‘Mahabahrta’ by Japanese director, to be screened in Varanasi

The Japan Information Centre, Embassy of Japan, will screen ‘Mahabharata’, a film directed by eminent Japanese director Hiroshi Koike, at Rudraksh, the International Cooperation and Convention Centre, here on December 17.

The entry to this event is by invitation only.

The screening is being held as the part of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and 70th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-India diplomatic relations.

During his visit to Japan in May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had personally interacted with the film director, commended his contribution for promoting Mahabharata, and also introduced the film on his radio programme, ‘Mann ki Baat’.

According to the officials of the Embassy of Japan, the cast includes performers from several Asian countries.

The result is a stunningly multi-cultural blend featuring traditional dance, music, song and costume from Cambodia, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Japan and Indonesia.

Rudraksha – an Indo-Japanese architectural marvel in Varanasi – is a symbol of Modi-Shinzo (late Japanese premier Shizo Abe) friendship. It became operational on July 15, 2021.

The seed of Rudraksha was sown in Kyoto, where Modi and his then Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe announced the Kashi-Kyoto Partner City Agreement in August 2014.

In May 2022, the Embassy of India invited the director Hiroshi Koike to report the results of the Mahabharata project to Prime Minister Modi, who visited Japan to attend the Quad Summit.

Koike and Prime Minister Modi spoke about the creations of Mahabharata in Japan, India and other Asian countries.

Later, the Mahabharata project was introduced on the radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, hosted by Prime Minister Modi.

The Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project, a company producing cultural projects and performances that fuse traditional Asian dances, theatre, movement, and art, will hold previews of the film in Varanasi.

“This project is a screening of the film version of the performance “The Mahabharata: Chapter of Desire/ Chapter of Tempest,” a stage adaptation of the Indian epic Mahabharata directed by Hiroshi Koike,” said the Japanese officials.

According to them, Koike began directing and producing the Mahabharata from 2013 in Cambodia and since then has created various sections of the Mahabharata in five different Asian countries.

In August 2021, Koike presented a stage adaptation of the entire epic of Mahabharata as the culmination of his nine-year-long efforts since 2013.

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