New People Celebrates the 2011 Cherry Blossom Festival with Feature Film Screenings, Art Bazaar, and HAPA Photo Art Exhibit

Mar 29th 2011

Japanese Pop Culture Venue To Screen SAKURA SAKURA And 99 Years Of Love; Also Opens New Hafu: Half Japanese Photo Exhibit And Welcomes Bazaar Bizarre Artists Village

San Francisco, CA, March 29, 2011NEW PEOPLE, the nation's only entertainment complex dedicated to Japanese popular culture, has announced several film and art events that it will present to celebrate the 2011 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival that will be held in San Francisco on Saturday and Sunday April 9th – 10th and April 16th – 17th.

NEW PEOPLE will support the annual event with screenings of the films, SAKURA SAKURA, a biopic about the father of modern biotechnology, Jokichi Takamine, and 99 Years Of Love, an acclaimed 5-episode film series tracing the history and struggles of Japanese Americans. NEW PEOPLE will also open a new art installation Hafu: Half Japanese Photo Exhibit, in the venues' SUPERFROG Gallery. More details on these events is available at: www.newpeopleworld.com.

The 2011 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, now celebrating its 44th year, is one of California's most prominent celebrations of Asian traditions. Each year, over 200,000 people attend this dazzling display that showcases the color and grace of the Japanese culture and the diversity of the Japanese American community. Complete details on the Cherry Blossom Festival are available at: http://nccbf.org .

SAKURA SAKURA A Life of a samurai chemist, Jokichi Takamine 125 years ago today, one fateful encounter between one Japanese chemist and a beautiful American woman changed the world of medicine forever.

SAKURA SAKURA is a story of a father of modern biotechnology, Jokichi Takamine and his American wife, Carolyn. Over a century ago, international marriage was severe and full of ups and downs, but they overcome many hardships and make various miracles. Carolyn, a wife with twelve years younger than Jokichi, supports and leads him to a success with her natural personality from New Orleans, Louisiana. Jokichi is succeeded in crystallization of adrenaline and finds a digestive enzyme called Taka-amylase, the principal chemicals still now.

This is a story of two who becomes a bridge over Japan and USA over a century ago. It stars Masaya Kato (Brother by Takeshi Kitano), Naomi Grace, Sachiko Kokubu and Hiroki Matsukata.

Showing at NEW PEOPLE: (Tickets are $10.00) April 8th (Fri): 4:30pm, 7:15pm April 9th – 10th (Sat & Sun) 10:45am, 1:15pm, 3:45pm, 6:15pm April 11th – April 14th (Mon-Thu): 4:30pm, 7:15pm

99 Years of Love: Japanese Americans 99 Years of Love: Japanese Americans is an acclaimed 5-episode film telling the story of the struggles that Japanese Americans faced in a time of prejudice and racism, when they were torn between their country and their ancestor's homeland. The epic tale, written by Sugako Hashida, a well-known writer in Japan, spans a period of 99 years through the eyes of one family, beginning with the immigration of an Issei (first generation) father to America through his Nisei (second generation) son joining the 442nd infantry Regiment during WWII. The drama depicts the Issei and Nisei generations' spirit, strength and love.

Kusanagi plays both the young Hiramatsu Chokichi and his son, Ichiro. When the war breaks out the Japanese immigrants face racism and segregation. Ichiro pledges his allegiance to America and gets sent to Europe, his younger brother Jiro stays back with Ichiro's beloved Shinobu and tries to protect their parents' farm. Their two sisters Shizu and Sachie are sent back to Japan and have to experience the horrors of war, one in Hiroshima and the other in Okinawa. —DramaWiki

99 Years Of Love was produced to commemorate the 60th anniversary of TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) and aired in Japan for 5 consecutive nights in fall 2010. It was viewed by millions. It stars Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, a member of the Japanese pop group phenomenon SMAP, playing double roles as the Issei immigrant and his Nisei son. The film also features Yukie Nakama (SHINOBI, G@me), Ken'ichi Matsuyama (Death Note, GANTZ), Kaoru Yachigusa, Kiichi Nakai and Pinko Izumi. This event is held and sponsored by JCCCNC (Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California). For more info about JCCCNC, please go to www.jcccnc.org.

Showing at NEW PEOPLE: (Suggested donation: $5.00 or more; Episodes are 2 hours each) (Parts 1 to 5 begin screening at 10:30am every day (from April 16th – 20). April 16th (Sat): Episode 1 “America” 10:30am-12:30pm April 17th (Sun): Episode 2 “Generations” 10:30pm-12:30pm April 18th (Mon): Episode 3 “Concentration Camp” 10:30am-12:30pm April 19th (Tues): Episode 4 “The Japanese American 10:30am-12:30pm Regiment” April 20th (Wed): Episode 5 “Reunited” 10:30am-12:30pm

Hafu: Half Japanese Photo Exhibit Presented by the SUPERFROG Gallery (NEW PEOPLE 3rd floor) April 8th (Fri) – April 14th (Thurs) Opening night reception April 8th 7:00pm

This intriguing new photo exhibit explores what it means to be Japanese and of mixed decent. Developed as a project by social researcher Marcia Lise, who was compiling interviews with groups of half-Japanese people, and German Japanese photographer Natalie Willer, the exhibit of portrait explores the half-, or hafu, Japanese experience. The exhibit is part of an ongoing project to create a dialogue about being in between cultures. By increasing discussions about culture, 'race' and ethnicity the artists hope to achieve a deeper understanding of these issues

ARIST VILLAGE Vol. 4 + BAZAAR BIZZARE Weekends of April 9th – 10th and April 16th – 17th 11:00am - 6:00pm each day; Admission is FREE

NEW PEOPLE and BAZAAR BIZARRE SF, San Francisco's favorite arts and craft show, continue a joint collaboration to create another all-floor vertical art village to celebrate the Japantown Cherry Blossom Festival! This curated shopping event will be part of a nationally renowned festival (Northern California Cherry Blossom) and gallery opening at NEW PEOPLE.

For more information, please explore: http://www.bazaarbizarre.org/sanfrancisco/shows/artistvillage

About NEW PEOPLE, Inc. Based in San Francisco, California, NEW PEOPLE, Inc. (www.newpeopleworld.com) offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan through its unique entertainment destination as well as through licensing and distribution of selective Japanese films. NEW PEOPLE Entertainment (www.newpeopleent.com), a film division of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. strives to offer the most entertaining motion pictures straight from the "Kingdom of Pop" for audiences of all ages, especially the manga and anime generation, in North America. Some titles include DEATH NOTE, GANTZ, KAMIKAZE GIRLS, and THE TASTE OF TEA.


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