Benshi in Boston, Performances and Symposium

Peter M. Grilli grilli at
Thu Apr 15 00:10:19 EDT 2004


Thank you for reminding Kine-Japaners of your interview with Midori Sawato.
It is excellent!!
And I urge everyone interested in Japanese silent film -- especially those
in New England who will be seeing Midori Sawato in action at several venues
between April 21 and 24 -- to go back and read itl   Once again, the
interview is available at

How often these days do we have a chance to encounter a real benshi in

Thanks to the collaboration of Bill Burton at Tufts University, Blanche
Milligan of Northeast Cultural Cooperative, Sarah Frederick at Boston
University, Ted Barron at the Harvard Film Archive, the Reischauer Institute
of Japanese Studies at Harvard, and the Japan Society of Boston,  Midori
Sawato -- Japan's most active benshi -- will soon make a number of live
appearances in Boston, Cambridge, Medford, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Her schedule of performances is:

April 21, 7:00pm -- The Music Hall Theater, (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth
NH ) -- Ms. Sawato will narrate Ozu's  I Was Born But.... (1932)

April 22, 6:00pm -- Boston Univ. College of Communications (640 Commonwealth
Ave., Boston; Rm B-05 -- Sawato will narrate Futagawa's Orochi (1925)

April 23, 7:00pm -- Tufts Univ. Medford (Tisch Library Media Center, Rm.
304) -- Sawato will narrate Mizoguchi's -- The Water Magician (1933)
    This screening follows a symposium on Japanese silent film at Tufts
Univ. (Olin Center, Rm. 12), with presentations by William Burton, Aaron
Gerow, Charles Inoue,
    and Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano (3:00-6:00pm)

April 24, 8:00pm -- Harvard Film Archive, Harvard Univ. (24 Quincy St.,
Cambridge) -- Ms. Sawato will narrate Ozu's I Was Born But...  (1925)

This program is a special event of the Centennial Celebration of The Japan
Society of Boston.  For additional information, please visit the Society's
website at:

Peter Grilli

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Peter M. Grilli
President, Japan Society of Boston
One Milk Street,  Boston, MA 02109
Tel:  (617) 451-0726
Fax: (617) 451-1191
E-mail:  grilli at

  -----Original Message-----
  From: owner-KineJapan at
[mailto:owner-KineJapan at]On Behalf Of
  Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 5:41 PM
  To: KineJapan at
  Subject: Re: Benshi in Boston, Performances and Symposium

  This might be a good time to remind everyone about the interview I did
with Sawato Midori, along with Mike Arnold, about two years ago. She's a
very bubbly and nice person, and shed a lot of light onto the early days of
Japanese cinema for us.

  Jasper Sharp

    --------- Original Message --------
    From: KineJapan at
    To: "KineJapan at"
<KineJapan at>
    Subject: Benshi in Boston, Performances and Symposium
    Date: 14/04/04 15:36

    Please see the attached flyer for complete information about the
symposium on silent film at to be held at Tufts next Friday.  The symposium
will be followed by a screening of Mizoguchi's The Water Magician with live
benshi narration by Sawato Midori.

    The symposium is held in conjunction with a series of performances by
Ms. Sawato in the New England area next week (4/21 Portsmouth, NH; 4/22
Boston University; 4/23 Tufts; 4/24 Harvard Film Archive).  The full
schedule with contact information can be found at:

    SYMPOSIUM "Far From Silent: The Social and Artistic Influence of Early
Japanese Film"
    APRIL 23/3-6PM At Tufts University, Olin Center (Rm. 12)

    William Burton ­ Onoe Matsunosuke, The First Great Star of Japanese Film

    Aaron Gerow ­ The Benshi at the Border: Narrating the Conflict over
National Cinema

    Charles Inoue ­ Understanding the Water Magician:  Why Must this Woman

    Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano - Embodying the Modern Girl on the Japanese Silent

    For information contact William Burton, William.burton at


    Sarah Frederick
    Assistant Professor of Japanese
    Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures
    Boston University

  Message sent using Hunter Point Online WebMail

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