DownTown Dance (film screening)

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April 9 @ 6:00 pm - 7:40 pm EDT

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DownTown Dance
歌えマチグヮー (utae machigwaa)

Tuesday, April 9, 6:00PM (ET)

Doors open 5:30PM | Film Screening | In-Person | JFT Event Hall

Directed by NITTA Yoshitaka • 2012 Documentary • 89 minutes • Presented in Japanese with English subtitles  Trailer

In the Okinawan dialect, the word for market is “machigwaa”, which is used aptly in the film’s original Japanese title.

DownTown Dance follows the passionate residents of a shopping district in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture. Once a lively market thriving for over 60 years, the district has lost its energy over time. The documentary sheds light on the volunteers who strive to revitalize the market, using “music” as their main approach. In a time when the hollowing out of cities is being decried, the locals are fighting to restore urban vitality and to keep their district open. The market gradually comes to life with the Sakae-machi Market Night Stall Festival. At the centre of it all are the “Oba Rappers”, a trio of ladies who are leading the way in bringing music and dance to their town.

This the first screening in our upcoming Keep Dancin’, Okinawa! film series. Stay tuned for more announcements!

Free admission. Register below.

Pre-screening sanshin performance:
Sanshin musicians SHINZATO Kano and and SHIMADA Sakura will be performing Okinawan songs before the film to kick off our film series with traditional music. Together with HIGA Natsuyo, the trio are part of a newly formed music group “Tororo.”

The sanshin (三線) is an Okinawan musical instrument and precursor of the mainland Japanese shamisen (三味線). Often likened to a banjo, it consists of a snakeskin-covered body, neck and three strings.

Many thanks to our community partner, the Toronto Kyuyokai (Okinawa Kenjinkai), for their support! The Toronto Kyuyokai is an association comprised of Okinawan immigrants, descendants and those who have an interest in all things Okinawan.

Director Profile:

Born in Tokyo, NITTA Yoshitaka graduated from Keio University and joined NHK in 1992.

In 2009, he became independent and established his own video production company, Eurasia Vision, and continues to produce documentaries in a variety of media including television and film.




April 9 @ 6:00 pm
April 9 @ 7:40 pm
Event Category:
Doors Open:
Japanese with English subtitles


The Japan Foundation, Toronto
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The Japan Foundation, Toronto
2 Bloor St. East, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8 Canada
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