Film “Ryukyu through eyes of a Chinese envoy” wins Eibunren Award 2013


On September 12, at the Okinawa Prefectural Office's press club, director Yoshiaki Hongo (far right) said that the film "Ryukyu through the eyes of Chinese envoy Xu Bao Guang" has won the Eibunren Award 2013.

September 13, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Documentary film “Ryukyu through the eyes of Chinese envoy Xu Bao Guang” has been selected as one of seven special excellent works in the Eibunren Award 2013. Eibunren is organization of short film producers in Japan. The film depicts the food culture and performing arts during the Ryukyu Dynasty, following the life of Chinese envoy Xu Bao Guang’s. He was in Okinawa during the 18th century as a sapposhi or envoy from the Emperor of China. The award ceremony will take place in Tokyo in December.

The camera crew and other staff filmed amid heightened tensions in China, where anti-Japanese demonstrations occurred after the Japanese government nationalized the Senkaku Islands in September 2012. “We were anxious when filming in China, but that timing of what was happening in the background drove us to continue filming. We were able to complete the project thanks to help from the private sector,” said director Yoshiaki Hongo when interviewed in Okinawa.

The crew interacted with some local junior high school girls who were visiting a movie village in Zhejiang. When they told them that the crew was from Okinawa, some of the girls cried and apologized for the actions of adults who had thrown stones in anti-Japanese demonstations. The director said, “Many Chinese people want to maintain good relations with Japan. So, I think that this is a meaningful project.”

Producer of Cinema Okinawa Shinya Sueyoshi explained that many different varieties of traditional arts and cuisine today evolved from those used in feasts held to host Xu Bao Guang, who stayed for about eight months. “Art and culture are born only in peaceful times. Through the movie, we want more people to know about our ancestors who were both courageous and wise to have contact with foreign countries,” he said.

The movie will be screened from October 5 to 25 at Sakurazaka Theater in Naha, and the organizer is hoping to screen the movie in China. For further information, please contact the film Production Committee Telephone: 098 (851) 7394.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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