Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 28: National Cherry Blossom Anime Marathon

Freer and Sackler Galleries Celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with Monster Tales, Anime Films and ImaginAsia Workshops March 28-April 12

The Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will offer a variety of programs, exhibitions and tours to celebrate the 2009 National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 28 through April 12, in Washington, D.C.

Coinciding with the festival, the Sackler Gallery presents “The Tale of Shuten Dōji,” March 21 through Sept. 20. Colorful illustrations on scrolls, screens, fans and books from Japan’s Edo period (1615-1868) tell the heroic tale of the conquest of the terrifying red monster Shuten Dōji by the hero Minamoto Yorimitsu (948–1021), known as Raikō. Docent-led tours will be available throughout the duration of the exhibition. Visitors can also explore the Japanese galleries in the Freer and learn how artists from the ninth through 19th centuries developed a distinctive repertoire of techniques for applying gold and silver to works of art in “Moonlight and Golden Clouds: Silver and Gold in the Arts of Japan,” on view through Nov. 8. In the adjacent galleries, 13 ceramics from China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan show how broken clay vessels were mended with lacquer resin and sprinkled with gold dust—transforming their appearance and creating a new component of appreciation in "Golden Seams: The Japanese Art of Mending Ceramics,” also on view though Nov. 8. In the Freer and Sackler’s ImaginAsia workshops, children ages 8-14 and their adult companions can experience an exhibition and create a related art project to take home. On March 28 and 29, ImaginAsia presents an “Anime Artist Workshop,” which explores how contemporary artists draw upon the traditions of Japanese masters. On April 4-19, participants can learn about the exhibition “Moonlight and Clouds” and make their own silver and gold creations.

On Saturday, March 28, the Freer Gallery hosts the seventh annual “National Cherry Blossom Anime Marathon” in cooperation with the Japan Information and Culture Center and Otakorp Inc. The daylong event, beginning at 11 a.m. in the Meyer Auditorium, features a costume show and exhibition courtesy of the DC Anime Club. Nine Japanese films are also coming to the Freer in the traveling retrospective “In the Realm of
Oshima,” showcasing the brash, rebellious, passionate and conservative films of director Nagisa Oshima. Films will be screened on Fridays and Sundays from March 6 through April 5; two tickets per person will be distributed at the Meyer Auditorium one hour before each screening. For up-to-dateinformation on show times and film titles and descriptions, visit
“The Tale of Shuten Dōji” has been made possible with support from the Anne van Biema Endowment Fund. “In the Realm of Oshima” was organized by James Quandt of the Cinematheque Ontario and sponsored by the Japan Foundation, the Kawakita Memorial Film Institute and Janus Films. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual two-week, citywide event featuring daily cultural performances, arts and crafts, exhibits and demonstrations, sporting events, international cuisine and other special events. It will be held March 28-April 12, with the parade April 4. The 2009
festival celebrates the 97th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees to United States from Japan and the enduring friendship between the citizens of the two countries.

The Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Avenue S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day, except Dec. 25, and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information, the public may call (202) 633-1000 or visit the Web site:


Cherry Blossom Anime Marathon
March 28, 2009

Animal Treasure Island
11:30 AM
Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved novel Treasure Island, Hiroshi Ikeda’s delightful children’s film tells the story of a boy, Jim, and his mouse friend Gran, who set sail in search of riches, only to a band of dastardly pirates led by Captain Silver. Suitable for all ages. (1971, 78 min., English, video)

Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone
1:30 PM
This sci-fi tale co-directed by Hideaki Anno, Masayuki and Kazuya Tsurumaki is set in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo, where the population defends itself from alien invaders with the help of human/mechanical hybrid battle robots. Its hero, Shinji, is a shy 14-year-old boy mysteriously chosen to save the planet from the aliens for good. Rated PG. (2007, 98 min., Japanese with English subtitles, video)

4:00 PM
Visual effects whiz Sori directed this stunning example of animation as high tech high art – a fusion of advanced techniques and sophisticated thinking about mankind’s possible future. In the year 2077, Japan has isolated itself from the world. The film’s eponymous heroine and her team of US commandos are ordered to infiltrate its barricades and get to the root of the illegal biotechnology experiments being conducted by sinister mega-corporation Daiwa. Rated PG-13. (2007, 110 min., Japanese with English subtitles, video)

7:00 PM
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
In 35mm!
As the title suggests, Mamoru Hosoda’s cheery comedy is about a teenage tomboy who discovers that she can travel through time. After discovering her power, goofy, scatterbrained Motoko goes on all manner of exciting adventures, but ultimately realizes that friendship is the greatest adventure of all. Rated PG. (2006, 98 min., Japanese with English subtitles)

Tickets for all films (two per person per film) will be distributed beginning at 10:30 AM. Half of the tickets for each film will be held back and distributed approximately one hour before each show time.

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