoda (Shochiku Co., Ltd.); Aiko Tamashiro, Masami Tokunaga (TMS Entertainment), Ema Ryan Yamazaki.



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